On the 16th of April, 2013 I interviewed Colin “The Freakshow” Fletcher via email:

@FightPsych: Who were your heroes growing up?

Colin: My heros growing up were Skeletor and Pennywise the Clown so I think that explains a lot.

@FightPsych: Did you get into fights in high school?

Colin: All the time it was the only subject I was good at.

@FightPsych: According to Wikipedia, you were introduced to martial arts in 2007. How did your involvement in the martial arts come about?

Colin: My beautiful wife was worried about me having fights outside and getting into trouble so I needed to find another way to have fights without being labeled a scumbag or getting arrested.

@FightPsych: Do you use strategies to motivate yourself to train?

Colin: Yes I used to drive a bus for a living so every time I drive past one that’s motivation enough to train hard so I get to live my dream for a little longer.

@FightPsych: What do you worry about in the weeks & days before fights & how do you cope with worrying?

Colin: I mainly only worry about knowing 3 weeks before I’ll only be eating cress and dust!! And that my wife might leave me because I turn into the wicked witch of the east.

@FightPsych: Please give some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.

Colin: Well in my old fights I used to be pretty excited but I’ve struggled to be that guy in my last two fights. I was more like “don’t lose, don’t lose, don’t lose, don’t lose” which I don’t think worked for me very well.

@FightPsych: You represented team U.K. in The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes. What was the best thing about participating on the show? What did you least like about it?

Colin: I got to meet some fantastic guys who I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life. The time I spent away from my beautiful wife and kids really hurt but I think I coped quite well and was happy with the experience overall.

@FightPsych: What advice would you give to a friend if he were given the opportunity to participate on the show (if any)?

Colin: Mostly to try and enjoy it. It’s a once in a life time experience. Just be yourself and you can’t go wrong.

@FightPsych: Looking back over your career to date, which 3 fights come to mind first? Why do these fights stand out for you?

Colin: My first ever semi pro fight because I knew no jiu-jitsu and looked a fool, my fight at BAMMA with David Round because I thought he wanted a stand up war then took me down almost instantly. And one time I fought when I thought I had cancer because I found some big lumps in my back but was matched up to fight. I didn’t get the clear till after the fight.

Follow Colin “The Freakshow” Fletcher on Twitter!

Photo by Tia Calvo.

On the 19th of January, 2013 I interviewed Gesias ‘JZ’ Calvalcante via email:
@FightPsych:  Who were your heroes growing up?
Gesias:  My parents! They’ve been my heroes till today.  I have a lot of respect for them because they fought to give me a better life and education than they had.  They both came from the bottom and fought hard to have dignity.  They have open minds, especially my mom.  Even my friends think of her as a hero.
@FightPsych:  Did you get into fights in high school?
Gesias:  I got into fights my whole life!  That’s where I tell you my parents were smart.  From a really early age I was already interested in martial arts movies and trying to fight with other kids.  Instead of thinking that an incentive, make me more aggressive, they pushed me to focus on what I liked and put me in Judo.  This gave me discipline.
In Brazil, especially where I grew up I had to prove myself a bunch of times, in my neighbourhood, on the streets, in school, etc., but I was mostly defending myself and not letting other guys bully me or my friends. 
@FightPsych:  At what point did you know you wanted to be a fighter?
Gesias:  I decided to be a fighter in my last year of school heading into university.  In the first like two months of class I attended only five times.  I was missing class to go to the gym.
I sat down with my parents who were paying for my schooling and told them I was going to leave school to be a fighter.  I didn’t want them to spend their money for nothing and I was hoping that they could invest that money in my career.  They tried to convince me to reconsider, especially because my grades were good enough to go to university, but I explained to them that I tried and that in two months I barely did go to school.  They went crazy for a day, but the next day my mom came and said that they were going to help me with what they could, especially because she saw my commitment to the sport. 
@FightPsych:  Do you use strategies to increase your motivation to train for upcoming fights?
Gesias:  I use strategies to increase my motivation in all areas of my life.  I’m always looking to become a better person and consequently a better fighter.  When the fight comes it’s that same attitude that I use everyday that helps me get ready to fight.  I don’t know if my desire to be a better fighter helps me to be a better person or if it’s the other way around. 
@FightPsych:  Please give some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.
Gesias:  Breathe!  Relax!  Focus!  Execute!
@FightPsych:  Looking back over your career to date, which 3 fights come to mind first?  Why do these fights stand out for you?
Gesias:  First my fight against Joachin Hansen at Shooto in Japan, which was my 4th fight.  He was a top 5 at the time and had been the Shooto champion.  Shooto was the best lightweight event at the time and it was a dream of mine to fight in Japan.  The fight went to a decision and they gave it to him, but almost everybody who has seen fight tells me that I won, or at the very least, it was a draw.  I feel the same way.
Second was my fight against Caol Uno in the final of K-1 Hero’s Tournament.  I defeated Rany Yahya in the semi-final and I had to fight Uno an hour later.  I broke my hand badly in the first round and kept fighting and punching till the end of the match.  Being a world champion was a dream come true.
Third was my fight against Masato which was not a MMA fight but a Muay Thai fight.  That was my first Muay Thai match ever and against a legend.  Everyone was thinking I was going to get KO’d easily but I put up a good fight and it went the distance. 

