"It goes back to what fighting is all about: honesty and identity. You have to know who you are. There is no dissembling about your character in the ring. There is deception-fighting involves faking one thing and doing another. As Randy Couture said, "No lies get told when you're in there." You can't lie about being in shape, about knowing the techniques, about being faster than him, about being stronger or tougher. The truth will out.
I asked him about the mental game he'd learned in Thailand. "The first lesson I learned is never show any emotion while fighting," he wrote me from Australia. "And if you want respect from the Thai fans, you never give up until the final bell. I've seen some Thai boys fight their heart out, for four and a half rounds, getting a sound beating. Then, for last half of the the last round, they stopped fighting and waited till the clock ran out. When we got back to the camp the boys would cop an ear full from the trainers, till the point where they would start to cry. They would be ordered, even though they were busted up, to run and train the next day-because they didn't deserve a day off until they learned to fight till the end."
I think it was Cus D'Amato, the legendary boxing trainer, who said, "I get them to where they can't do it wrong even if they tried," meaning he would train his fighters to do the right thing until it was instinctual."
The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan