When it comes to MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, you’ve certainly heard of names such as Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and Amanda Nunes. If you’re new to the world of MMA or if you don’t have a clue on who these people are, well, they’re legendary fighters in the world of MMA. These people mentioned have held or are currently holding championships in their weight classes.
Now, for the young MMA fighter, it’s essential to take note that the champions mentioned above all have one thing in common: Elite Fitness. Without a high-level conditioning program, fighters such as Conor McGregor or Amanda Nunes won’t be able to knock out high-quality opponents. Without proper health and fitness training, champions such as Jon Jones or Israel Adesanya won’t be able to show their flashy knockout moves.
If you want to increase your performance towards the elite levels, you must focus on your health and fitness. Without these two, you stand no chance of even defeating an untrained person inside a ring, octagon, or cage.
You might be thinking that the fighters mentioned above have the money, personnel, and conditioning to help them achieve their perfect forms come fight day. However, these fighters also started from nothing. Believe it or not, a lot of champions started from garage-style gyms and backyard rings as they were training to become world champions.
Although being at a disadvantage early on in life can be difficult for some fighters, it certainly didn’t make their dreams of becoming champion impossible. In reality, you too, can start the same way as a lot of champions do. Here are some tips to help you improve your ring health and fitness.
Nutrition and Balance
As with every human being, food is an important aspect that helps us stay alive. In the world of MMA, nutrition is a must if you want to become a world champion. As each champion has a specific weight class, a strict diet is often crucial for them. Maintaining weight isn’t the sole reason why a strict diet is needed. Specialized diets can help improve the way the human body performs.
Not having a proper meal plan for a fighter can spell disastrous consequences come fight day. When you’re not eating the right food, you can quickly gas out. You can gain weight and add more stress to your muscles, which can cause devastating injuries, given that you want to perform at a high level.
Fighters who don’t make weight also have to face a lot of sanctions such as paying fines, being disqualified, being pulled out from a championship fight, or even losing a championship.
Strength and Conditioning
Since you’ll be performing on a high level, always make sure that your body can take the punishment. Without proper strength and conditioning training, your body can be prone to injuries when fighting.
With the help of equipment such as weights, punching bags, and resistance bands, you can get a full quality workout through these items. You can also opt for gym equipment that can help you attain that goal. If you’re not sure of what you need, some sites offer a full review of the Bowflex Blaze and other great equipment you can use in your strength and conditioning program.
Sure, you may be able to kick and punch with power, but can you do it consistently? Can you maintain footwork without having the risk of a possible ankle injury? Having a high level of strength and conditioning prepares your body for the stress it’ll take from performing such powerful moves inside the ring.
Another thing that fighters need to incorporate in their training is cardio. Cardio is the ability of the fighter to deliver sufficient blood and oxygen to all the parts of the body. Without cardio, a fighter can’t perform for too long. Although the typical MMA Fight lasts for 3, 5-minute rounds, there’s a lot of movement and pressure that can negatively affect the cardio of a fighter.
This is the reason why cardio is an essential aspect of any training regimen for an MMA Fighter. Having good cardio enables you to perform at a high level for more extended periods. If a fight isn’t won by knockout or submission, it usually goes to a decision by judges. Judges can see a fighter who is gassed, isn’t performing up to the standards, and those who get saved by the bell.
Even if you don’t get knockout or submit an opponent, outworking them can bring positive outlooks on the judges for you. Although most fighters don’t want to win by a decision, any fighter will take a win regardless.
Sleep is an important thing to do when you’re training, especially for MMA Fights. Since the nature of the sport and its training is very physical, your body will surely take physical damage. The amount of physical damage can add up, which can start to hurt you not only physically, but mentally as well. Proper sleeping hours after a rigorous training day can help fight off those problems.
Sleep enables the body to rest, allowing it to regenerate and heal itself from the damage it takes during training. High quality sleep can also help ease tensions and reduce stress.
What does motivation have to do with your fitness? A lot. Motivation is an important thing to have when you want to increase your chances of winning. When you’re motivated, you keep pushing yourself to the limit. With motivation, you feel good while training, making you more ready for a fight.
Motivation helps you steer clear from negative people, negative thoughts, and other distractions. A lot of fighters swear that their motivation is what pushes them to train even harder, to not quit “until they can’t feel their legs anymore,” and to persevere.
Being an MMA fighter isn’t easy. One of the best advice that most people, experienced or not, can give you is to train yourself to become healthier and fit. Being at an elite level of fitness prepares your body for a tough MMA fight. Getting the right nutrition, rest, cardio, conditioning, are all critical factors to increase your health and chances of winning.
Through proper training and having the right motivation, you’ll soon become a well-developed fighter. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll become world champ. Never give up on that dream and continue training.
Was Max Holloway Robbed at UFC 251?
Last weekend, Max Holloway earned his featherweight title rematch against Alexander Volkanovski – but was he robbed in the decision? Many fighters and fans think so.
Here’s what legendary MMA fight manager Ali Abdelaziz had to say after the fight:
211 someone called the police @BlessedMMA won
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 12, 2020
Nate Diaz was quick to chime in with his thoughts on Holloway’s loss at the hands of the judges as well:
The bottom line is this was a back and forth fight that could have gone either way. Yes, we would have scored it for Holloway too, but this is what happens when fighters leave bouts to the judges to decide.
