Camp is a countdown, a doomsday clock for my opponent. From the first day of camp until the announcer declares “And still champion, Rowdy Ronda Rousey,” every second of my life is focused on fighting. I pick up my training. I follow my diet.
(My Fight/Your Fight (2015) by Ronda Rousey and Maria Burns Ortiz)
Since receiving his invitation to the deadliest playground in sports, the UFC’s lightweight division, Tony “2.0” Sims (12-3) has accumulated one win and one loss; a story on paper incongruent with his abilities inside the cage. Prior to his matchup with Abel “Killa” Trujillo (12-7) at UFC 195: Lawler vs. Condit, Sims appeared more ready than ever as a guest on Funky Monkey MMA (link here). On his third summons to the Octagon, Sims was granted, unlike his previous two appearances, a training camp in its entirety to prepare for his slot on the main card of the UFC’s first event in 2016:
“First off, I’m excited that I get one [a training camp]. This is my first UFC training camp. The first one [UFC fight] was on one week’s notice, and the other one was two and a half week’s notice, I think. I’ve had a total of ten training days for two UFC fights.”
Accepting fights like a pick-up game of basketball may not be new for Sims, or many other fighters. He shared his readiness,
“I stay in the gym year round; that’s why I’m able to do those short notice fights.”
A unanimous decision loss in his last outing, UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Oliveira, to The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia winner, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, minimally dropped Sims’ stock, and Aubin-Mercier’s win didn’t necessarily accelerate his own worth, blanketing Sims for three rounds and earning heckles from the crowd along with the judges’ nod.
Glancing at Sims’ resume, his natural tendency to clobber opposition leaps off the stat’s sheets, marked by his UFC debut: a first-round TKO of Steve Montgomery at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero; in conjunction with ten KO/TKO stoppages and 2 submissions since turning pro. With data points as these in your back pocket, there is little surprise in his nonchalant tone in relation to signing on the dotted line for high-profile caseloads with minimal study time. A practice of regularly accepting short-notice fights and finding considerable amounts of success could lend someone like Sims, on the verge of cracking the division’s top-fifteen, to fall prey to what Robert Thaler and Cass Sunstein described in Nudge (2009) as: a “planning fallacy,”
[T]he systematic tendency toward unrealistic optimism about the time it take to complete projects. (p. 7)
Already known as “2.0,” Sims may demonstrate a more profound upgrade to his skillset by investing five weeks into an entire training camp with his team: Elevation Fight Team in Denver, Colorado.
Fighting forces honesty down your throat. You can and should deceive your opponent, but not yourself.
(The Fighter’s Mind (2010) by Sam Sheridan p. 279)
Sims admitted the positives in being allotted a full fight camp,
“Yeah, I think the biggest thing is we were able to do some game planning, come up with a strategy, work at trying to implement that strategy. There’s some fine-tuning and confidence that goes into training for just one guy.”
The UFC must recognize the shining qualities in Sims because they’ve pulled his name from the well of talent-rich wealth early and often, three fights in six months. While discussing his eagerness to step into the middle of the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 2, 2016, the epicenter to the fight capital of the world’s heartbeat, the only people who don’t delight in Sims’ gains garnered from extra time honing his craft: his teammates at Elevation. Sims exclaimed,
“I’m ready to fight man. I’m tired of beating up my training partners, or getting beat up by them.”
Tune-in to the pay-per-view portion of UFC 195 to witness the payoff after depositing extra weeks of rehearsal into his kickstart of the main card. Follow Sims at:
Facebook: https: www.facebook.com/Tony-Sims
Instagram: https: www.instagram.com/tonysimsmma
Listen to Sims’ interview with Funky Monkey MMA and others at: