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Dan Hardy Blog: “Why I Hate Playing The Waiting Game”

With just four weeks remaining until UFC 146, brash Brit Dan Hardy couldn’t be more eager to step inside the octagon and trade blows with Duane “Bang” Ludwig. British publication “The Mirror” reveals the physical and psychological torment Hardy has had to endure in an effort to re-establish himself as a welterweight contender.

It’s been another busy week in training camp. We’re at the end of week eight with three weeks of training and fight week left to go.

I’ve started cutting out my carbohydrates in the evening now. My plan is to drop two pounds a week for the next three weeks and then fight week will be a little easier.

Calories in the final week are usually pretty tight, followed by the weight cut on Friday morning to sweat out the last few pounds before weigh ins.

My sparring sessions have been better each week and all of my other sessions are now focused on the game plan – lots of sessions with each of my coaches, drilling techniques and applying them on my training partners in live situations.

Then we review video of the sessions to see what else needs correcting. The fine-tuning phase where everything starts to come together.

These last few weeks are the most difficult psychologically. With the fight getting near I tend to get a little restless, anxious to get in there, trade some punches and put my new skills to the test.

By this point I feel ready to fight and now it’s a waiting game. Pacing myself for a couple of weeks and trying not to over train. This is where the occasional distraction is welcome.
Usually during training camp I am in Nottingham so to relax I spend time with family and watch the Nottingham Panthers play ice hockey.

It’s important to be able to step away from work for a couple of hours a week, do something to take your mind off the fight. Without that brief respite we risk burning out and can be overwhelmed and tired by the time fight day comes around.

With this training camp being in a different city, I have found different things to escape the training camp grind every now and then. Most weeks we try to get to the Gun Store for a little target practice.

The guys at the Gun Store have sponsored a lot of fighters, so I usually bump into friends trying to escape the gym for a while too. There’s nothing quite as relaxing a shooting off a few rounds to relieve some of that tension!

The finish line is in sight and I’m still going strong. Thanks for the support and for taking the time to read my column. I’ll be back next week – one week closer to that victory.

With The Outlaw making a trip across the pond in an attempt to reinvigorate his career and regain the self-confidence and poise he once flaunted so boastfully, will we finally see Dan Hardy break the losing spell and propel himself into the winner’s column?

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VIDEO: Invicta Fighting Championships weigh-in

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VIDEO: Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo Highlights

Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo is expected to face Fedor Emelianenko on June 21, in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

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Culinary Workers Union stirs up trouble again for UFC

Anheuser-Busch, a major sponsor of Ultimate Fighting Championship, has reprimanded the mixed-martial arts organization for remarks made by some fighters. Advocacy groups have criticized the fighters comments as sexist and homophobic.

Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson

"We've communicated to the UFC our displeasure with certain remarks made by some of its fighters, and they have promised to address this. If the incidents continue, we will act," the brewer said in a statement. A-B, which did not elaborate on potential actions, also stated that it "embraces diversity and does not condone insensitive and derogatory comments rooted in ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, etc."

The rebuke comes as the UFC is gaining mainstream exposure through support from major advertisers and a long-term TV deal with Fox that includes live prime-time matches.

In a statement to Ad Age, UFC said: "With over 425 athletes on our roster, there have unfortunately been instances where a couple athletes have made insensitive or inappropriate comments. We don't condone this behavior, and in no way is it reflective of the company or its values."

A-B last year renewed its UFC deal in a multiyear pact that makes Bud Light a sponsor of pay-per-view and TV broadcasts, while giving the Bud Light logo prominent placement in the UFC's "Octagon" ring, as well as in press conferences, weigh-ins and locker rooms.

As it rises in popularity, UFC remains a polarizing sport, criticized by some for showcasing violent fighting and inflammatory rhetoric.

"We believe that the UFC contributes to a culture of violence against women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence stated in a January letter to state assembly members in New York, urging the state to uphold its ban on professional mixed martial arts, which is legal in most states. "Children, in particular, should not be exposed to the homophobic, misogynistic and violent language that has been permitted by the UFC."

The letter referred to incidents aggregated at a website called unfitforchildren.org, which includes a collection of UFC videos and comments made by people associated with the organization. (The website is run by Las Vegas-based Culinary Workers Union Local 226. The union has unsuccessfully tried to unionize casinos owned by Station Casinos, which is partly owned by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who also own UFC parent company Zuffa LLC.)

The incidents cited by National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence include:

  • An undated video linked on unfitforchildren.org, in which UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson urges a Japanese-speaking fan to say: "I'm a fag."
  • A UFC press conference in which one fighter makes light of the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal by telling another fighter: "I'm going to put those hands on you worse than that dude did them other kids at Penn State," according to this ESPN.com report.
  •  Comments from Joe Rogan, a TV analyst for some UFC events, who reportedly used the C-word to describe Yahoo Sports mixed martial arts blogger Maggie Hendricks. Ms. Hendricks had called out fighter Mr. Jackson for the way he dealt with female interviewers at UFC events, such as telling one that she made him "horny."

 

Noting that some of the incidents in question have occurred over social media, UFC told Ad Age that "unlike most other sports leagues, we encourage our athletes to engage online. It is part of our company culture, and whenever you are at the forefront of a trend or initiative, it comes with its own pitfalls. We will continue to embrace social media while looking for better ways to stay in front of the issues. This includes a mandate for our athletes to attend sensitivity training and a seminar on proper use of social media."

A-B first commented on the issue when asked about it by a couple of beverage trade publications, Kane's Beverage News Daily and U.K.-based Brewers' Guardian, which reported on criticism of Bud Light's UFC advertising by alcohol watchdog group Alcohol Justice. The group, formerly called Marin Institute, frequently criticizes alcohol marketers for a host of reasons. Alcohol Justice has seized on the UFC issue to criticize this UFC-themed Bud Light Lime ad, which it says is "disgusting and typical of their cage-fighting sponsorship advertising campaign."

 

The ad features barely clothed UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste rolling around in limes and playfully uttering double entendres. It has never run on TV and has been distributed only through AB's age-gated Facebook and YouTube pages, according to the brewer.

In a letter to shareholders of A-B global parent Anheuser-Busch InBev, Alcohol Justice alleged that as UFC sponsor, the brewer is "delivering harmful content to millions of underage youth. At center stage is the ever-present Bud Light logo."

In its statement, AB said: "We take our role as a responsible advertiser and marketer very seriously, and we adhere to the industry's voluntary advertising and marketing code. While brand advertising influences brand choice amongst those 21 years of age and older who have already decided to consume alcohol, research shows that it does not influence increased consumption or misuse."

The industry's self-regulations call for alcohol marketers to run ads only in digital and broadcast outlets where at least 71.6% of the audience is 21 or older.

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Video: GSP And His Road Back To The Octagon

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Video: Inside The Octagon: Middleweight News, Reem Faces The Music And More

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Video: Joe Rogan: There's Something About Heavyweights

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Video: Lavar Johnson: Heavy Hits In And Out Of The Octagon

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Video: Frank Mir Is Ready For Cigano At UFC 146

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Video: Chuck Liddell Would Come Out Of Retirement For A Title Shot

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