Photo: Liu Xiao Ming
Team Quest coaches Pat Healy and Brad Hannah are currently holding a six-week training camp for fighters from various Chinese teams at Xian Sports University in Shaanxi Province. One such fighter is Wenbo Liu, a light heavyweight who makes his Legend Fighting Championship debut against New Zealander Sam Brown on Oct. 30.
Over the course of the six weeks, Healy and Liu will blog their experiences for Sherdog.com. Today’s post comes from Liu.
Every fighter goes through a process of preparation for a fight. For me, this training camp has been about meeting goals I never thought I could achieve.
My entire fighting career has been fought at heavyweight. I started the camp at 242 pounds with the goal of fighting at 205. It has been no picnic, but after four weeks of intense training I am now at 220 pounds and am able to see a change in not only my weight, but in the way I see life. With two week left to go, I know that I will not only make the weight, but I will win this fight. It’s like there’s a whole other part of myself that I never knew existed.
This is not to say that things have been easy at all. I’ve thrown up about eight times during this process just because of the intensity of the training, but I never quit and my coaches, Brad and Pat, never let me quit. They believe in me and I believe in myself. We all stand together to win!
That is the other great thing I’ve learned in this process: Enthusiasm is contagious. When we started this camp, there were 20 core students and about 60 others from the sanda team that were involved. Then, from all over the country, students from other teams came to join us. Fighters like Chengjie Wu, Hailin Ao and Wang Sai filled the training facilities to capacity. It was like everyone was coming together with one goal: to grow and to be a better martial artist.
Every day, we pick each other up, encourage each other and push each other to our limits. We have endured exhaustion, having to unlearn years of techniques not suitable for MMA, and even staph infection! But we keep fighting, keep moving forward. At one practice, Baeter jumped up and began shouting, “Do you realize what we have here? We have the opportunity every Chinese who ever wanted to fight in MMA has! Elite level coaching and training in our own home!” I have never seen him so excited.
When I step into the ring on Oct. 30, it will not only be the weight that I have left behind, it will be the shadows of fear and apathy I once held. When that bell rings, there will be a dragon born of fire, hope, determination and skill, all wrapped up in a beautiful, 205-pound package.