Follow @Gesias on Twitter!

On the 19th of January, 2013 I interviewed Gesias ‘JZ’ Calvalcante via email:

@FightPsych: Who were your heroes growing up?

Gesias: My parents! They’ve been my heroes till today. I have a lot of respect for them because they fought to give me a better life and education than they had. They both came from the bottom and fought hard to have dignity. They have open minds, especially my mom. Even my friends think of her as a hero.

@FightPsych: Did you get into fights in high school?

Gesias: I got into fights my whole life! That’s where I tell you my parents were smart. From a really early age I was already interested in martial arts movies and trying to fight with other kids. Instead of thinking that an incentive, make me more aggressive, they pushed me to focus on what I liked and put me in Judo. This gave me discipline.

In Brazil, especially where I grew up I had to prove myself a bunch of times, in my neighbourhood, on the streets, in school, etc., but I was mostly defending myself and not letting other guys bully me or my friends.

@FightPsych: At what point did you know you wanted to be a fighter?

Gesias: I decided to be a fighter in my last year of school heading into university. In the first like two months of class I attended only five times. I was missing class to go to the gym.

I sat down with my parents who were paying for my schooling and told them I was going to leave school to be a fighter. I didn’t want them to spend their money for nothing and I was hoping that they could invest that money in my career. They tried to convince me to reconsider, especially because my grades were good enough to go to university, but I explained to them that I tried and that in two months I barely did go to school. They went crazy for a day, but the next day my mom came and said that they were going to help me with what they could, especially because she saw my commitment to the sport.

@FightPsych: Do you use strategies to increase your motivation to train for upcoming fights?

Gesias: I use strategies to increase my motivation in all areas of my life. I’m always looking to become a better person and consequently a better fighter. When the fight comes it’s that same attitude that I use everyday that helps me get ready to fight. I don’t know if my desire to be a better fighter helps me to be a better person or if it’s the other way around.

@FightPsych: Please give some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.

Gesias: Breathe! Relax! Focus! Execute!

@FightPsych: Looking back over your career to date, which 3 fights come to mind first? Why do these fights stand out for you?

Gesias: First my fight against Joachin Hansen at Shooto in Japan, which was my 4th fight. He was a top 5 at the time and had been the Shooto champion. Shooto was the best lightweight event at the time and it was a dream of mine to fight in Japan. The fight went to a decision and they gave it to him, but almost everybody who has seen fight tells me that I won, or at the very least, it was a draw. I feel the same way.

