Friday, November 14, 2014

Brazil

3/3/10

Sitting here at the airport in Vegas waiting to fly to Atlanta and then Brazil. Chad, who I had met in China when I fought KangEn, had talked to me a few months ago about some MMA fight he was going to be helping put on in Brazil and asked if I wanted to get on the card. “Of course”, I said. He told me that they would be setting one up soon and that he would let me know. I let him know that I hadn't rolled in about a year so if they could find me a stand up guy that would be ideal. He asks, “Want to just do a Muay Thai fight in the cage?” “Oh hell yes!”, I replied. It's going to be a 'USA vs Brazil' show to benefit the rainforest. This will be my first time going out there. Now originally I had hopes that it would be in Rio or somewhere near the beach but nope, we are going to Manaus, smack dab in the middle of the jungle. Should be a good time regardless. Steve Banks, who I had met when he was on the same show in China when I fought KangEn, and Baxter Humby are on the card as well although they will be doing MMA fights. Originally I was supposed to fight this Muay Thai instructor from out there but I guess he had a change of heart and pulled out. Luckily they were able to find me a replacement. Apparently he's an MMA fighter who used to box, we'll see. They told me that's he's pretty wild, unorthodox and they don't think he's had any Muay Thai fights. On one hand it might be easy because of his lack of experience but at the same time those wild, unpredictable people are usually the most difficult to deal with. I'll always prefer fighting those that are way above my skill level than below, for various reasons. I'm planning on fighting him the same way I fought last time I was in Mexico. Tight defense, power shots and basically let him beat himself. Training has been going good, other than these damn shin splints. I managed to get sick two weeks ago as well but what else is new. Feeling a lot better now and my weights real good. I was 145 yesterday, 147 today and the fights at 143. The biggest thing will be the humidity and air quality, I'm sure it will be a lot like Thailand. I tried to hit a sauna a few times leading up just to get used to the humidity but I wasn't able to line it up. No big deal. It's only a three rounder but I'm planning on making it a one.

-Man, how do I always manage to get into these crazy ass situations. God definitely has a sense of humor. The flight from Vegas to Atlanta wasn't too bad, seemed to go quickly. Steve Banks and Tomar Washington (T), were already there when we arrived. We had a 3 hour layover so we all just chilled out and watched fights. Nissen Osterneck, Dominic Ah Nee, Adam, Dylan Clay, Baxter Humby and Maurice Travis all met us a little bit before we took off for Brazil. We were definitely an interesting crew. I knew this trip would be a lot of fun. The flight to Brazil was rough just because I was so exhausted and couldn't seem to get comfortable. I would pass out for a minute but then wake up with the worst cramp in my neck and back. Steve was passed out in the row next to me sprawled out across all of the chairs since no one was sitting next to him and had his legs all the way across the aisle with his feet touching my arm rest. Must be nice! As we were descending I looked at the window and it was so surreal. It appeared as if the clouds were a blanket of pink cotton candy. It was so beautiful. We started getting closer to landing and I could see nothing but rainforest. I honestly couldn't even see a place that we would possible land, it was all canopy. We got lower and lower and it appeared as if we were going to just crash into the trees. Finally the jungle gives way to the airport. Just a small patch in the middle of this endless forest. Stepped off the plane and was immediately met by the warm air, it was so nice, felt just like Thailand. There was this crazy ass lady from our flight, who obviously had to much to drink, talking everyone's ear off. It was actually pretty funny and everyone was cracking up. We all make it through customs, which was pretty much a joke since they just basically nod everyone through, and then all of us load into a bus. All's I wanted to do was lay down in a bed and pass out. Driving through the city reminded me so much of Thailand. Street vendors, millions of cars and bikes, the works. We drive through the city and start going towards the jungle as I wonder where in the hell our hotel might be. The bus driver goes right underneath this extremely low over pass. I thought it would rip the entire top of the bus off but luckily he was going slow. We were scrapping the roof underneath it and I thought we were going to get stuck. He finally stops and decides to back up and go a different way. I started having flashbacks of my insane trip to China with Anthony. “Here we go again”, I thought to myself. We stop along the road in front of this huge rolling gate, which was blocking off the entrance to what looked to be the jungle. Now originally I had been told that we would be