By: Ulysses Gomez
Hey guys in this blog I’m going to talk about my trip to London, England. I’m going to break it up a few different ways. It’s going to be a three-part series and hopefully you guys read all three parts and enjoy all three of them as well.
This blog will be about arriving to London and everything that took place leading up to the weigh-ins; checking out the city of London and as well as my interaction with the people from London. My next blog will talk about me cutting weight for my fight and the actual weigh-in and how I re-hydrated after making weight.
The third blog will be about my actual fight. What I did the day of the fight, how I warmed up and the actual fight as well. I also want to touch on what happened after the fight. Anyways I hope you guys enjoy the blogs.
Saturday the 9th of February 2013
I don’t even know what time it is right now, the time says 3 p.m. but we just landed in London so I want to say that its 7 a.m. in Las Vegas, I’m not 100% sure. All I know is that flight here was pretty sucky; we had to fly out of Las Vegas at 5 p.m.
I wish we would have flown straight from Las Vegas to London but that wasn’t the case, we had to go to Los Angeles first, our flight left LAX at 8 p.m. PST and we now just arrived in London. The flight was a little over nine hours which wouldn’t have been all that bad if I would have been able to sleep on the plane.
I mean I got about four hours of sleep, which is good for the most part. I mean it was an overnight flight and I wish I would have slept on the flight the whole way but I think not sleeping on the plane will help me adjust to the time change.
Speaking of the time change, I’m pretty worried about “jet lag”. I’ve heard that it affects some people and it doesn’t affect others. The jet lag and retaining water have been on my mind since I signed to fight Phil Harris back in December.
I did some research to see what’s the best way to combat jet lag and I got some great advice from Mike Dolce so hopefully it doesn’t mess me up. Anyways we just landed and now we have to make our way to Wembley.
We jumped on the train or the “Tube” as they call it here which was pretty interesting. Normally the UFC picks us up but I’m arriving eight days early as opposed to five days so we had to catch our own ride to the hotel.
Regardless, it was a cool experience catching the Tube and seeing a little bit of the city. By the time we got to the hotel it was around 6 p.m. It took us a while to get through customs and get to the hotel.
When we got to the hotel I went for a quick 30 minute run to get my body moving, afterward we just hung out in the hotel for the rest of the night. I must have been tired because I ended up going to sleep at right around 11 p.m. and I woke up a little bit after noon the next day.
Thirteen hours of sleep will do the body good. I guess I don’t have to worry about jet lag. Ha-ha.
Sunday the 10th of February 2013
Sunday is normally my rest day from training so me and my teammate Dave Bollea decided to head to the city to check it out. We really didn’t know what to check out first so we decided to check out the London Bridge. I don’t know why we decided to go there but we jumped on the “Jubilee Tube”, got off on the stop and made our way to the London Bridge.
To be honest it really wasn’t what I expected. It was just a huge bridge, nothing really fancy about it. For some reason I thought it was going to be decked out in gold and what not but that wasn’t the case. It was just a bridge with a plate on the side that said “London Bridge.”
After we got done checking out the London Bridge my next mission was to find some more clothes. I wasn’t prepared for the weather in London, when we left the hotel all I was wearing was a rash guard with a t-shirt and a pullover and some jeans. The weather in London was no joke!
We walked around the city until I found a snowboarding store that carried some sweaters. I ended up buying a sweater that cost 25 pounds. One pound was $1.77 USD so that sweater ended up costing me $44.25 USD. It was a good amount of money for a fleece sweater but I didn’t care because it kept me warm, well somewhat warm.
It kept me warm until it started to rain. Ha-ha just my luck. We ended up stopping to have some lunch at Wagamama. The food was very good there but the serving sizes were very small, I guess the restaurant must have known that I was cutting weight. Ha.
After we got done with lunch we ended up checking out “The Tower of London”, that was the highlight of the day for me. I was blown away by seeing all the history in there. We ended up arriving to the Tower of London about an hour before it closed so we had to hurry up and walked through it pretty quick but we made sure to check out the “Crown Jewels”, the “White Tower” and the “Menagerie”.
