Dale Hardiman’s BAMMA diary - part four

AS another week draws to a close, it is evident from my appearance that fight time is rapidly approaching.

My physique is steadily changing as the days pass, and as the fat diminishes, muscle is revealed in its absence.

Clothes that once fitted tightly have now become loose items of cloth which I can only compare to a parachute. The scales are being good to me, and giving me all the right responses. Fight time is nearing and there is no doubt it my mind, I am ready.

Unfortunately a fight camp never runs as smoothly as one would hope. Many obstacles and hoops have to be steadily negotiated and carefully approached to ensure that come fight time, one is in the healthiest state possible, both mentally and physically.

This week I received news that my opponent had been changed.

Chris Fishgold was injured during a training session and I am now scheduled to fight Antanas Jazbutis. This news was tough to handle at first.

I had my sights on Chris Fishgold as an opponent since BAMMA 7 in September when I defeated Scott Jansen. We were scheduled to fight at BAMMA 8 but due to injury, we were both removed from the card.

Almost five months of mental preparation, I had my mindset in a perfect place as my bout with Fishgold approached. I had visualised every possible and probable scenario the fight would present but then the news came and it felt like my world had been turned upside down.

As I put down the phone to my coach, I could feel my adrenaline building up.

My body was shaking, butterflies were attacking my stomach, and my mind was working at a million miles per hour.

The feeling was horrible, but my body was adjusting, developing and preparing itself for a different challenge. I spent the next few hours, watching every Jazbutis fight I could find, breaking down his style, identifying his weaknesses, and formulating my strategy of attack.

Jazbutis is a more well-rounded opponent than Fishgold and presents a danger from whereever the fight takes place.

He has been in the cage with the best fighters that Britain has to offer and has taken most of those fights to decision.

His style is fast paced, and his durability and toughness make him a challenge to finish. He is a completely different fighter to Fishgold and hence the approach to the fight will have to be slightly adjusted.

However I am not going to worry too much about his strong points, instead I will look to utilise all the weapons at my disposal and exploit his weaknesses.

I am honestly expecting an all out war from start to finish, knowing full well that this fight could easily be the first time I am taken to a decision.

I am going into the fight looking for the finish and I am going to do my best to ensure this happens. However 15 minutes in the cage and a fight to remember might just be the way it has to be.

I am preparing myself for war, and my mind and body are ready for whatever Jazbutis has for me. Bring on the 24th March!

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