Having a support group around you that can identify these problems is critical in your personal growth, and that’s what Roberson’s friends did. Rather than being yes-men, only offering advice that they though he’d want to hear, his friends helped determine what they thought was the root cause of Roberson’s recent skid in the Octagon.
“My friends helped me realize [that I was in my own way],” Roberson said. “People who actually know me … they can tell [I’ve been off the last couple of years]. Especially in the position that I’m in, like, you’re the athlete and sometimes it’s hard for people to talk to you because they feel like you may not take it the right way, but when you have friends or family like that that are like, ‘OK, you need to change something, you need to do something,’ they helped me along the way.”
Once getting over the hurdle of identifying what was adding so much mental stress to his everyday life, he started turning a corner. Hitting the problem head-on rather than avoiding it gave Roberson a whole new sense of relief heading into his latest training camp.
“So much relief,” Roberson said. “There’s pressure off your back, stress off your mind. In this lifestyle, stress is all the time, so anytime you can take a little bit off, make it a little bit easier, it’s a blessing.”
“F*** it; that’s basically my [new] mentality,” Roberson said. “That’s how I grew up. I’m here, this is what I asked for. Take a deep breath, you got 15 minutes, suck it up.”
Heading into his second fight back at light heavyweight, avoiding the extra 20-pound weight cut has voided lot of the last-minute stress that Roberson was experiencing the last couple weeks before his fights.