staying at the Holiday Inn Manaus, which I had looked up online and it was quite nice. It had a pool, gym and sauna and the rooms looked great. I start realizing that this is not the Holiday Inn. We pull in through the gate and it was this hotel, sort of, on this huge lot of land basically in the middle of the Amazon. It looked deserted and appeared that no one had been there in quite some time. I was a bit disappointed as I had been looking forward to some nice accommodations but this is more what I'm used to. Oh well! I just wanted to lay down. They drop us off and, after waiting around for what seemed like forever, finally take us to our rooms. They walk us across a bridge over a lake, which I'm sure was crawling with alligators and piranhas, and even deeper into the jungle. We go across this walkway, which was high above the jungle floor, to a giant standing 'hotel'. It was basically a giant tree house on stilts. They showed us to our rooms, which were all in a a giant circle, and said there would be a press conference at 3, it was only about 8am. The rooms weren't so bad, quite nice considering. They brought us over to one of the buildings in the compound which had a kitchen and restaurant. They made us a nice breakfast with plenty of amazing fresh fruit and fried bananas, my favorite. After that I went back to my room, laid down on my bed, which thankfully wasn't rock hard, and passed out. I felt as if I could have slept all day, so exhausted. Got up around 2:30 and we got ready. We headed over to the main building and waited for everyone. Of course the Brazilians were running late. I told Chad to come and get us whenever they showed up so that I could rest more. About an hour later he comes knocking. Well two of them arrived, the rest showed up about an hour later. One of the Brazilians, who seemed to be helping with the promotions as well as being a translator, told us how happy he was that we were all there and that it would be a great show. After that we all went outside for them to take photos of all the fighters together. They told me that my guy was asking if we could just do K1 rules instead. 'Oh hell no', I said. When they had us do our face off for pictures I looked right through his eyes, deep into his soul and could he was scared to death. I knew right then and there that I'd be able to make him quit, just needed to give him a reason. He's about my height and appears to be in great shape. I still need to go in there and be cautious, take my time. After we finished with the press stuff they told said they would take us to a gym where we could work outa a bit and cut some weight. I checked mine before we left and was around 145.5. Once again we had to wait around forever for them to pick us up. It's so beautiful here, so many trees. The sky was a bit cloudy and appeared as if a storm was coming. They finally pick us up and took us to the gym. It was really nice, kind of like an athletic club. It had 6 different floors, all of which we had to walk up and down. There was a bunch of pictures of the guy I was originally supposed to fight hanging up. Apparently he was the head Muay Thai trainer there and came to find out he's the instructor of the guy I'm fighting now. Seriously who pulls out of a fight and puts their student in? Sissy! There was a Jiu Jitsu class finishing up in one of the small rooms which they let us use as soon as they were done. I put my sweats on, stretched out, shadow boxed and hit some light pads. I was feeling good. Most of the other guys had a lot more weight to drop so the kept working. When they finally finished we got back in the buses and headed to our hotel, stopping at a store on the way to grab a few snacks and drinks. When we got back to the hotel I weighed myself, 142.5, showered and ate a little bit. A few of the guys went out long with Relson and Mo. Not sure why considering they're fighting tomorrow but then again on this trip nothing is a surprise. Mark and I passed out around 9, I was out right away. Unfortunately I woke up at midnight, wide awake. I watched the rest of King Arthur and played some games. I heard everyone come back around 2am. Someone was yelling their brains out, good times. I got woken up at 7 this morning to what sounded building bunk beds in the room next to us. This went on for hours until I finally decided to just get up at 10. Of all the freaking days to renovate this place they decided to do it today. What the hell? It was OK though as I wanted to get up and eat. I grabbed a shower and then Mark and I headed down to the restaurant. Nissen was sitting there eating alone. We got some food and hung out talking for a while. After that we went back to our rooms and crashed out. I'm really looking forward to this fight. They told us that it's a 12,000 seat venue and they were expecting it to sell out. I just want to put on a great fight and show these people real Muay Thai. I'd prefer to fight someone super technical but gotta work with what you got. Who knows how this will turn out. I just pray that it will be amazing.