Second was my fight against Caol Uno in the final of K-1 Hero’s Tournament. I defeated Rany Yahya in the semi-final and I had to fight Uno an hour later. I broke my hand badly in the first round and kept fighting and punching till the end of the match. Being a world champion was a dream come true.

Third was my fight against Masato which was not a MMA fight but a Muay Thai fight. That was my first Muay Thai match ever and against a legend. Everyone was thinking I was going to get KO’d easily but I put up a good fight and it went the distance.

Follow @Gesias on Twitter!

On January 10, 2013 I interviewed Gustavo Falciroli via email:

@FightPsych:  Who were your heroes growing up?

Gustavo:  Ayrton Senna was always an inspiration to me and all the kids from my generation.

@FightPsych:  Did you get into fights in high school?

Gustavo:   In high school not really because I was already taking BJJ very seriously at that stage and I always had good guidance from my coach to never fight on the streets.  When I was younger I would always end up fighting with a few friends in the area where I lived.  The soccer field and the streets in my neighbourhood were the perfect scenarios for my early “MMA” fights.

@FightPsych:  You were recently involved in a well publicised incident in which you were verbally abused and threatened by a passenger on a train.  I understand you responded by getting off the train.  Had you previously been taught strategies to avoid violence?  What factors contributed to your decision to refrain from responding to the situation with violence?

Gustavo:  Well, over the years martial arts has given me enough confidence to be able to protect myself if I have to, so now I can take my philosophy of life ahead without bothering anyone.  I’m a person that believes that we can live free, equal and in peace on this planet and I will always be trying my best to do this, even in worst case scenarios.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a saint.  I have done many things wrong in my life, but fortunately in this case I could walk away and put in practice what I believe is the right thing to do in situations like that.

@FightPsych:  Do you use strategies to increase your motivation to train for competition?

Gustavo:  Not really, I love to compete even on rock, paper and scissors.  Plus I have the support of my friends, my family and people that don’t even know me. Coming from the heart, it’s enough motivation to keep me going.

@FightPsych:  What do you worry about in the days leading up to a fight and how do you cope with worrying?

Gustavo:   I always worry about being able to put on a good show.  I just try to keep my mind focused on positive thoughts like “I’m capable of putting all the skills I have learnt over the years inside the cage together” and consequently put on a great performance for the public.

@FightPsych:  Please provide some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.

Gustavo:  Please Sir, just give me an opportunity to be able to use all my skills the best way I can inside this cage.

@FightPsych:  Looking back over your competitive career to date, which 3 fights or matches come to mind first?  Why do these fights or matches stand out for you?

Gustavo:  My first street fight when I was about 4 or 5 years old, my 3rd place in the BJJ worlds as a black belt against Teodoro Canal and my fight against Akiyo Nishiura always come to my mind.

The first one because I was too scared and I didn’t wanna fight and ended up Judo throwing and landing on the bully kid on instinct.  It meant I was free to walk on the street by my house and visit my Aunt’s house on the block above. 

The Second because I earned 2 points in the beginning of the fight.  After that my opponent probably scored 100 advantages on me.  I won but I was dead.  In the end the doctors even gave me an injection of something to get my muscles to work again.  Plus it gave me the best place I ever scored in my BJJ career as a black belt. 

And the third against Akiyo Nishiura, he was one of the best strikers I ever met and to make matters worse, he was a left hander.  I got the win and I went on to fight in Japan, a dream of mine for a very long time.

Follow Gustavo Falciroli on Twitter @falciroli

On November 3, 2012 I interviewed current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson via email:

@FightPsych:  Who were your heroes growing up?

Demetrious:  My hero growing up was Batman.  He was my favorite superhero to watch.

@FightPsych:  Did you get into fights in high school?

Demetrious:  Nope never got into fights in high school it was never worth it. :-)

@FightPsych:  Do you use strategies to motivate yourself to train for fights?

Demetrious:  Nope don’t need strategies to get me motivated for fights.  I enjoy training and competing.

