When Kerry left in September, I had planned to go back to dorms but following an outing to the lake with Cowboy and the ranch guys, I decided to stay at the mid-construction BMF Ranch.
Cowboy is my favourite fighter of all time so when the opportunity to stay at the ranch came up. Initially, I thought I was dreaming (pinch me) and I couldn’t wait to train there. I started watching him in the WEC days and have been a fan since he beat the brakes off Jamie Warner in their second fight. In that bout, he was a prime example of how I wanted to fight.
Fighters should be looking to finish and put on an exciting show, not cruise for the round then score a takedown in the last ten seconds. Donald exudes a ‘don’t give a fuck, come to fight’ attitude which sets fans on fire and gets them out of their seats. He is one of the most exciting and active fighters in combat sports history because he stays ready and backs himself enough to take on anyone. Although his demeanor can come across as arrogant, he is a humble sportsman who will acknowledge his part in defeat and honour his opponents; his bravado is backed by experience and is an accurate self-assessment based on his long and successful career in the sport with the most wins and finishes in the UFC.
These attributes are what I measure myself against, I want that composure and confidence in the arena and I’m working on developing that finishing power.
I thought Cowboy was kidding but true to his word, he let me stay for the rest of my camp and train with him. Throughout my stay, he was preparing for his UFC fight against Darren Till. I felt unbelievably lucky to have an insider view on how he conducted his camp. Cowboy had flown in his coaches; Pedro Camberos (Muay Thai) and Hector Munoz (BJJ) so everyone was on Cowboy time and we did everything together. I remember Brandon Gibson saying to a few of us younger fighters that we had no idea of the sacrifice and hard work that went into the creation of the BMF Ranch and not to waste this opportunity. He didn’t have to say it twice. I was literally taking notes whilst Joe Schilling, Izzy Martinez and Johny Hendricks were in the house.