It was amazing seeing all the history in the buildings and I even thought about taking a few pictures of the Crown Jewels while I was there but I didn’t want to get arrested. How am I going to explain to Dana White that I got arrested taking a picture? Ha. Anyways even though I was freezing cold because it was raining the whole time we were on the tour I was extremely glad that we checked it out.
Monday the 11th of February 2013
Monday was a pretty laid back day. I had a good night’s sleep so it’s safe to say that I adjusted to the time change and I’m not jet-lagged. I was really worried about being jet-lagged, and being able to adjust to the time change is a huge relief.
I woke up this morning at 136.6 pounds so I’m 10.6 pounds over from being on weight. I feel that my body is retaining a little bit of water and ideally I would like to be a little lighter but Mike Dolce said that my weight is good so that gives me piece of mind.
Making weight is always the battle before the battle and I always get stressed out about it. I think most fighters always get stressed about making weight. I always tell myself that the next time I fight I wanted to come in lighter the week of the fight but that never happens.
I usually ended up saying that when I’m in the sauna or cutting weight in the bath so you shouldn’t hold that against me. Today I just did a quick 30 minute run and we stayed in the hotel for the whole day. We were thinking about going to Buckingham Palace but once I saw it was snowing I changed my mind. Ha.
Tuesday the 12th of February 2013
Tuesday was basically just like yesterday with the only difference is that I worked out twice today instead of once. I woke up this morning at 135.4 pounds so I dropped 1.2 pounds since yesterday. As long as my weight keeps on going down I won’t stress. I’m still eating four-to-five meals a day with carbs in three of those meals.
My water is still pretty high, been drinking about 1.5 gallons of water a day. Anyways my first workout was a cardio session which consisted of an interval run followed by the elliptical.
My striking coach Gil Martinez ended up coming into town today at 3 p.m. so we had lunch with him and after lunch I ended up doing a quick mitt session with him. I got a quick warm up in and then we did five rounds on the mitts. We normally do about eight rounds but this close to the fight it’s all about short intense sessions. Get in, get out, and go home.
Wednesday the 13th of February 2013
Wednesday was a pretty cool day; I woke up this morning at 133.8 pounds so I’ve been dropping about 1.2 pounds a night so that’s pretty good. I got up and got dressed and me, Gil and Dave decided to check out Buckingham Palace.
They do the “Changing of the Guard” at noon so we made sure to leave the hotel at 11 since it would take us 30 minutes to get there. On Sunday when we checked out the Tower of London I wasn’t prepared for the cold so today I wanted to make sure that I was ready.
Before we left the hotel I put on some thermal tights, long socks and jeans as well. I also wore a rash guard with a t-shirt and not one but two sweaters, a pair of gloves and a beanie as well. I also brought an extra sweater just in case I needed it.
We got to Buckingham Palace at a few minutes before 12 and by the time 12 hit I had already put on my extra sweater. I couldn’t believe how cold it was! It was windy and the windshield factor made it almost unbearable.
It was cool to see the changing of the guard but all I cared about was getting warm. I would have enjoyed Buckingham Palace a lot more if it wasn’t so cold but all I wanted to do at that point was to find a place that was warm.
After we got done with Buckingham Palace we headed to check out Big Ben and that was pretty neat as well. We ended up having lunch close to the Eye of London and it was pretty good. We had Chinese food and I ended up eating some duck stir-fry which was actually the best meal that I had in London.
For the most part all of the food in London hasn’t been very good but I guess that’s a good thing since I’m cutting weight. It would suck to have something taste really good and be craving it the whole week of my fight.
Anyways after we got done with lunch we headed back to the hotel so I could get another workout in with Gil. When we got to the workout room it was pretty packed. I will admit that it did feel pretty cool to be in the same room training as Danny Castillo, Duane Ludwig, Michael McDonald and Terry Etim, among others.
Regardless, I had to get my workout in so we got four hard rounds in before calling it a night. The coolest thing was that after I got done training, Ryan Jimmo showed me some kicks that he does so I was pretty excited about that.
He showed me a few details that will help me with my kicks and flexibility so I was appreciative of that. This is the last workout that I’m going to do until the day of the fight. Tomorrow is basically just hanging out and cutting some weight so that should be fun… NOT!
Now go read part 2: “Ulysses Gomez: My journey to UFC on Fuel TV 7 in London and Beyond – Part 2“