@FightPsych:  What do you worry about in the weeks and days leading up to a fight?  How do you cope with worrying?

@Demetrious:  I usually don’t worry about my fights on fight week.  I just focus on my weight cut and also staying healthy during that week.  I cope by surrounding myself with positive people. 

@FightPsych:  Please provide some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.

Demetrious:  Thoughts before my fights is always be sharp, smart and think :-)

@FightPsych:  Looking back over your career to date, which 3 fights come to mind first?  Why do these fights stand out for you?

Demetrious:  The Pickett fight because it was my first career loss, Cruz cause he was very dynamic and Joseph cause it was for the flyweight title.


Follow Demetrious ‘Might Mouse’ Johnson on Twitter @MightyMouseUFC




This photo of Andrei Arlovski was taken shortly after the weigh-ins in 2012 in Manila, one day before his fight with Tim Sylvia | ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of a Nation.

On October 26, 2012 I interviewed Andy Paves via email:

@FightPsych: Who were your heroes growing up?

Andy: Outside of superheroes and pro wrestlers, it was pretty much all athletes. I was particularly fond of Jim Abbott, a pitcher for the California Angels born with one hand. Then it was the athletes from the Seattle teams (where I’m from): Ken Griffey Jr., Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Cortez Kennedy. Looking back though, I knew nothing about them other than their accomplishments on the field. As I got older, I looked up to historical figures who were resilient and stood up for what they believe in. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and from the Philippines Jose Rizal and Cory Aquino. The ones that have been constant were always my family: my grandparents, parents and brothers.

Within the martial arts world, I definitely admired Bruce Lee, not only for his skills and innovation but for the philosophies by which he lived his life. Then of course there’s my coach, Ivan Salaverry whom has been an amazing teacher, mentor and friend. And there’s a ton of fighters I’ve looked up to over the years but my all time favorite/ influence has to be Sakuraba!

@FightPsych: Did you get into fights in high school?

Andy: Not a single one! Elementary school was a different story but the last fight I got into was I think 5th grade.

@FighPsych: At what point did you know that you wanted to be a fighter?

Andy: I attended PRIDE 33 in Vegas. It was my first live MMA event, and the rush just from watching the fights was incredible (it helped that it was one of the best fight events ever!). I could only imagine the feeling of actually being in there and I wanted to see for myself. Diaz vs. Gomi sealed the deal!

@FightPsych: Do you use strategies to motivate yourself to train for fights?

Andy: That’s a good one. It’s very hard to try and balance out school deadlines and other responsibilities on top of training. Some days I just have to accept that I won’t be able to get as much training in as I hoped or that I’ll have to fall behind with my work. Honestly I just need to meticulously lay out every hour of my day and schedule training sessions around my work. It helps to have a contingency to keep me on track - my team mates who are fighting around the same time and also my girlfriend who holds me accountable. Then obviously, having some great training music or inspirational movies gets me pumped up as well!

@FightPsych: Please give some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.

Andy: Just a rush of many different thoughts. ”What the hell are you getting yourself into?”, “here we go again!”, “hands up! Chin down!”, “this guy’s trying to take your head off. Take his first!” and “this is your moment, show the world what you can do!” I would say that more than anything, I try to tell myself why I do this. That I love the sport and to enjoy every minute of it. Appreciate that I even get the opportunity! Because…what do I have to lose? (besides consciousness)

@FightPsych: I understand you are studying clinical psychology. Where are you at in your studies?

Andy: Pretty much ABD - (All about the dissertation) at this point. I just started my fourth year in the doctoral program. My life consists of recruiting participants and doing interviews for my dissertation study, tons of clinical work, writing papers, sometimes teaching, with the occasional conference or presentation thrown in. Always busy but never boring!

@FightPsych: Do you use skills that you have learned through your psychology training in the weeks and days leading up to fights?

