Nick Ring's big day

Nick Ring was victorious at UFC 149 Saturday night in Calgary. (Lyle Aspinall/QMI Agency)

Nick Ring was victorious at UFC 149 Saturday night in Calgary. (Lyle Aspinall/QMI Agency)

DAVE DORMER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:44 AM ET

Months of training came down to 15 minutes in the Octagon for Calgary fighter Nick Ring at UFC 149 Saturday. Before taking on Court McGee at the Scotiabank Saddledome, Ring was gracious enough to allow Calgary Sun reporter Dave Dormer to follow along as he prepared for the biggest fight of his life.

— 9 a.m. Nick wakes up at the Westin Hotel, downtown. The wake-up call actually comes from me in the lobby when I arrive (security won’t let people on the elevators without a room key).

— 9:10 a.m. Nick arrives in the Westin lobby looking a little sheepish. He’s barefoot and wearing jeans. When the elevator door opens, he shakes hands with some fans before getting off.

— 9:18 a.m. Nick is sitting on his hotel-room bed eating breakfast — blueberries, tuna, raw broccoli, rice and veggies. It’s the first of six daily meals he usually eats.

— 9:31 a.m. Leaving the hotel headed to the Better Health Clinic for an IV to get rehydrated after cutting weight from 197 lbs. to his fight weight of 185 lbs.

— 9:45 a.m. Arrived at the clinic, receptionist is making us mint green tea, Nick’s favourite. The lobby is suddenly busy as staff all come out to see him.

— 9:55 a.m. Nick is hooked up to an IV called Fatigue Fighter. It’s made of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and electrolytes and takes 15 minutes for a 30-ml bag to empty.

— 10:08 a.m. Dr. Natasha Iyer looks at Nick. His face looks good, but there’s no saliva on his tongue, so she decides he needs two extra IV bags of dextrose with simple sugars.

— 10:41 a.m. Done at the clinic and off to Bowmont Boxing Club for the first workout of the day.

— 11:01 a.m. Arrive at Bowmont Boxing Club, a small annex building with a ring, a few heavy bags and not much more. Think of the gym from the first Rocky.

— 11:08 a.m. As Nick wraps his hands, his demeanour changes. The smile is gone. He’s much more focused and serious.

— 11:13 a.m. In the ring for three rounds with boxing coach Doug Harder to sharpen up. Harder is impressed with Nick’s jab and left hook.

— 11:40 a.m. Practice is finished. After changing, Nick makes a point of acknowledging the dozen or so club members working out before leaving.

— 11:56 a.m. Back to the hotel for an ice bath to clear toxins from Nick’s legs — one 10-minute session followed by three two-minute sessions with one-minute intervals between. He uses the time to watch video of training sessions and focus on the game-plan.

— 12:27 p.m. With the ice-bath done, Nick realizes he forgot his cup. Luckily, an emergency trip home is avoided when his roommate volunteers to rush it down to him.

— 12:29 p.m. Nick lays down for a nap before heading to the venue.

— 2:27 p.m. The fighters hop on a bus in front of the Westin for the short ride over to the Saddledome.

— 7:32 p.m. The hometown crowd goes crazy as Nick makes his way to the ring accompanied by Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. His entrance song is Titanium by David Guetta.

— 7:34 p.m. A chorus of boos erupt as Court McGee walks into the arena. His music is Ohio by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

— 7:35 p.m. Oops, Tale of the Tape is on the scoreboard and there’s a Brazilian flag next to Nick instead of the Maple Leaf.

— 7:36 p.m. Bruce Buffer introduces Nick ‘The Promise’ Ring as only he can. The crowd gives the loudest pop yet of the night.

— 7:37 p.m. The bell sounds, and Round 1 is underway.

— 7:38 p.m. Less than a minute, the crowds starts chanting “Nick, Nick, Nick”

— 7:42 p.m. First round ends — it’s close. Nick threw more kicks, Court more strikes.

— 7:43 p.m. Start of Round 2.

— 7:48 p.m. Another close round ends. Nick started to find his range near the end.

— 7:49 p.m. Round 3 starts with chants of ‘“Go Nick Go.”

— 7:51 p.m. Ref stops the fight momentarily so loose tape can be cut off Nick’s gloves.

— 7:54 p.m. The fight ends with a scramble on the ground and Nick on top. We’ll go to the judges’ scorecards.

— 7:56 p.m. All three judges score the fight 29-28 for the winner, Nick ‘The Promise’ Ring.

dave.dormer@sunmedia.ca

 


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