This blog is about how I handle that pesky little dump you get at the start of a fight. This is all just my thoughts. It may help you, or it may not, but if you suffer from the dump... this might just be worth a try.
Preparation and "pre" routines are the key to combating the adrenaline dump!
When I played college football, it didn't matter what game (big or small) we had, we were always well prepared. I can recall to the tee the planning of the first 20 to 30 plays of each game. We had it planned out that when we started, we were running this play. This didn't mean that 5 plays in we didn't have to completely change the plan, because that happened more times than I can count. The thing was, that in those 5 plays, about ten minutes of the game went by before any real thinking was required. We were already moving the ball, getting hit, and well in to the swing of things. When I transfer this to MMA, I think of it as planning my first punch combinations. I want to have a plan of everything I'm going to do the second the ref says "Fight!" An example would be, "When I go out there, I'm going to touch gloves then circle to my right on a 45. This will keep him from touching and trying to sneak a punch in. After that, moving in, I'm throwing a jab jab to see what he does with his hands. If he overreacts, I throw the feint jab cross. If he barely reacts, I work the stiff jab to the low thai kick." I could keep going and going, but hopefully you get the point. Doing something like this will keep your mind centered and your thoughts focused. The worst think you could do is hear the ref yell "FIGHT" and then think... "Oh shit he's coming at me, what do I do? Umm... I'm gonna punch this guy hard and hopefully end this now!" You come out throwing haymakers... and now you're ready to hit the hay! When it comes to staying cool under pressure, you have to remember "Prepare hard, and fight easy".
The second thing that I like to do is develop a pre-fight routine. This is the routine I use for every fight. This routine starts with how you warm up, how you walk to the cage, greasing up, how you enter, What you do if you are first or last to go out. Where are you looking the whole time. Are you going to touch gloves. What moves are you going over in your head. This all needs to be considered beforehand. I even practice my routine when no one is looking. This way when all the bright lights get turned on and the crowd starts yelling, I have a center to hold on to. I know that if I just stick to the script, this is just another fun day at work. Time to get down to business. I use this all the time in order to not get overwhelmed with my surroundings.
You have to remember, the adrenaline dump is physical, but controlling it is mental. Work on getting prepared and stay focused, and you will definitely keep that wind you were building up all fight camp!