Team Titan fighters Nathaniel Wood, Corrin Eaton and Luis Gonzalez have headed out to American Top Team in Florida, ahead of their upcoming fights in February. Read about their trials and tribulations stateside, in part one of their EXCLUSIVE blog for The Phantom Knee.
NATHANIEL WOOD: Things didn’t get off to a great start as we were held up as soon as we got off the plane, and I was taken into a room to have all my luggage searched.
CORRIN EATON: He was strip searched…
LUIS GONZALEZ: Not really, they just had questions about his visa that were flagged up.
CORRIN: So we had to wait around for ages for that, and then there was a huge queue for the car hire place, and then a 45 minute drive from the airport. And we arrived at American Top Team to find everything locked up!
NATHANIEL: A cleaner came to the rescue and got us inside eventually, but in the meantime Luis and Corrin both went and ate KFC.
LUIS: It was all that was open!!
NATHANIEL: There was a mix up though, so there was no bedding or anything ready for us. We’re the first people staying at the new facility pretty much, so they’re still finishing things up. Being an Englishman though, I can’t live without my tea so I went out and bought a kettle, some mugs and some tea bags… although they don’t have PG Tips here!
LUIS: The next morning we got up and did wrestling drills for an hour then went grocery shopping, had some breakfast and started to get our bearings. We also did some strength and conditioning – me and Corrin were in bits the next day, because we were following Nathaniel’s training programme.
CORRIN: Yeah, we’re now very aware that strength and conditioning is a very personal thing, it wasn’t set for us, so we struggled.
NATHANIEL: They forgot to take their man up pills, basically.
LUIS: We discovered an amazing place to eat called Santo’s – a buffet place
CORRIN: I was good though, and ate clean because I’m a bit overweight at the moment, and I’m dropping down a weight division for my upcoming fight.
NATHANIEL: I just ate a chicken salad…
LUIS: He’s lying!! He had three full plates AND desserts! His plates were piled up so high!!
CORRIN: Santos is naughty for them, but not for me, I stuck with chicken, steak, swordfish… and no dessert. Nathaniel and Luis both want to go to Chuck E Cheese while we’re out here but Nathaniel hasn’t got up the courage to go in yet.
NATHANIEL: I don’t want people to think I’m a weirdo hanging around at kids parties, I just want to try the pizza!
Check out the boys talking more in depth about their adventures at 28:36 of the latest Phantom Knee Podcast.
LUIS: We’re all doing the pro classes at 11am every day – except Sunday, which is a day off. And then there’s drills in the evening. We’re still getting our heads round the timetable and settling in.
CORRIN: Luis and I have basically had a month off training after our last fights, with Christmas in the middle, so we’re still getting back into the right mindset.
NATHANIEL: I’ve been doing strength and conditioning and sprints in the afternoons, but these guys haven’t been doing anything. When we’re not training, they’re just sat there on their phones being antisocial. When I’m not training, I’m reading my book and educating myself!
LUIS: He’s reading Ronda Rousey’s book! Anyway, I’m the smallest guy here, so I always get a beating so I think I deserve a rest! I just chill and watch some anime, or catch up with my missus.
CORRIN: When I first got here I was a bit starstruck but (Titan Fighter team mate) Ashleigh Grimshaw has been here before and he helped us to settle in. It’s cool to train with well known athletes, but I’m hoping to meet Robbie Lawler while we’re here. I want to see if he fancies going fishing!
LUIS: Yeah, we’ve seen people like Hector Lombard, Marcus Brimage, Melvin Guillard, Tecia Torres, Amanda Nunes and Thiago Alves around the gym. Din Thomas is an amazing coach. He’s been helping me perfect my arm in guillotine.
NATHANIEL: He called us the ‘Peaky Blinders’.
CORRIN: Yeah, he’s been looking after us and is going to help us get what we need to prepare for our upcoming fights.
NATHANIEL: UFC feels more within reach since we’ve been here. It’s great to learn new skills from new coaches and team mates, especially when it comes to wrestling – Americans learn wrestling in school and have that inbuilt from a young age. There’s so much under one roof here, so many coaches and athletes all working to improve. Brad is arriving this coming week, which will also help us integrate us into the invite only classes and meet more new people.
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