Andy: Absolutely! The mental game is still criminally overlooked and it has helped my game immensely. Most of the skills I practice are derived from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and mindfulness. I like to practice progressive muscle relaxation whenever I am visualizing the fight (which in itself is a meditation). I also try to practice radical acceptance - accepting that I have trained all that I can, to trust in my skills and not ruminate on the potential holes in my game. I also must accept that I WILL get hit at some point and that I WILL get tired - trying to take a relaxed stance if those things happen to me because if I tense up, the punches and kicks will hurt more or I’ll have a hard time recovering. Another great skill to practice is opposite action: doing the opposite of the emotion you feel. I find that something as simple as smiling helps to calm my nerves and even get me out of troublesome situations during training or the fight itself.

@FightPsych: What about during a fight?

Andy: I guess I answered quite a bit in the last section. Throughout the fight I try to keep in mind that my affective, mental, and physiological states are all intertwined (this is something that requires training in itself). I would say this is most important in between rounds. When trying to recover our energy, it’s important to breathe deeply and relax your muscles.

More than anything though I try to practice mindfulness - to be fully present each moment I’m in the cage. What I mean by that is I try to remove from my mind the future outcome (numerous studies have demonstrated that an intense fear of losing is very detrimental to performance), what the audience thinks, any potential distractions and focus on the here and now: the opponent in front of me, the arena I’m in, the fight, etc. It might sound a little hokey on the surface and I’m not sure if I can explain it all here, but you’d be surprised at how our thoughts might drift. Maybe we worry about losing or we keep our mind focused on the punch we just landed or got hit by. Focusing on the here and now has not only helped my performance but allows me to fully appreciate the experience as well (because as we all know, we’ll only have so many opportunities to do this).

@FightPsych: Looking back over your career to date, which 3 fights come to mind first? Why do these fights stand out for you?

Andy:

  1. My first pro fight vs. Mike Chiesa - mainly because of what he has gone on to do since then. I can name drop that I fought him and was able to ward off his rear naked choke attempts! In all seriousness, it was a tough, back-and-forth fight that I learned a lot from. No regrets whatsoever about the result. And of course you always remember your first pro fight. The fact that he went on to such big things is an added bonus. He deserves all of his success.
  2. Amateur title fight vs. Ian “The Mule” Williams - Ian’s a great local fighter out of WA. At the time he was undefeated with all first round finishes. This would turn out to be my last amateur fight and you couldn’t have set it up any better: for a title, against an undefeated stud and broadcast on local TV. Couldn’t have worked out any better as I caught him with a clean punch early and scored a TKO. A big deal when you consider that I’m not much of a KO guy and Ian has been on a roll since then, going 6-1 as a pro - all finishes. It was the type of night that dreams are made of, and probably the purest form of emotional expression I’ve ever experienced.
  3. Third pro fight vs. Ken “The Athlete” Alexander - This was just a couple months ago but it stands out because I think it was my most entertaining fight. Ken lives up to his nickname - very fast with some heavy hands. We threw everything at each other: elbows, knees, kicks, takedowns, subs, you name it. I came away with the decision but definitely felt the effects for a couple weeks! Yet somehow it was the most fun I’ve had in the cage and really the first time I felt fully confident in every aspect of my game.

@FightPsych: Please offer one piece of advice on life, business or women.

Andy: Check my twitter account: @BunsoPaves_PhD … I probably offer something every day. :)

Suggested Reading

The Neuroscience of Choking

Mindfulness Basics

Mindfulness for Beginners

DBT Self Help

I asked boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard to share a boxing lesson he applies to life.

On June 11, 2012 I interviewed former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield:

@FightPsych: Who were your heroes growing up?

Evander: My mother was my hero.

@FightPsych: According to Wikipedia you started boxing at age 12. Was it your decision to start boxing? What factors contributed to the decision?

