TUF 10: Here We Go!
First I want to say thank you to all of my great friends and family who came out to Buffalo Wild Wings in Fort Worth, Texas last night to support me! It was standing room only. I was able to see life-long friends, and I had an absolute BLAST!
For those people that read the introductory blog, you will know that I have wanted to fight in the UFC since I was a 13 year old kid, sneaking UFC 1-10 into my house and hiding them under my bed! This is all surreal to me, and I am fortunate beyond belief to be fighting for a living, and to have the tremendous amount of supporters I have in my life! Thank you so much to everyone, and thank you to PROMMA.INFO for giving me this opportunity to blog.
As you can tell from the moment I walk through the doors I was stoked; walking into the training center gave me a sense of joy, anticipation, EXCITEMENT, and relief. MMA really is the absolute biggest passion in my life and I am immensely blessed to have been selected to be on the show! Walking in there I was the youngest guy, just having my 22nd birthday, going in as a 10-1 pro, and having the biggest opportunity in my career to date! I think I was smiling ear to ear the entire first several days until my cheeks started to wear out.
When we first arrived at the training center, Dana White had us all line up. I thought he was just welcoming us and getting us ready for tryouts…little did I know, it turned out he had a big announcement. I didn’t even realize that there were only 15 of us lined up….and then Dana announced Kimbo. Instantly I was AMPED UP!! Kimbo is a guy I have been trying to fight since he first stepped into MMA. It seemed that I wasn’t a big enough name to ever earn that fight, but I believe that I would be a bad match up for him.
The incident you all saw where Brendan Schaub had some words for Kimbo got me stoked. Now in Brendan’s defense, none of us knew when we were fighting. In fact several guys thought we might have to fight that day. So, Brendan’s words weren’t in disrespect, we just all thought we might have a chance to fight him that day. I also think all of the other 15 fighters might have had some resentment towards Kimbo. He walked into a room of 15 fighters all wanting the contract, and he gets a special announcement.
Having said that I am very excited the UFC brought in Kimbo; he is going to bring millions more fans into watch the show. In retrospect, it turned out that Kimbo is a great guy, a determined fighter, a loving father of SIX, and the best darn steak cook I have ever witnessed!
After that we began the tryout process. Looking back now, I would say it was over 2 hours straight of BRUTAL testing from both set of coaches. Rashad’s tryout was based upon more technique and cardio, while Rampage had us do live wrestling and sparring…. ROUND after ROUND after ROUND. My group ended up finishing last, and Brendan, Mike, Darrill and I sparred about 12 rounds each!
After the grueling tryouts, fight picks were AWESOME. I was chosen to be on the team I wanted, and the team I am training with currently! During tryouts, I told Greg Jackson multiple times “Pick me Greg, please pick me!” haha and I am very thankful that I got to work with Rashad and his team the entire 6 weeks.
Now I’m in Denver, training with the likes of Carwin, Marquardt, Schaub, Marshall, Ludwig and other great guys at Grudge Training Center. It is a Greg Jackson affiliate and we all alternate between Denver and Albuquerque; 4 weeks in Albuquerque, 4 weeks in Denver, for fight camps, 8 weeks out from our fights.
Moving into the house was nuts; it’s the same house since season 8, and this year upstairs was “Heaven” themed and downstairs was “Hell.” Scott “Punk Haole” Junk and I have become very good friends and before the show, we decided to be roommates. We ran downstairs to the first room we saw with two beds and snagged it…The only thing I regret was it was “Hell” themed and I had to sleep with an extremely creepy Medusa painting starring at me for 6 weeks straight!
The fight picks really surprised us by Rampage; we all thought a wrestler, for Abe, was his absolute worst match up. Rampage basically handed us the 3rd fight pick on a silver platter (Rampage has to win the first two fights to keep control)! Jon went in there and did work, got down to business and did exactly what he had to do to win.
After the fight, I went to check on Abe. As it would turn out, the Doc said he LOST count at over 200 stitches! That was the absolute nastiest cut I have ever witnessed and it definitely did remind me of a horror movie, as I said on the show. While Abe was getting stitched up the doc spread the cut open and I swear I saw about 3-4 inches of that dudes skull…. NASTY!
Well I am extremely excited about the rest of the show! I am very thankful for the opportunity that PROMMA.INFO has given me! I can’t wait for the rest to unfold and honestly if my face looked like “a kid in a candy store” it is because that’s the way I felt! This season will be the best season yet… and I am very blessed to have been a part of it!
You can follow Justin on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JustinTheViking.
PROMMA.INFO is very proud to be the home of the official “THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 10: HEAVYWEIGHTS BLOG OF JUSTIN ‘THE VIKING’ WREN.” Justin’s blog will be published on PROMMA.INFO following each episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” which airs every Wednesday night on Spike TV.
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