One day when I was rolling with Tumbleweed after his first MMA fight, he remarked that I was a better grappler than the guy he had fought. That surprised me, but it made me feel better about the amount of time he spends training with me, especially before a match, because I often feel as though his time would be better spent working with someone else, someone younger, stronger, someone more male, but I suppose he gets plenty of that type of training when I’m not around.
Tumbleweed’s second amateur MMA bout is coming up this Saturday, and when I was talking to him before class last night, he said he thought it was more nerve-wracking to watch someone who he knows fight than to actually do it himself, and I told him “Because you’re in control.” When I watch a teammate compete, there’s a great sense of helplessness, so when Mike steps into that cage this weekend, there’s a good chance that I be more nervous for him than he will be for himself, but I think I still won’t be nearly as nervous as I would be if I was the one actually fighting.
A part of me wanted to skip attending this match, because it is so difficult for me to watch Mike doing MMA, but I’m glad that my friend and “sponsor” Kristy G. (aka Kilogram, because that’s about what she weighs ;) purchased tickets for Joe and I, so now I can’t avoid going simply out of fear. I’m not afraid of Tumbleweed losing, but you can win and still get hurt, yet maybe my trepidation comes partly from selfishness, because everyone knows Mike is my favorite training partner, and I don’t know what I would do without him. It’s amazing that he can be such an accomplished fighter, and still spend serious time helping an old lady like me! If I really am a better grappler than his last opponent, it’s largely due to training with him.
“When things go wrong, go wrong with you, it hurts me, too.” -Elmore James