Back from Iran…

I’m back from a very long week overseas for the World Pankration Championships in Iran. I say it was long because a lot happened, both good and bad. After spending over 30 hrs travelling and waiting around in airports the first day, the following two days was an organisational nightmare with us changing between 4 different accommodations. We slept at 3am on the first day there and around 2am on the 2nd day.

One of the venues we stayed at was the Olympic Village where all the other athletes stayed at. These were below our normal standards, and we had to get out of there and find proper hotels. Unfortunately things were screwed around, and we eventually had to sleep one night in the sub-par room.

As for my fight, I had an unlucky draw and came up against the Russian in the first round. The Russians are the top ranked team and I knew i was gonna be in for a tough match. I figured that if i was going to get a top ranked country up first, it might as well be the #1 guy. Unfortunately for myself, I lost on points 7-3, but I nearly submitted him with a triangle and an armbar. His tactic of dragging me off the mat to be restarted back in the middle on our feet saved his skin. =). Overall I finished 5th.

Overall it was a GREAT feeling representing your country. Competing in something is one thing, but competing country vs country is an awesome feeling. Wearing the Aussie flag and green and gold really does give you warm and fuzzies inside. Even though we had organising issues nearly everywhere we went, the overall experience was worth it. The opening ceremony, though small and didn’t have the biggest of budgets, was good to be apart of. Australia was the highest profile country there so we got quite a lot of attention, with people asking to take photos with us. I don’t know if the attention in such a country was a good thing, but we came out all OK.

One of the best things to come out of this experience are the friendships that came out of this. We bonded very tightly as a team and am glad to have travelled with such great people. I tell ya, MMA guys are the nicest athletes in any sport and I’m glad to be apart of a sport with such people. =)

Posted on in Fighting, Travel

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