Evander: I started boxing at 8 years old. Yes, it was my decision to start boxing. When I turned 15, I played football. I felt that I was good but the coaches put me on the bench. I wanted to quit and my mother would not let me quit until the season was over. By the end of the season they eventually let me play and they saw how good I was and they asked me if I was going to come back next year. This is when I realized that I didn’t want to be in a sport where people would determine whether I could play or not and that’s when I chose boxing instead.

@FightPsych: Did you ever get into fights in high school?

Evander: No.

@FightPsych: Do you use strategies to increase your motivation when you’re training?

Evander: My mother told me that the person that works the hardest will usually be the one that wins. My strategy is to outwork everybody else.

@FightPsych: Please provide some insight into your thoughts, seconds before you fight.

Evander: Everything possible can go wrong. You have to clear the thoughts out by thinking about what you can do instead of thinking about what you can’t do well.

@FightPsych: Looking back over your career to date, which 3 fights come to your mind first? Why do these fights stand out for you?

Evander: Qawi - 15 rounds, first championship fight; Riddick Bowe - my first loss and; Tyson - beating him.

@FightPsych: You are “the only five-time heavyweight champion of the world”. In your opinion, what factors have contributed to your success in regaining the heavyweight title more times than any other boxer?

Evander: It was my faith in the word of God, that is the ultimate thing because he is my strength. I used this to become a boxer from day 1 and I will until the day I leave boxing. I could never fight without God’s help. This is the only factor that allowed me to go as far as I did.

On the 23rd of May, 2012 I interviewed UFC cutman Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran via email:
@FightPsych:  How did your first experience as a cutman come about?
Jacob:  My first experience as a cutman came when I had my own kickboxing school and outside of training fighters I also managed them.  Wrapping hands and working cuts was something I wanted to include to be able to take care of the fighters.  My first cut was a simple cut that required direct pressure to stop the bleeding.  I cut a piece of tape and applied it to the cut in the form of a butterfly and David Rooney, the fighter said “you save me stitches, I am going to call you Stitch”.
@FightPsych:  Please describe your education and training related to your role as a cutman.
Jacob:  My education as a cutman was learning in the trenches.  I tried to study the boxing cutmen and mimic what they did.  One guy actually told me to”fuck off” because he learned from his master and was taking his knowledge to his grave.  That moment I decided not to be like him and instead educate anyone who asked me a question.
@FightPsych:  What do you worry about in the moments leading up to fights and how do you cope with worrying?
Jacob:  With all the fights I have worked I do not worry before a fight anymore.  I do in fact work on preparing my equipment to make sure I have everything I need from gauze, tape, gloves, vaseline, endswells, water, ice and my medications.  I always instruct people who are learning to always prepare for the worst case scenario.  I do make sure that my uniform is always ironed!
@FightPsych:  Looking back over your career to date, have you faced an injury that stands out in your mind more so than any other?
Jacob:  I have to say that the worst injury has to be when Cory Hill broke his leg fighting Dale Hart.  I had never seen such an injury and to experience the pain that Cory was going through made me be there at his side trying to comfort him.  This last weekend at Strikeforce, my friend Josh Barnett took a pretty good beating from Daniel Cormier.  That one hurt me on a personal side because I have become good friends with Josh.
@FightPsych:  Do you take your work home with you in the form of thoughts or dreams?
Jacob:  I always take my job home with me.  I study just about every fight that is on TV and try to always learn.  My wife and family understand that this is my job and they support me with everything I do.
@FightPsych:  Have you, or people close to you noticed changes in your personality or behaviour presumed to be the result of the work you do?
Jacob:  I do countless interviews for TV, radio and print.  People recognize me just about everywhere I go and my family thinks that is cool.  Often a fan comes up to me and we start talking like we are best of friends.  My wife or kids ask me who that was and I tell them that I do not know.  Regardless, at that moment, they are my best friend.
@FightPsych:  Few cutmen have achieved the level of recognition that you have.  What do you believe are the factors that have contributed to the recognition you receive?
Jacob:  I think I am recognized a little more than the other cutmen because I market myself as often as I can.  I enjoy being with the fighters and fans and always try to bring the best forward.  Some say I have the face!
@FightPsych:  As a psychologist I am often reluctant to disclose my work role in social settings, fearing common responses.  If people you meet socially don’t already know what you do, do you tell them?  If so, how do people typically respond?
Jacob:  At social settings I usually do not mention what I do unless someone asks me.  When I tell them I work with fighters, some think I am talking about airplanes.  When I tell them I am a cutman, many say “what is that?”
At a party for my brother the word got out what I did and people came up to me for pictures.  Awesome!
@FightPsych:  Outside of work, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
Jacob:  For the most part I have no hobbies except spend time with my family.  I do like going to the movies.  Outside of that, pretty simple life.

