Justin “The Viking” Wren’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10″ blog – episode 9

At only 22 years of age, Justin Wren has a bright future in MMA and hopefully the UFC.

“The Viking” vs. “Big Country”

At the beginning of the Episode you will see that Rashad gets the team together and tells us there won’t be any coaching done by the coaching staff. The most that we all got was mitts held for us.

I was a little taken by surprise, but it was a much better option than going over to team Rampage! I just think we may have trained a little better if they split up the guys that were fighting each other into two separate practices.

Matt was a head case again, saying he had brain damage, brain swelling, and brain bleeding! Our striking Coach Trevor Wittman was not amused, Coach T is my Coach now in Denver, is phenomenal, and has trained some of the best boxers in the World.

Brain trauma is not a prevalent problem in MMA, though Coach T has seen it on a very personal level in boxing. T was extremely offended by Matt making these claims when the doctor was saying he was fine to fight. I think that it was a combination of mind games, and a back up excuse if he were to lose to James… If he even steps in the Octagon…

Training sure was different than anything I have ever experienced… I had zero help leading up to the fight with Roy and basically did shadow boxing, hit the bag, mitts and cardio (which I can explain later).  Roy and I before this were basically main training partners, he helped me and I helped him.

We became friends in the house, would always play “Horse” (Which Roy is ridiculously good at), and we even helped each other keep time and would alternate from hot tub to ice bath a night or two before our fight with each other.

I definitely knew how bad Roy wanted to win the fight, and he knew my dreams and aspirations as well. There is no other situation in the world where you would have to fight under these circumstances; it truly is unique situation the TUF house puts us in!

Leading up to the fight Roy and I couldn’t help but to watch each other train. I would peek on him and he would peek on me. It was weird! I had a really hard time game planning for the fight and somehow came to the conclusion of just winging it basically… Whatever comes natural…

I want to be a well-rounded fighter, but I am no world class striker, yet. I should have game planned to take him down a time or two toward the end of each round and I think that could have sealed it for me.

I hate to make excuses, and I should have been in better cardio shape, without a doubt. Going into this fight though I had FOUR staph infections… I had one on my back right shoulder blade you can see in the fight, two in my beard (one causing a bald spot LOL) and one in my nostril.

The worst damage I took were the slaps from James McSweeney before the fight, after that it was the BURNING STINGS that I felt in my nose when Roy landed any jab. I am responsible for the conditioning that I am in, and it is definitely a weakness, heck I came from Travis Lutter’s gym.

However, it is something that I am very focused on now. Every fight from here on out my conditioning will improve, I am going to make sure of that. Gassing out whether I have a staph infection or not is not acceptable. It is my job as a fighter to make sure that I can put on exciting fights. If I could have kept the pressure on, not have gotten tired, then I think the fight could have turned out differently.

Roy is a very seasoned vet, a lot of people don’t give him enough credit… He is the toughest guy I have ever fought. I think he just gets under everyone’s skin with his personality and how much he likes himself.

The guy has wins in grappling (I know its not MMA but still) over Frank Mir, Jeff Monson, Brandon Vera, and Diego Sanchez, that’s a GREAT resume. As a fighter you have to be confident, I think he just portrays himself just a hair TOO confident.

My fight with Roy went decent; I fought with heart whenever I had “steam.” I promised myself that I will always fight with heart… I love this sport and it is my biggest passion and I want to display that when I fight!

I am so incredibly fortunate to be able to do this for a living at 22 years of age. I have the best supporters, COACHES, friends, and family. I hope that in my career I can continue to become a better fighter, become well rounded, be in world-class shape, and PUSH the pace, and PUSH the tempo.

I don’t want to be a traditional heavyweight and I don’t want to be a boring fighter. I apologize to anyone who thought it was a boring fight, that won’t be something you have to get used to.

As to the judging… I won’t make much comment to that except I wish there was a third round. Whether I would have won or lost DECISIVELY, I would always rather have that happen, then to have an empty feeling left for myself… or any fan watching me fight. That was my first fight to go to the judges, and I hope to try to prevent that in my upcoming ventures.

Thanks to everyone who supports me! Y’all are incredible and I could never express my thanks with words, so I won’t try.

By:  Justin “The Viking” Wren

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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