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Getting my ass kicked

So as mentioned last night, today was filming for another segment of the Fightlinker pilot show. The first part involved doing circuit training with Jonathan Chaimberg, GSP’s strength and conditioning coach (along for the ride: Jerome LeBanner, Scott Junk, and a few others). This time the segment was striking with Patrick Cote.

One of the things about the show is that there are going to be a bunch of segments neither Jake or I are going to want to do, so we decided that whenever we had ‘competitions’ like the one we had at Chaimberg’s, the loser would then have to do the next unpleasant ‘job’. My job for this one: last two minutes in the ring sparring with Patrick Cote.

We woke up at 7:30am – a horrifically early time for night owls such as Jake and I – in order to meet up with our producer and sound guy over in the east end and then it was a car ride over to the West End where Grant Brothers boxing was. We got in at 10am sharp, which is when Patrick told us to be there. Of course, one thing I’ve quickly learned being around fighters is they operate on what I call FST, which is roughly 45 minutes behind EST.

So when we arrived there was barely anyone there except a very serious looking Howard Grant, who seemed generally unimpressed with us being there. This is always the fun part of doing this kind of stuff – most media go in and do things ‘straight’ and are tolerated as a necessary evil. Meanwhile, here we are saying “Hey, we’re some out of shape idiot bloggers making fun of what you guys are doing and fooling around. Want to help?” Fortunately, heavy use of Patrick’s name and hiding in the back of the gym by the foosball table kept things cool.

Finally Patrick arrives, we do a quick interview and film him hitting the heavy bag which he does with such force that the metal girders holding them is shaking quite a bit. The night before I had kinda started to realize ‘hey, you could break your nose or lose a tooth, ya know?’ Now that reality was staring me right in the face. I like my teeth. More importantly, I can’t really afford to fix my teeth. And I need them to eat food and stuff.

After a short interview it was time to get into the ring and have him work me over. To get him comfortable with punching me hard (the last thing we wanted was a bunch of pussy punches), Jake asked him to demonstrate jabs, crosses, hooks, body shots etc. The first jab was soft so I made a ‘bring it’ motion and from there I didn’t really realize where any of the punches came from, just that my head was getting bounced around and that I suddenly felt about 10 degrees warmer.

Onto the 2 minutes of sparring. Here was my plan – step 1 was keeping my hands up. Step 2 was working the jab. Unfortunately I didn’t get past step 1 because once he came up and started working me over it was all I could to do to try and keep my hands up. Punches were coming from all sides … every time I covered up he’d hit me with a hook or cross. My hands would slip and he’d whack me with a whole series of jabs followed up with a shot to the body. Fortunately he went easy on my midsection – I had made a few jokes about pooping myself and I think he didn’t want to risk pissing off his coach Howard. I went down twice, once when he hit me with an uppercut to the chin that tweaked my button … the second time I don’t even know what I was hit with – in the last ten seconds he turned things up and just laid waste to me till I dropped.

In the end I wasn’t too injured though – that bit of nose where the bone and cartilage meets is sore as a fucker and my lip is fat from the middle to side. I had a mouthguard in and thank god for that, but it also cut up the inside of my upper lip and cheek pretty badly. My head felt strange like I could feel my heart beating in it and it was hot hot hot – I don’t know if temperature wise it was above normal temperature but it sure felt like it was. But overall, I felt pretty happy. We had gotten the shots we’d needed, I’d gotten my ass kicked by a hard hitting UFC fighter, and that’s another step towards the pilot being done.

We have two more little bits to take care of that we’ll be doing in the next week and a half max and then we’re into editing everything together. I’ll try and get a little juicy bit from all this up on the site soon – a great smacktalk bit from Cote during the interview and a bit of the footage of him lighting me up. I think you guys will really like it!