THE BLOG

The Waiting Game

14/06/2013 17:14 BST | Updated 14/08/2013 10:12 BST

It's only a couple of days now until I make my Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut in Canada.

At this stage all the hard work's been done.

Now, I'm just dealing with the knock-on effects of travelling the 3,700 or so miles to Winnipeg for my bout and hitting weight.

I arrived in Canada on Tuesday and I'm feeling good. Jet lag's not something that is usually a big problem for me and this week is no different. Nevertheless there's a few adjustments that I make to ensure that my body is ready to perform at the right time of day.

To make sure that I'm at peak physical level come Saturday, and to minimise the impact of the time difference, my team and I have been shifting the time of my workout gradually throughout the week.

People often ask what I do during the week of a bout to prepare. In the days running up to the fight I mainly stick to short workouts to keep things ticking over. I'm not looking to develop my fitness levels, I've been training hard for two months and I'm fit and sharp.

I'll be concentrating on pad work and keeping my engine running. I've gone up a weight class for this bout, but now have a little bit to drop to get to my fighting weight so I do watch my portion control while making sure I get enough nutrition to fuel my workouts.

There's always great interest in what athletes eat just before an event, whether it's a race, a match or a fight. After my weigh in, I concentrate on getting lots of good carbohydrates, such as pasta and rice, to build my energy stores.

On the day of the fight, the biggest challenge is passing the time - it really is a waiting game. I'll sleep in, if I can or nap during the day. This is the biggest thing I've ever done in my MMA career and with all the excitement, it's important for me to make a point of getting enough rest leading up to the fight.

The team I've brought with me to Winnipeg will keep me entertained, calm and focused throughout the day. I've got Paul Rimmer and Danny Withington from Next Generation MMA gym in Liverpool and Peter Irving out here. Mid-afternoon we'll all sit down for my last meal before the bout, probably something combining carbs and protein, such as pasta with chicken.

When it comes to that moment when I walk out into the arena, I'll be completely prepared for the fight. The crowd will be much bigger than any I've fought for before, and I'm expecting an electric atmosphere. I can't wait to be a part of it.

And afterwards, bring on the Ben and Jerry's!