-Man, I just came stepped on the biggest, nastiest bug ever. Luckily it didn't bite me. I thought that I had stepped on a piece of food or something but when I turned the lights out I saw the giant bug that I had squashed. The one time I don't put my shoes on this is what happens ha. Damn thing was the size of my palm.

-Once again we are awoken by music blasting and what sounded like construction going on. Sleep is overrated.


In the morning I checked my weight and was right on so I crashed back out. The guys came in throughout the morning, pouring sweat as they all had more weight to cut. They were using my scale as I was the only one who had brought one. Steve still had about 20 to go. It was so nice to just be able to rest instead of having to be killing myself with everyone else. Pour Dylan was hurting, he's a diabetic and looked like he had one foot in the grave. Finally the bus comes and gets us and we head to where the weigh ins were being held. It had started raining and the roads were pretty packed with traffic. Seemed as if it would take forever. I just felt bad for all the guys who were obviously hurting, particularly Dylan. He starting puking out of the window. We were all worried about him yet at the same time it was kinda funny. Nissen was looking like a crackhead, eyes sunk in his head. Finally we arrive, most of the Brazilians were there but my opponent still hadn't arrived. They had this really crappy scale and a few of the guys checked their weights and could immediately tell the damn thing wasn't accurate. Luckily I had mine with me so it became the 'official' scale. We sat around for an hour before they finally got started. Always amazes me that no matter where you fight in the world the weigh ins always take forever. Dylan jumped on their first and was a pound over. The Brazilians were pissed and bitching at him. I thought their was going to be a fight because Dylan was about to snap but they worked it out. Dominic was next, he was 5 over but apparently there had been a miss comunication on the weigh. Again there was drama. This isn't a good start. Steve was next, he was 8 over but said that he would go cut the rest. It was getting ugly. Finally it was my turn and I was right on point, as usual. T was right on weight as well so this seemed to ease some of the tension. Nissen had about 5 to go so he and Steve went back to the gym to cut the rest. Baxter's weight was good. My guy finally shows up and got on the scale. He weighed the same as I did. They had us take a few pics and again he looked scared to death. They had some juice and snacks there for us but I wanted some real food. Luckily I had brought Pedialyte and some protein bars so I just relaxed waiting for everyone to come back Finally Steve and Nissen showed up and Nissen looked as if he weighed as much as I do. Steve was still a little over but just gave his opponent some money from his purse but it still seemed as if a fight was going to break out at any moment. Nissen was a pound over as well but they agreed to it anyway. Finally we got to leave and head out to get real food. They take us to this amazing restaurant that was sponsoring the fights. It was so good and so much fun hanging out with everyone. Nissen's coach, Relson Gracie, arrived, he's such a character. After we were all stuffed to capacity we headed back to the hotel. I was feeling great. Dylan ended up having to go to the hospital to get an IV. When he came back he said it was the worst experience ever. Apparently a week prior someone had been brought in that was in a gang fight. As the person is layed up in the hospital bed the rival gang comes in and shoots him on the spot. Good times. I passed out for a bit then went and had some more food at the diner. Went back to the room after that, watched some movies and then passed out. Once again I was awoken by the construction. I was so pissed, oh well. Went and had breakfast then came back to the room and rested some more. The bus came and got us around 5. We all piled in and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Such a good group of guys. We pull up to the venue which is this giant covered, open aired stadium. We went in and checked out the cage. