Düsseldorf's Nordin Asrih is the first-ever German fighter to make The Ultimate Fighter reality show. Exclusive for Groundandpound.de, the "Fists of Tangier" will give you a peek behind the scenes and into his diary. The Moroccan-born striker will pull no punches in the most sincere, emotional and hilarious TUF 13 blog on the web!
It took me sixteen hours from Frankfurt to Las Vegas. I departed in Germany in the afternoon and arrived in the States in the evening. Unable to sleep on the plane despite throwing a sleeping pill that should have an elephant fall asleep, you can imagine I was exhausted when I touched down on US soil. After I arrived in Vegas, I immediately had to hand off my laptop computer and mobile phone, so I was cut off from the outside world. I imagine it must be like this when you go to prison. As first thing they checked my weight. I was already very light at 178.5 pounds as I expected to have to fight my way into the house and I didn't want to have to cut too much weight in a short amount of time. Since I was good, I grabbed some chicken salad and relaxed in the room. There was an absolute night-time curfew, but at least I was allowed to watch TV. I knew I was going to the UFC Training Center the next day, so I was excited what would go down there.
Today we finally went to the gym for the first time. I had been to Vegas for the castings and the selection process, but never had the chance to go inside the training center. Dana introduced us to the coaches, we threw on our gear and off we went for the evaluation training. After two hours of riding bike, grappling and hitting the pads, Dana came back, divided us into teams and gave us the jerseys we should be representing for the next couple of weeks. I was drafted to be on Brock's team. Coming into the show, I had preferred to be on Cigano's team since I felt that we had a similar philosophy, but I didn't mind working with Brock and his coaches either. We were told that we have to get up at 7:30 in the morning the next day and my excitement went sky high!
Good lord, what a day! All day we had to get our pictures taken, do video interviews and that kind of stuff. Dress, undress, throw on different clothes and gear all the time. I imagine how hard it must be for the stars of the UFC who have to do this all the time! I taught the lunatics in the house some German language and we were clowning around. The Ultimate Fighter house is basically not a house, but a mansion. Our team set up camp on the first floor and of course I took the bed where I can keep an eye on everybody. During one of the few quiet moments I think of my wife and kids and start to miss them a lot after three days already. Tomorrow there will be a conditioning drill and soon after there's going to be the first fight. I'm wondering who's going to be the first who will be able to throw down...
This was a really interesting day. I had the first training session with Brock and his assistant coaches. Even after ten years of martial arts training, they did a couple of excercises I hadn't done before. I loved to learn them and implement them in my training regimen in the future. After that there was an autograph session where we signed 500 baseball cards and autograph cards and put our three x's on a lot of albums and photos. Junior dos Santos had the first pick who gets to fight. I was picked to take on his "Golden Boy" Shamar Bailey. So I went off to chill in the sauna and two hours later we weighed in. Tomorrow is fight day.
I got up, showered, had breakfast and prayed. I'm a devout muslim and pray five times a day. I went downstairs and met my opponent at the breakfast table. Shamar was looking nervous and couldn't look my way. I am hoping for the win and to stay healthy. God is great and he is going to protect me. First we drove off to the practise session and I relaxed and only did a couple of exercises. Would be stupid to get hurt only hours before a fight. As for the fight itself, I didn't take much damage. But what a bitch! As always nobody wants to stand and bang with me, but at the same time Shamar didn't really want to fight on the ground either. All he did was hold me down and cuddle. If I had wanted a smooch fest, I could have stayed at home with my wife and didn't have to fly 5500 miles to the States for it! I'm still very annoyed about the beginning of the second round where I wanted to go full force on a jump kick, but missed, slipped and made it easy for him to get back on top. Oh well...
Come back next week to read about what I did to tear the house down and how hard I worked to keep my dream alive of getting back into the mix with the wildcard!