49th Fight – Yodying Sor. Sumalee
This fight was my shortest turn-around yet with only four days between fights. As such, I didn’t really have much training in between. I fought Friday night, rested Saturday, trained Sunday afternoon on my own and with Kevin and then two sessions on Monday, fight on Tuesday. So there wasn’t a lot of chance to practice some different tactics or skills I hope to bring into my arsenal and, given the incredibly limited time spent actually doing any of these things in the form of practice, I was quite pleased in this fight that I did any of them at all.
I didn’t fight as I would have liked to and even with the few things I tried out they were mere flickers within the whole context of the fight. That doesn’t minimize them, but they certainly weren’t enough – this time. I’d practiced about 40 minutes of simply walking forward – just walking as you would down the street – and kicking into Kevin’s body when I got within range. It was fantastic work, definitely in a very primal stage of its development, but it got me kicking him and not kicking air. In this fight I didn’t walk forward as much as I would have liked, but the times that I did and threw my kicks I landed them. I think I landed more kicks to the body (albeit not great ones) in this fight than perhaps any other. And I got my hips back for some straight knees in the clinch, as well as staying relatively calm and changing my position once or twice without just head-locking.
In the fourth round I almost had her knocked out. I could feel her about to keel over from some knees but didn’t amp it up and finish her, nor did I go in hard enough in the fifth round to just smash it out, which is probably the only way I could have won this fight. It was close, but I acknowledge and own the shortcomings on my end that led the judges to favor her performance. It’s frustrating and disappointing, but it’s also very motivating because of two things: 1) I tried to do something and experienced glimpses of success with it, which means I can do it again – success breeds success; and 2) I lost this fight and didn’t perform in a way that is going to earn me any pats on the back from my trainers, but I feel very positively about the experience. I feel better after this fight than I have after fights that I’ve won and, quite frankly, I think I’ll enjoy more of a growth spurt with this kind of energy than I ever do with self-defeat. In the words of my dear friend Robyn: “Nobody ever feels good by feeling bad.”