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, about the size of the one we have at the gym, which was good because I would be used to it. It was pretty hot and humid in there but that's actually how I prefer it. The bathroom was our locker room. Luckily it had this big open space which we used to warm up. It was so hot in there though, felt like a sauna. The floors were super hot as well. They brought some chairs in for us so we chilled, stretched out and warmed up a bit. I had Mark do my wraps first just to get them outa the way. Seeing as there's no commission he did the Thai style tape job wraps. Felt like I could punch through a wall. I walked out tot he venue to find Chad to talk to him about my entrance music. Mark had put my song on his hard drive but didn't have a disk. Hopefully he'd be able to pull it off there and use it. I asked him which gloves I would be using and he just gives me this blank stare. “Ummm did you bring any?, he asks. “No”, I say. Worst part is I almost always do but didn't want to pack anymore than I already had to. He tells me not to worry and that they will figure something out. I told him we can just fight in MMA gloves, I'd be more than happy to. This was cracking me up, always an adventure. I go back to our locker room and stretch out some more. They tell me that I'm the 4th fight, fight smack in the middle. Before the fights start they brought all of us out, along with the Brazilians, into the cage. They had this announcer all dressed up like a native American. The ring girls were all dressed up like Pocahontas, well half naked Pocahontas ha. They introduced everyone, the crowd was going crazy and it was packed in there. This was going to be fun! After that we all headed back to our locker rooms and waited for it to start. T was up first. He was fighting this giant guy who was built like a truck and had a bowling ball for a head. He was a Jiu Jitsu guy who wanted absolutely nothing to do with T's stand up so the first few minutes was just them starring at eachother. Finally they engage and T lands a few strikes but ends up getting taken down. He gets his back taken for a long time and surprisingly doesn't get choked out. It was a close round but had to give it to the Brazilian. We are definitely not winning any decisions out here. There was a lot more action in the 2nd. The Brazilian couldn't get T down and his was getting bombed on. They got clinched up for a minute, T pushed him off and slammed on overhand right on his jaw. The Brazilian was out before he hit the ground. It was a great way to start off the night. Finally they bring me my gloves. Looked like they had bought them at Toys R us, on top of the fact that they were 12 ounces. Guess I'll just try and kick more this fight ha. Felt like sparring gloves. Baxter was up next. This was only his 2nd MMA fight and he got put up against a guy with 10. Of course Baxter does have like 80 Kickboxing and Muay Thai fights. As they were bringing Baxter out the guy taking out all the fighters says to me, “You're next.” What, I thought I had one more before mine? Oh well. I scramble trying to get all my fight stuff together. Luckily it's so humid that I don't really need to warm up. I was trying to find Mark's camera as well so we could record my fight. Baxter ended up getting arm barred pretty quickly. Mark came running in the back trying to hurry and get me ready. I didn't even feel like I was about to fight, maybe it was the giant gloves they had me wearing. I get all my gear on as fast as I can but the guy bringing us out was getting impatient. I finally get everything together and head out. I handed the camera to T so he could film for me. They announce my name and I start walking down the ramp. T was walking backwards in front of me filming and damn near fell off, luckily he caught himself or else it could have been really bad. The crowd was going crazy as I walked out, no one was even booing. I was feeling really good, so happy to be here. It was pretty different going into the cage instead of a ring but I actually felt really comfortable. Mark gives me a bit of advice as I hear them announce Naldo's name. The crowd erupts as he makes his way out. He doesn't look as scared as he had been but I can see right through him and I know he has nothing for me. The ref brings us together and gives us instructions, not that I can understand a word of it. Head back to my corner, this is the moment I truly feel alive. Ding, ding, round 1. I decide to take my time and just see what he's going to do instead of my usual in your face from opening bell. He comes right at me and throws this jumping 360, Shogun style, kick. I was thinking, “What the hell?” It definitely surprised me as I didn't even think he would throw any kicks period. It had nothing on it, even if it had hit me in the chin I don't think it would have phased me. I literally almost started cracking up but was able to stay composed. He was doing all kinds of jumping, spinning kicks and knees, he probably would have thrown the kitchen sink at me if he had one. I just kept my guard tight and tagged him with hard single shots here and there. He tried a leg kick, which I checked easily, you could see it in his face how much it hurt him. I gave him a smile. It seriously felt like I was fighting someone back in the smoker days. He was all over the place. Anything can happen though so I just stayed sharp. I took one of his leg kicks, which I didn't even feel, and then slammed my own off his lead leg. It was deep on my shin and I could feel it sink in. I knew that one hurt. We clinched up briefly. As he tried a knee I swept him to the ground. He was starting to slow down