Sunday, August 11, 2013

Las Vegas Update Part 2 - Guard Up!

Las Vegas was all about UFC Fight Week, the fan expo, and UFC 162. If it wasn't for these events I'm not sure whether or not I would have liked Vegas. However, for this trip, I know that UFC Fight Week was awesome & I would definitely consider flying over to do it again!

My workouts in Las Vegas were split between training with professional fighters and hitting the gym.

The free gym at the MGM Grand was a basic cardio room. I got there around 7 a.m. and it was already packed!

I was quite amused to be staring at the Hooters hotel while on the cross-trainer -- that's something you definitely won't see in Kuwait!! 

I discovered a second gym which was much nicer - free weights, more cardio machines, and a variety of general weight machines. I went there for my remaining weights workouts. I can't resist a good squat bench! For $10 a day it wasn't bad at all.

A squat bench and free weights plus lots of cardio options -- awesome!

Now for the real stuff -- training with the professionals!!

My training in Vegas was mostly focused on Brazilian Jiujitsu. It was such an awesome experience. I was absolutely giddy with excitement. I wish I had some shots of me doing some of the actual training, but here are some pix of fighters I worked with.

I attended a 2-day seminar by Ryron and Rener Gracie -- isn't this picture amusing? ;) 

Me & Matt Hughes

Me & Khalil Rountree (he was main fight for Tuff n Uff & he won!)

 This is my favorite picture of the whole summer - messing around with BJ Penn after training!

 Me & Forrest Griffin at the UFC party

The main fight: Silva vs. Weidman - UFC 162

A glimpse of the fan expo - it was so cool!

There were quite a few celebrities at the fight, and I got a great view of many of them since we were in the 3rd row - Mike Tyson, Steven Segal, Usher, Edward James Olmos, Kim Coates and Theo Rossi from Sons of Anarchy to name a few ... I was smiling the whole night :)


What I Learned

I love MMA training. The training sessions were tough; they really made me test my physical abilities in a different way from cardio and strength training. After each session, I felt empowered and strong. Upon leaving Vegas all I wanted was to get back home and get into proper training as soon as possible.

I realized that if I wanted to achieve any level of proficiency in MMA, then I was going to have to train more like an athlete. This meant really focusing on good nutrition, proper/efficient workouts, and adequate rest. It's a combination that I have known is necessary for a while, but this time I felt more serious about it.

I wanted it, and I am willing to work for it. The intention itself was very powerful for me. I left Vegas with a renewed sense of determination and a big smile on my face.


My time in Vegas was occupied with Fight Week. I didn't see any shows, but I did eat at many great restaurants. As a fan of Top Chef, I was quite thrilled with how many of the chefs featured on the show had restaurants in Vegas. I took the opportunity to try several of them. My favorite was Joel Robuchon's restaurant at the MGM Grand - really terrific!

D & Me at Joel Robuchon

We had every intention of going to the Grand Canyon before leaving Las Vegas; however, I was so beat with all the training that the last stop I made was to the spa to be totally pampered before the next long road trip. Bliss!

Next Stop: San Francisco

(Link to: Las Vegas Update Part 1)


  1. The Gracie brothers father was an awesome cage fighter in his day:)

    1. I know :) The brothers were awesome to work with!

  2. Those Gracie brothers are super tall! That is so cool that you were able to train with the fighters. You are a rockstar!!

    1. LOL I know! I didn't realize how tall until I saw this picture - made me laugh ;)

  3. Hi Ayesha! You have the most unusual ways of spending time in Vegas. I personally only like the shows and museums. I'm not much of a gambler. I think we would visit a certain pawn shop from a popular t.v. show if we ever went again.

    Lovely that your fitness is so inspired. :D

    1. I would love to catch a show the next time I'm there. It was definitely an unusual way to spend my time, there but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm not a gambler either -- would much rather spend my money on shoes ;)


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