Professional fighter Joe Schilling mentioned on a recent Joe Rogan podcast that he thought the UFC should add additional measures to keep judges more accountable. Some sort of tracking system that helps identify and remove judges who consistently score fights against the grain would be a great way to keep both fighters and fans appeased during tough decisions like this one.
UFC 249 has a long and adventurous story
UFC 249 was originally planned to take place on April 18th in New York but, due to the ongoing pandemic, governor Cuomo restricted mass gatherings and sports events, confining everyone to their homes, leaving them with little more to watch than reruns of old fights and perhaps Game Changers. UFC president Dana White then announced that the event was still on but the location will change. Later, it was announced that it will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California. ESPN and its parent company Disney didn’t like this, though, pressuring White to suspend the event for the time being – which he did. Finally, the event was rescheduled for May 9.
Meanwhile, interesting news started circulating about a potential location for future UFC fight nights that, if it becomes a reality, might put an interesting spin on the world of mixed martial arts.
UFC Fight Island
Even before the issues with the event, White planned to arrange a brand new location where fight nights could be organized: a private island where athletes could train and fight.
“All the infrastructure is being built right now and getting put in place,” he told the press back in April. “As we get closer to that, then I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus, I can ship guys over there earlier, and they can start training over there, on the island. So, once that’s all in place – we’re looking at like a month – I’ll have that all put together, and guys can start training and can go there.”
The UFC is serious about it: it has already registered several trademarks around the “UFC Fight Island” brand, covering several types of goods, services, even jewelry.
When, and Where?
The “where” is still a mystery. Although he spoke repeatedly about the arrangements being made for athletes to be able to train and stay on the island, White has not revealed its location yet. Some theorize that it may be somewhere in international waters so it could serve as a place where international athletes could stay without restrictions, perhaps off the coast of California. But this is just a theory – all will probably be revealed in due time.
The “when” is a bit less vague: White told the press that UFC Fight Island will be operational by June. It will have amenities like an Octagon on the beach, and hotels for the fighters to be lodged at. And most importantly, it will allow international fighters to participate in fights, even with the pandemic-related travel restrictions still in place.
The idea of an island dedicated to fighting may sound familiar – it was the topic of the 2006 martial arts movie “DOA – Dead or Alive” and 2007’s “The Condemned”, among others. Let’s hope this one will have a happier ending.
As for UFC 249 ‘Ferguson vs. Gaethje’, that event will now take place at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
What Justin Gaethje’s past fights tell us about his chances at UFC 249
It’s fair to say that Justin Gaethje has firmly taken up the role of underdog ahead of his clash with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on May 9th. The latest Tony Ferguson v Justin Gaethje betting offers present Ferguson as the clear favourite, after his opponent was drafted in at the last minute to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is on lockdown in his home country of Russia.
Gaethje is relatively inexperienced in the world of UFC, having fought just six times in the competition in the past. But his calibre from prior ventures in MMA, notably the World Series of Fighting, means that he is a fighter not to be trifled with, and while he won’t represent as formidable a challenge for Ferguson as Khabib would have, there is much to admire about the 31-year-old.
To understand fully Gaethje’s chances ahead of UFC 249, it’s important to analyse his performances in recent fights. Indeed, his past three bouts have resulted in impressive victories, with Gaethje winning Performance of the Night awards in two of those fights — against James Vick and Donald Cerrone respectively.
But his UFC started off in disappointing fashion, with just one win from his first three fights. That victory came against Michael Johnson in the reality show The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale, but from there he failed to gain a strong foothold in the championship. He suffered back-to-back defeats against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, including a knockout at the hands of the former, as he struggled to adapt to the competitive nature of the UFC.
Those defeats obviously shook Gaethje into life, because he has come roaring back in his last three fights, mustering up a trio of impressive performances to bring him to the level he finds himself at today, where UFC chief Dana White is drafting him to replace someone of the calibre of Khabib.
The first of this trio of victories was a win over James Vick in August 2018, where Gaethje produced a fine display which silenced some of the doubters who had perhaps questioned his ability at the highest level. He won Performance of the Night for that one, and was then involved in the Fight of the Night the following March as he defeated Edson Barboza by knockout in Philadelphia. His most recent victory was a TKO triumph over UFC veteran Donald Cerrone in October last year, where Gaethje once again walked away with the Performance of the Night accolade.
All three of his most recent wins have come via first round knockout or technical knockout, proof that Gaethje has the ability to overpower opponents in the opening stages of a fight. Of course, to do this against Ferguson will be a whole different ball game, as he is the most high-profile fighter Gaethje has faced so far, but perhaps the key lies in ensuring he comes out all guns blazing early on.
Gaethje’s Performance of the Night wins indicate that he is capable of producing a show-stopping performance on any given night. He is undoubtedly the underdog going into the fight against Ferguson, but with a few good wins now under his belt, who’s to say he can’t spring a surprise on May 9th and truly announce himself in the UFC.
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