and I could see his confidence fade. I fired off a good combination ending in an elbow that sat him on his knees. It looked as if the ref was going to count but then starts the fight. Naldo comes running at me and does a flying kick, which I duck under and he falls to the ground. The crowd goes crazy. He comes at me with some more flying knees and craziness. We then clinch up and I slam a hard elbow against his head which drops him like a sack of potatoes. The ref starts counting but it's the slowest count of all time. Probably could have went all the way to 30. Naldo was hurt and could barely get up. I was looking at him shaking my head as if to say, “Don't get up man, I don't want to hurt you.” I knew that he wouldn't stay down especially in front of that many of his countrymen. I go after him hard, reaching a bit too much, landing some hard shots. Once again I drop him with an elbow as we were up against the fence. He complains to the ref saying I hit him in the back of the head. The ref looks at him and starts counting, slow as hell again. At this point I'm just annoyed and want to end it. We have a quick exchange, end up clinching and I throw him to the ground once again. The ref wasn't going to count but he takes forever to get up so he starts. This is getting pathetic. They're going to get this kid killed. He comes at me and we clinch as he tries to take me down with a body lock. I immediately counter him and flip him over landing on top. The bell sounds as I get up but Naldo is still on the floor. The ref actually goes to help him up but he just sits there. I don't know if the fights over or what's going to happen so I just go to my corner. We didn't have a stool so I just sat on the floor. Mo and Mark some in and give me some water and ice my neck. They say, “He's done, he ain't got nothing left!” “I know, I'm going to end it now”, I thought. I knew it was only a matter of time. Mark wanted me to bust out a spinning elbow. I look across the ring and Naldo is getting screamed at by his coach. You could tell he didn't want to keep fighting but he just couldn't give up either. It's a bit difficult to give up when you have 10,000 of your countrymen screaming at you. We make eye contact and I just shake my head as if to say, “You might not wana come out for this round.” I really didn't want to hurt him. There was 2 minute break like in Thailand, which I hate. After the first minute I Just get up and start moving around. Finally they close the gate. Ding, ding, round 2 starts. I really wanted to stop him without hurting him too badly. Maybe I can finish him with body shots but they’ll be tough with these giant gloves. He tries throwing a few bombs on me and a head kick, all of which I easily see and block. I launch my own fast head kick which just sails a bit to high. He reaches out to clinch up with me as I slam a hard hook of his jaw and dig a right hand into his rib cage. We're clinched up against the fence and he's trying to work some knees. I come right over the top with a right elbow that slams hard down on his jaw and he is floored. He is completely out, his hands involuntary smack together as if he's trying to clap. Not sure why the ref even bothers counting, there's no way he's waking up let alone getting up. Finally the ref waves it off. I run over and kneel down by him trying to help him wake up. He's still barely conscious. The ring doctor along with the paramedics come in. I say a quick prayer for him hoping that he is not hurt too badly. The crowd is going crazy but I am annoyed and feel terrible. I did what I was supposed to do but I kill myself in the gym all day everyday in order to fight the best. I take no pleasure it beating someone up that has no business in the ring with me. Mark could see how pissed I was. “I know man, but you did what you were supposed to do”, he says. He takes my gloves off and even though I'm upset I know that the crowd really appreciated the show and it makes me feel a lot better. The applause continues, I run up on the cage and toss my gloves out to the crowd. Mark tells me to call out Gigimo when the ring announcer comes to interview me. 'Who?”, I say. “I don't know, they just told me to tell you that”, he says. Relson came over and gave me a big hug. He was so happy for me. The announcer comes over to talk to me and gives me the mic. I say, “Obrigado Amazon.” Apparently this made the announcer think that I spoke Portuguese. And starts asking me all these questions. Relson translates. I thank everyone for coming out and I call out Gigimo. Toquinho, one of the promoters, comes over and says that he's coming down to the cage, with a smirk on his face. I still have no clue who he is. Finally he comes in and I realize that it's Naldo's coach, the guy I was originally supposed to fight. He's short and stocky, doesn't look anywhere even close to my weight. He looked pissed but I could tell he was scared and happy that he wasn't the one who