EXCLUSIVE | TUF 16 Fighter Joey Rivera BJPenn.Com Blog #5

November 7, 2012 7:31 am by Bryan Levick


WFF & CFFC Welterweight Champion Joey “Boom Boom” Rivera (7-1) is currently a competitor on this season of The Ultimate Fighter™ Team Carwin vs. Team Neslon, where he recently shocked the world by defeating Carwin’s #1 pick, Sam Alvey. Rivera resides in Tucson, AZ where he is the owner and head coach of APEX MMA. The 4X Judo State Champion also coaches wrestling at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson and instructs MMA at the University of Arizona (U of A).

Fans can follow Rivera on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeyBoomBoomRivera and on Twitter @Joeyboomboom.

This week’s episode was pretty intense. My cousins in Jersey were texting me about how it was the most entertaining episode yet, and because of the time difference out here in the west, I didn’t see it until hours after and couldn’t wait to watch. Sometimes, I have to try and ignore my phone and Facebook so it doesn’t spoil it for me. Even though I was there, I was often up in the room doing my own thing and didn’t actually see most of what the cameras would capture. So, a lot of the time, watching the episodes is as new to me as they are to most of the fans.

Dana came to the house trying to rile us up wanting more exciting fights. It was pretty discouraging and made some of my teammates pretty sad. He said the only fight he liked was Colton vs. Eddy, which I guess was due to some bloodshed. I was not offended at all, because I am confident that I did everything I needed to do in order to win the fight, and I personally thought my fights were exciting, strategically-planned and pretty well-executed considering the pressure I was under. It was hard for the fans to see because they didn’t play out my first fight on TV. The two guys I fought were studs: Saad had his own commercial on TV and post-loss interview, which tells me he was some kind of VIP. Sam is Dan Henderson’s boy, and the #1 pick on the whole show. I was picking my guys up in the air, slamming them down, and rocking heads with my shinbone, etc., so I am very proud of myself. Also, martial arts are not all about whacking each other out, true martial arts involves planning, strategy, execution and preserving your body and your brain. So, there has to be a balance between fighting for fans, and fighting for yourself, in my humble opinion.

When Julian and Mike started drinking, I think the plan was that “they were just going to have a couple.” When they started, I just went upstairs to go read and lay down. I rarely drink anyway, plus I had made a promise to my wife that I would not drink while I was there so I decided to stay out of the way. She was worried that I would get bored and hit the bottle, and basically turn into the Incredible Hulk. I usually found myself reading the Bible and writing in a journal everyday, which is quite an accomplishment for me since I am not the best speller and for that reason don’t enjoy writing, or even text message for that matter. I think I am better at it now that I wrote 85 pages while I was there!

I didn’t see most of the drama happening. When I first heard things going on downstairs I was just going to let it play out since it’s usually a pointless task to try and reason with someone under the influence, but then it kept going on and on and didn’t stop. At that point, I went down stairs, and Julian basically went crazy slamming his head into the wall, that’s when I wanted to help because he was my little bro in the house. I think an accumulation of his young age, a lot of alcohol, frustration with his fight, and boredom of being stuck in the house created the problem. It was just a matter of time before someone went nuts since there is pretty much nothing to do, especially for him, being out of the running. This is when his name went from Julian Lane, to my special nickname for him, “Clubber Lane”.  In case you don’t know, Clubber is “Mr. T” in the Rocky movie, and he was always mad. Saying “Clubber” always makes me laugh.

Jon and Chaney’s fight was pretty exciting for the short length of time it lasted. The exchanges were nice and “gung-ho” and the triangle escape was pretty high-level. As for my thoughts on the bite, I actually thought it was pretty funny. Then again, my favorite show growing up was the 3 Stooges, so I laugh at these kinds of things. At least he admitted that he intentionally did it.  Obviously, you shouldn’t do that as a professional, but Mike Tyson did it, and he was one of the greatest fighters of all time. But it really is not okay.

Stay tuned for my blog next week! Please leave some comments below.

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