Hey this is Bryan Caraway and my blog for TUF 14. I'm going be writing and explaining things this season that happen throughout the show, giving some behind the scenes commentary.
As soon as I land in Vegas and get to the hotel–they take my phone away. I had just gotten my phone back after three weeks of not having it due to being in jail, yep I said jail. Which was the first time in my life, due to some bogus traffic violations and fines from 6-yrs previous from a small little country town where I was attending Central Washington University. So you could imagine that bunk bed bench press and garbage can full of water curls didn't cut it for cardio and fight training!
So they take my phone away, instantly and immediately I regret not making more phone calls to the people I love. Then they tell me I can't leave the room at all, so right back in jail figuratively speaking. But it sucks even worse because my buddy John Prince Albert, who I used to train with at Dennis Hallmans Victory Athletics in Wa., made it out to the show along with my new Team mate Tj Dillashaw from Team Alpha Male and I couldn't talk to them or hang out.
So the next day the take random groups of guys to different gyms to cut weight, then round us up and take us to weigh ins. At this point, they're telling us nothing, so we have no clue where we're going. We arrive at the Mandalay Bay Event Center and by this time I'm feeling super-pumped up despite being sucked up in weight.
We end up waiting out in front of some giant roll up doors–for what seemed like eternity in 100 degree weather just waiting, then all of a sudden the doors roll up and we see the Octagon sitting in the center of the of the Mandalay Bay...sweet!
We walk in and get in the cage where Dana is waiting for us! That's when he tells us who the coaches are and about the bonuses, then starts to match us up one fight at a time with a face off of each fight.
The whole time I'm curious to whom there going to match me up with naturally, I'm thinking the guys with the most experience and highest profiles are Micah Miller, Eric Marriott, and myself.
Then bam, I get matched up with Marriot...I think it figures lol, but I am happy because at least I'm fighting someone that I know of. So I'm fighting Eric Marriott a tough guy who is a 20-4 pro and I'm out of shape....awesome lol, so I think screw it lets do this.
So on fight day they bring us to the venue and randomly split us up into red corner and blue corner with Bisping and his staff of coaches in one corner and Mayhem and his staff of coaches in the other.
Luckily for me, I get put in with my buddies, former team mate Prince and new team mate TJ in Bisping's corner. I wasn't happy at first about being in Bisping's corner with his coaches, but they had good energy and were light-hearted which made it less stressful.
Bad news is that I'm the very last fight of the whole night despite how Spike shows it. The reason why this is bad news is because I get horrible anxiety before my fights and usually throw up! I just wanna fight and perform to the best of my ability and the long-wait gives my mind too many things to think about.
So the first fight happens and Josh aka TAZ wins then Louis wins from our corner; then a few more fights happen then Prince is up, so I go out and watch him fight and he does well winning in round 1 easily.
Now there's a lil' more pressure to make it in the house; then TJ is up against a very tough vet in Matt Jaggers and Tj ends up getting a sweet GnP knockout at the very very end of the round; even more pressure now. So I head to the back, relax and wait for my turn...then finally it's my turn with a camera in my face asking me "how I feel."
Shit just got real...and that's when you see me say at the beginning of the show that I'm nervous and a little scared; then they cut off the rest what I continued to say: why I'm scared, that this is a huge opportunity of a lifetime and I want to perform to the best of my ability.
So the first round I take him down pretty easy, pass his guard and work some side elbows and ground-and-pound, then I scramble to a deep guillotine and he fights out well. So I sweep him get back on top, we scramble, I pass his guard again and pound some more. Then hit a super-deep guillotine that I set up and its really deep, thinking it's over as I squeeze with every ounce I have–Marriot has to end up giving up mount and I still have it deep thinking he has to go out soon, but he some way finds away to get his hand in and hand fight out of it leaving me in mount.
Then I work some ground-and-pound from mount, but Marriot is no slouch and is moving well so I go back-to-side. I think he ends up scrambling up and my arms are super gassed from the chokes, that I was sure I had and squeezed with all my energy but to no avail.
Round 2, I stand a little and move around trying to let my arms relax a little–man I'm outta shape and tired as hell, but I push forward and secure a takedown and out grapple him all of Round 2–gassed out of shape–I was super thankful to get the win.
And hey Bisping, I've finished almost every fight I've ever fought so I'm pretty sure I have the killer instinct it's called zero cardio–ha. But he didn't know that I was in jail right before and because I controlled the fight I think pretty well, it didn't show too tremendously.
That is why at the very end of the episode, I still have my tape on and shirt off because I literally had just finished fighting! After the fights, I went up and did another interview, which they never showed any of my first interviews. Bummer, oh well, we have the whole rest of the season ahead of us!
Thanks for reading stay tuned in for next week, because my blog is going to get real crazy and interesting. You can also catch me on fallout MMA radio this coming Sunday and every Sunday after. Follow me on twitter @BryanCaraway Many thanks to Bad Reputation Clothing, Yellow Jacket Clothing, Vicious Fight Gear, and PunchTown, and I'm a Beast Apparel.