Jeremy Pender (pictured) is scheduled to face Shah Bobonis on Dec. 2 at XFC 15 in Tampa, FL.

I’ve never really done a blog before so I guess I should start with who I am. I’m Jeremy “PonyBoy” Pender, a 135 lb. professional MMA fighter.

I’m currently in the middle of a training camp for my fight on December 2nd for XFC 15. It’s safe to say that this is the biggest fight of my 11 fight professional career and it’s also safe to say that I’ve never been as excited or motivated for anything else in my life.

For my first blog entry I’m going to try to explain my training and more specifically the camp that I am in currently.

I’ve never been a special kind of athlete or really a stand out in much of anything I’ve done, so when I decided to choose the not-so-normal occupation of “MMA fighter” I surprised a lot of people, including myself.

I’m still coming to terms with the lifestyle and commitment it takes to be successful in this sport, and now that I have earned the opportunity to fight on televised cards against top-notch opponents the commitment and sacrifices have gone to a whole new level.

For this training camp I’ve been training three or four times per day six days a week. I’ll run you through a normal week with me.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I get to wake up at 4:50 a.m. and eat a small meal and take my vitamins and supplements before my girlfriend and I (she’s also a professional mixed martial artist) take a trip into Cincinnati, which is about 30 minutes from my house.

We are put through a strength and conditioning workout with the help of our coach Jason Laine. The workout lasts about  75 minutes and depending on the day, we focus on strength, power or speed.

After the morning session I get to come home and rest for a few hours, eat some food and head back to the gym around three in the afternoon.

During this training session I grapple with the other fighters in our gym. The rounds are anywhere from 5-7 minutes to get used to the pace of a fight. We “roll” or wrestle for 6 or 8 rounds. Then I usually get some time to eat a small meal before participating in wrestling practice, Brazilian jiu jitsu class or an MMA specific training session.

Those classes are followed by another workout in either boxing or kickboxing, and only after all of that can I go back home and eat, sleep and spend time with my loved ones.

Tuesday and Thursdays are my typical sparring days before classes in the evening. I start the day with a run and when I get to the gym I shoot for 10 rounds of 5 minutes of boxing, kickboxing or MMA sparring, depending on the guys that are in the gym that day.

After sparring I always participate in the classes that are offered which are jiu jitsu followed by kickboxing.  On Saturdays I try not to be in the gym for more than 3 hours. I get my sparring in and work on a few techniques and drill things that I want to improve on.

I don’t really think this is out of the ordinary for a pro MMA fighter, but it’s still a lot of work. I train really hard with really talented training partners and amazing coaches. I can’t wait to see the results of my work on December 2nd when I fight Shah Bobonis Live on HDNet as part of XFC 15.

To get more updates on my training and random nonsense follow me on Twitter @ponyboymma. I also want to thank my sponsors who are supporting me as I get ready for this fight – Swole Sports Nutrition, Get’Em Boy, Lexani, and On Point Athletics.

“Staying Gold” is a weekly blog series written by professional fighter Jeremy Pender as he prepares for his Dec. 2 fight at XFC 15. “Staying Gold” is part of our ongoing series of exclusive content written by individuals involved in the mixed martial arts industry. For more information on Pender, visit The Matthew Wellington Group.

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