by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
For many fans, “Ultimate Fighter” season 8 cast member John Polakowski will be remembered as the nicest guy to ever grace the show, but to find out where exactly a fighter nicknamed “Buckets of Blood” comes from, you have to travel back a few years to his roots in World Extreme Cagefighting.
Taking his first fight on literally just a few hours notice, Polakowski stepped into the cage to face Olaf Alfonso in the WEC. What transpired in the next 15 minutes was an epic war between the two fighters that gained a tremendous amount of attention at the time, even earning a “Fight of the Year” nod from many media outlets.
He also earned his nickname, “Buckets of Blood,” from that match-up. It was given to him by his trainer; whom he still works with to this day.
“John Hackleman gave it to me,” he said of the nickname. “I think a lot of it was from that first fight with Olaf (Alfonso) cause I bled a lot; just in general I bleed a lot so it’s fitting.”
Fast forward to a few years later after Polakowski had been cut from the WEC in the transition to the new ownership at Zuffa and the young California fighter found himself in the mix of the lightweight division for season 8 of the “Ultimate Fighter.”
During his time on the show, Polakowski was dubbed as the nice guy, but after some members of Team Mir messed with his Lucky Charms, he started to show some of the rage that earned him his nickname.
“It wasn’t completely covered when it aired,” Polakowski told MMAWeekly.com. “They messed with me twice. For the first one they just took out all the marshmallows and I just kind of laughed it off. Then they promised they’d get me a new box of Lucky Charms. So they get me a new box of Lucky Charms and they left it on my pillow on my bed. So I go pour myself a bowl of cereal and the marshmallows are gone again! So at that point I felt like people were (expletive) with me or playing games with me or something like that. It wasn’t about the cereal, it’s that I felt people were screwing with me. I didn’t understand why people wanted to (expletive) with me.”
Back to fight time, Polakowski ended up with George Roop as an opponent and after two hotly contested rounds, Roop picked up the unanimous decision win. After the fight, UFC president Dana White commented that he believed there should have been a third and decisive round, and most others agreed.
“Yeah, definitely, I feel like there should have been,” Polakowski stated about a third round in the fight. “George Roop took the first round, but I agree completely with what Dana said, I definitely did the most damage in round two. I had him stunned like two or three times. I felt like I won the second round.”
Between the first and second rounds, Polakowski’s coaches could be heard in the background telling him that he won the first five minute session and in retrospect, the San Luis Obispo native feels that may not have worked in his favor.
“You know, I wish they had told me I lost the first round because maybe I would have tried harder to knock him out,” Polakowski said with a laugh.
Regardless of the outcome, Polakowski’s dream remains undeterred and he feels a future in the UFC is still in the cards for him.
“I think I’ll definitely have another shot in the UFC and I’m excited about that.”