had been in there with me. They had us square up and take a few pics. I just wanted to smack him in the mouth for putting his student in there with me. I come to find out later that he told everyone he was going to put a whooping on me. Yea right! I wish he woulda said that to me right there. Coward! Finally he leaves and we get a few pictures in the cage with all of the guys. We head to the back and are mobbed by fans. They were so amazing. Everyone wanted pictures with me, my clothes, mouth piece, anything they could get there hands on. I gave away what I could and told them I would be right back. I went and changed my clothes. All of the guys congratulated me saying how amazing it was. I put my clothes on and headed back out. Dominic was up next. I got stopped every 5 seconds to take more pictures. The Brazilians were such amazing people, reminded me a lot of the times I fought in Mexico. They kept asking me for any souvenir they could get. I traded a guy my shirt and another my shorts. I only had two extra shirts that I had brought and gave those away as well. I wish I could have given them all something. I only got to see bits and pieces of Dom's fight. The guys seemed to just run from him the entire time. Dom started talking shit and standing in the middle of the cage with his hands down trying to get the guy to fight. It would work for a second but then he would go right back to running. I took about a million pictures with the fans. It was nice not being banged up from the fight for once. Dominic ended up losing a decision but Mark told me he should have won easily. Two kids came up to me that had got the gloves I tossed out asking me to sign them. They didn't have a pen and neither did I so I told them to wait right there and I would go find one. Took me forever but I was finally able to track one down. Unfortunately by the time I got back to them they were gone. Somehow I was able to locate them again and signed their gloves. They were so happy and excited. It made me feel really good. People kept coming up to take photos with me then they would tell me that they were Gigimo's students and that I was going to kill him. Ha! Steve was up next. He fought this big, giant, outa shape guy who wanted absolutely nothing to do with Steve's stand up. Steve was basically just walking around the ring cracking him in the face. Sometime in the rd round they smashed shins and the Brazilians ended up splitting open really badly. They said that it was spraying everyone and had to stop the fight. Dominic and I were hanging out watching the fights. He had a busted rib and was hurting pretty bad. We went and got some beers to ease the pain. I hadn't planned on drinking but I figured you only in Brazil once so let's have a good time. Fans were still continually coming up to us for pictures. Dylan was up next. I don't even know how he was able to fight feeling the way he had been all day. He's one tough bastard. His opponent thought he would just run right through him, almost did too. Cracked him hard early on and almost knocked him out. Luckily Dylan's got the hardest head ever and just kept coming forward. They had an amazing war. It was a close fight but they gave it to the Brazilian as expected. Finally Nissen was up, main event. We all went and sat by the cage to watch. They had an all out war. Nissen was taking some hard shots but was able to walk right through them. Nissen ended up cracking the guy right on the chin and hit the ground hard. He was out cold. A dead silence falls over the thousands in attendance and for a brief moment I look around and think, “Oh no, we are dead!” Not only did Nissen just knock out their main guy but this just made us take the lead and win, 4 fights to 3. Suddenly the entire place erupts in applause and my fear immediately turns into joy. We all went inside the cage to take a bunch of photos and then we were mobbed by all the fans. Everyone wanted a picture, which we were happy to oblige. They were asking me for anything they could get. Shirt, shorts, shoes, mouth piece, ha. One guy asked for my shirt I told him only if he gave me his, which he did. Another kid asked me for my shorts, I had already changed into my Fairtex board shorts. We traded although his were almost too small. I pretty much gave away every stitch of clothing I could. I only wish I had more to give. They were all so happy and grateful. We were there for at least an hour making sure everyone got the pictures and autographs they wanted. After we finished up we all headed to get our stuff and then out to the bus. Nissen had broken his hand in the fight so they took him to the hospital. We all piled in the bus and went back to our compound. When they dropped us off we were told they would be back in an hour to pick us up to take us all out to the after party, which was at some club. We all got showered and then went over to the diner to eat. It was so great just hanging out with everyone, such