Training for an MMA/UFC fight

Do you have what it takes to be a MMA/UFC fighter?

UFC world champion Conor McGregor Photo: Conor McGregor/Twitter

An MMA fighter has to be strong enough to dominate their opponent, capable of delivering powerful and knockout punches and kicks, able to absorb impact from their opponents and resist a constant application of force.

Speed is another factor in MMA fighting and having the endurance to compete at a high level for five 5-minute rounds is almost a necessity.

Therefore the training program a fighter goes on needs to improve the quality of the above-mentioned skills without compromising one-another. It is crucial to get the strength and conditioning training correct for MMA fighters if they want to succeed in this sport.

Each fighter will have different training programs and techniques setup specifically for them, and often specifically for better their skills in specific areas for their next opponent.

Strength training should also be kept pretty simple – deadlifts, front and back squats, military presses, bench presses, pull ups, rows etc.

Of course, strength and conditional training sessions are only supporting sessions to all other training, ie technical. Most coaches will advise with two sessions a week on strength and conditioning not to burn out their fighter, allowing them time to improve their technical and fighting skills.

All training sessions should be recorded in detail to allow you and your trainer to adapt and fine-tune your training sessions to continue the progression.

Discipline is also key when it comes to training.  Don’t think that lifting weights and kicking a punch bag for a couple of weeks is going to make you a success.

MMA fighters by definition are excellent martial artists.  This means they are usually great at either Brazilian jiujitsu, Muay Thai, or Taekwondo for example, as well as with sparring technique and boxing.  Many top fights have well-rounded and varied sets of martial art skills.

At the end of the day, UFC fighters train more than enough hours each week to make it their full-time job. If you’re an up-and-coming fighter you may have even juggle a full-time or part-time job on top of your training schedule. You will also need to make sure your nutritional needs are being correctly met – fighter and athletes require a specialised diet that is high in protein and complex carbs and often requires additional sports supplementation such as this protein powder used by athletes from Supps R Us.

In addition, each fighter has his own training camp which usually consists of several coaches and sparring partners to prepare a specific plan for their next fight. It’s common for fighters to set up their training camp in a remote location, moving away from their families to avoid any distractions for a period of time.

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BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard

BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge

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This article was last updated on February 20, 2018.
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