Most of us have no idea what it's like to be Joe (El Dirte) Doerksen on fight day.
Truth be told, most of us don't want to know.
The Winnipeg-based mixed martial arts fighter (he's actually from New Bothwell, which is just outside of town) talked to The Sun prior to his main event fight with Jason (The Athlete) MacDonald in the Ultimate Cage Wars card at the Winnipeg Convention Centre last night.
An Ultimate Fighting Championship combatant (he's a UFC octagon veteran), Doerksen, 28, shed some light on what it's like to be him on fight day.
"There's not really much going on during the day," he said. "I tend to sleep in as late as I can. ... I'll try to eat my last meal about six hours before I fight."
Despite readying himself to be a caged animal later in the evening, Doerksen stays away from red meat ("too hard to digest," he said).
Arriving at the WCC long before fans, he'll chat and joke around with other fighters and try to keep his mind off why he's there until an hour before it's time to go to work.
Once he's stretched and changed, he'll start to think about kicking ass.
"I like to get a little bit of a sweat on before I walk out there. After that I just pace around the room like a trapped animal," he continued.
"It's a strange mix of emotions. On one hand you're scared to go out there but at the same time you can't wait."
And then the fun starts for a guy who has been fighting for seven years as a professional.
"Often I'll get goosebumps because I can feel the people watching me," Doerksen said of hearing his name announced and walking towards the cage.
But once inside the cage, it all disappears.
"You always have a game plan, but so many things can happen in this kind of fighting," he said.
Typically, a MMA fight is three, five minute rounds. last night's main event was a scheduled five-round affair on MacDonald's request -- his thinking was that he could tire out Doerksen and capitalize in the later rounds.
The strategy may have worked, as the main event lasted until 2:37 of the fourth round when MacDonald finished off the hometown-favourite Doerksen with a rear naked choke.
In the semi-main event, Rowan Cunningham of Halifax beat London, Ont.'s Aaron Tregear in the first round with a rear naked choke.
In early action last night, Winnipeg's Steve (Gimme Half a Sandwich) Taylor of Team Munduruca won his match against Jacob MacDonald of London, Ont., at 30 seconds of the first round with a guillotine choke hold.
Other winners included Kyle Hobe of Toronto, who beat Graydoon Tannis of Calgary with a choke hold in the first round, Kevin Manderson of Winnipeg who knocked off London, Ont.'s Alex Gasson with a rear naked choke in the second, Antonio Canuelos of San Luis Obispo, Calif. who defeated Justin Tavernini of Lethbridge, Alta. on a third-round unanimous decision, Portage la Prairie's Grant Tennant who beat Winnipeg's Johnny Fever with an arm bar in the second round and Tim Tamaki of Lethbridge, Alta., who beat Sonny Leong of London, Ont., with an arm bar in the first round.