a fun, good group of guys. They had some really good meat and other stuff for us, it was really good. We had been trying to get a hold of Chad all throughout dinner to figure out what was going on later and when they were picking us up but no one had any luck. Everyone started getting really pissed off but I was just enjoying our time. I really didn't care, I was having fun regardless. A few of the guys were debating trying to get a cab, although we had no idea where we were or even where the after party was being held. Finally we came to the conclusion just to hang out there. We don't need no stinking club in order to have a good time. They had this little outdoor bar there, we all just hung out drinking beers. The 'bar tender' didn't speak a word of English, neither did any of the employees there for that matter. We did our best to communicate and try to have conversations with them. At one point Dominic needed to run back to his room to grab something so I told him I'd roll with him. As we were walking we saw a golf cart, the employees would use it to get around the property, and decided to see if it had keys. We were in luck. It was Dom's idea so he decided to drive. He floors it and we go flying ,well as flying as a golf cart can go. There was a little hill the went down right before the bridge that crosses over to where the rooms were. He lets go of the gas but this of course does nothing to slow down our momentum. I hold on tight as I fear we are going to either slam into the side of the bridge or go flying into the water. Somehow we just thread the needled and make it onto the bridge. We are both dying hysterically. Finally we get to the room and he runs in to grab his stuff. When he comes back out I tell him that I'm driving this time before he kills us. I take us nice and slow on the way back. We close in on the bar where there's a staircase leading down to where everyone was at. I slow the cart down to park it right by the steps but just as we are pulling up Dom slams his foot onto mine flooring it. We go flying down the stairs damn near flipping over. The windshield ends up popping off as I'm finally able to slam my foot on the brakes and we come to a halt. We are both laughing uncontrollably yet at the same time I feel bad. The cart is now stuck at the bottom of the stairs and there's no way to drive it back to where we were. All the guys run over, some laughing but most looking concerned telling me that I'm an idiot. I say, “Me? That fool slammed on my foot. Now what are we going to do?” I play that I was really pissed off at Dom but I was cracking up on the inside. We decide that we will have to try and pick it up and bring back up the stairs. It took all 6 of us and we could still barely lift it. I couldn't believe how heavy it was. Finally we got it to the top of the stairs and we also able to put the window hack in. All was well. Eventually Nissen came back with his hand in a cast. We continued hanging out, tell stories, drinking and just having a good time. For some reason Steve wanted to arm wrestle Baxter, on his half an arm. I think he had been telling Steve that his arm was super strong or something. They sit down at the table and Baxter immediately takes him down. Everyone is cracking up and in disbelief. Nissen gives it a shot, looses and then everyone else lines up. I was the only one who didn't. “You ain't embarrassing me! I know better.” We all hung out most the night but eventually it was just Dom, Mark, Steve and I, everyone else went to bed. The sun started coming up and we all decided to go fishing in the lake. It was a lot of fun and it was so beautiful out. Eventually we all crashed out. We weren't flying home until that night. In the afternoon they took us by the Amazon river, which was gorgeous, and then the mall. Most of the guys ate sushi from this spot there but I wasn't even about to gamble on that stuff. Thank goodness because a few of them got sick. After that we went back to the compound where they paid all of us. There was this little girl and her family doing this musical act by the pool, it was actually pretty good. Finally that evening they pick all of us up in separate cars. Mark, Dom and I were in one together. I don't know what was going on, if this was a normal thing or what but the freaking guy drove around without his lights on, and it was pitch black out. The only time he would turn them on was when another car was coming towards him. I couldn't believe it. Thank goodness for all of my experiences almost dying driving around other countries or I might have been a lot more freaked out. It was still pretty crazy. Mark was filming it. Thank goodness him and I decided to ride in the back ha. Finally we made it to the airport in one piece and then flew home. The flights were awful but the trip was amazing and I would love to come back again.


Here's the fight:

round 1

round 2

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