November 2009 Archives
The health food chain Holland & Barrett is set to become the latest to ban plastic shopping bags from its stores. This might make it the first national retailer to do so. Peter Aldis, the chain's chief executive is also calling on government to impose a charge on plastic bags similar to the action taken by the Irish government.
At last one yogurt maker is taking some action against difficult to recycle yogurt pots.
Well, here we are - it's fight week. I'm now only a matter of days away from making my UFC debut at UFC 105 on Saturday (November 14) in Manchester.
The main emotion I have all week and on the day of a fight is excitement. That explains my mindset completely. It's a good feeling. I've trained so hard for the previous 10 weeks; the fighting part is actually the easy part. The difficult stuff is getting beaten up in the gym for weeks on end and putting my body through hell. The actual fight itself is just my platform to show the world what I've been working towards.
On the day of the fight, I usually make sure I have a good Oatmeal breakfast with some protein and some fresh fruit. I then spend most of the day just relaxing and chilling out. I never really do too much, apart from maybe have a stretch early on to get the blood pumping around the body. My mood then switches to focused when I get the call to head down to the fight venue.
With two weeks to go before my UFC debut at UFC 105 in Manchester, it's probably a good time to spend a moment looking at my opponent that night. As with all UFC contests, this fight on November 14 is not a one-man show and the guy in the opposite corner is very live and dangerous.
The opponent's name is Aaron Riley and he's been involved in 40 professional mixed martial arts bouts. He's a very experienced veteran of the sport and has scored solid UFC wins over Jorge Gurgel and Shane Nelson. I've got a lot of respect for what Aaron has achieved in his UFC career to date, but he hasn't fought me yet. Nobody knows how he will deal with me.
When I got the call to fight Aaron, I instantly started looking for footage of him and studied his game. I made a quick analysis of what I thought and then I handed the tapes to my coaches to make a more in-depth assessment. They would then break his game down and come up with some kind of game plan for me to work on in preparation.
The most recent news on the war against plastic bags is an announcement from Wales (where an estimated 480 million bags are used every year). Environment Minister Jane Davidson is proposing that shoppers pay between 5p and 15p for each bag they use.
Walesonline described the plan as radical - which suggests to me that the writer needs to get out a bit more. I hardly think forcing a charge for plastic bags counts as radical. After all some shops already charge for carrier bags, some towns have successfully banned them, Ireland has levied a tax on them and we are paying for them anyway in the price at the checkout - a shop does not give anything away for free!
Ask any UFC newcomer what the biggest challenge is ahead of their UFC debut and they'll probably all say the same thing - coping with the size of the event. As difficult as it is to face a hungry and determined opponent, often the magnitude of the event and the size of the UFC crowd is the biggest obstacle.
After all, a lot of UFC newcomers aren't used to fighting in front of a crowd of between 15,000 and 20,000 people. They usually arrive from small promotional companies and are more accustomed to performing in small halls and local clubs. It is an enormous leap for them when they eventually step into the UFC and start competing in front of arena-sized crowds.