On the 23rd of May, 2012 I interviewed UFC cutman Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran via email:

@FightPsych: How did your first experience as a cutman come about?

Jacob: My first experience as a cutman came when I had my own kickboxing school and outside of training fighters I also managed them. Wrapping hands and working cuts was something I wanted to include to be able to take care of the fighters. My first cut was a simple cut that required direct pressure to stop the bleeding. I cut a piece of tape and applied it to the cut in the form of a butterfly and David Rooney, the fighter said “you save me stitches, I am going to call you Stitch”.

@FightPsych: Please describe your education and training related to your role as a cutman.

Jacob: My education as a cutman was learning in the trenches. I tried to study the boxing cutmen and mimic what they did. One guy actually told me to”fuck off” because he learned from his master and was taking his knowledge to his grave. That moment I decided not to be like him and instead educate anyone who asked me a question.

@FightPsych: What do you worry about in the moments leading up to fights and how do you cope with worrying?

Jacob: With all the fights I have worked I do not worry before a fight anymore. I do in fact work on preparing my equipment to make sure I have everything I need from gauze, tape, gloves, vaseline, endswells, water, ice and my medications. I always instruct people who are learning to always prepare for the worst case scenario. I do make sure that my uniform is always ironed!

@FightPsych: Looking back over your career to date, have you faced an injury that stands out in your mind more so than any other?

Jacob: I have to say that the worst injury has to be when Cory Hill broke his leg fighting Dale Hart. I had never seen such an injury and to experience the pain that Cory was going through made me be there at his side trying to comfort him. This last weekend at Strikeforce, my friend Josh Barnett took a pretty good beating from Daniel Cormier. That one hurt me on a personal side because I have become good friends with Josh.

@FightPsych: Do you take your work home with you in the form of thoughts or dreams?

Jacob: I always take my job home with me. I study just about every fight that is on TV and try to always learn. My wife and family understand that this is my job and they support me with everything I do.

@FightPsych: Have you, or people close to you noticed changes in your personality or behaviour presumed to be the result of the work you do?

Jacob: I do countless interviews for TV, radio and print. People recognize me just about everywhere I go and my family thinks that is cool. Often a fan comes up to me and we start talking like we are best of friends. My wife or kids ask me who that was and I tell them that I do not know. Regardless, at that moment, they are my best friend.

@FightPsych: Few cutmen have achieved the level of recognition that you have. What do you believe are the factors that have contributed to the recognition you receive?

Jacob: I think I am recognized a little more than the other cutmen because I market myself as often as I can. I enjoy being with the fighters and fans and always try to bring the best forward. Some say I have the face!

@FightPsych: As a psychologist I am often reluctant to disclose my work role in social settings, fearing common responses. If people you meet socially don’t already know what you do, do you tell them? If so, how do people typically respond?

Jacob: At social settings I usually do not mention what I do unless someone asks me. When I tell them I work with fighters, some think I am talking about airplanes. When I tell them I am a cutman, many say “what is that?”

At a party for my brother the word got out what I did and people came up to me for pictures. Awesome!

@FightPsych: Outside of work, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?

Jacob: For the most part I have no hobbies except spend time with my family. I do like going to the movies. Outside of that, pretty simple life.