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What Does it take to be a UFC Fighter?
I t was just a boring Wednesday night until my boyfriend turned the TV over to the Spike TV Channel. How about some UFC honey? he asked.. I was to comfortable to move from the couch so I did not protest. I had never paid much attention to UFC and thought it would be ok to expand my horizons a bit. And it did.. I watched for over an hour as monstrous men rolled around in the octagon and pummeled each other. These men were not ordinary men either. They were cut and in shape they were able to move around the octagon with ease. Some men took beating better than others. In every fight there was always blood and in every fight there was always a winner. Everyman did have the same look in their eye.. the look to win whatever it takes. I was amazed at how much one man could endure.This was not wrestling and this was not boxing. I know I could never have a true appreciation of what the fighter goes through as I have never taken a pummeling in my life. It was obvious to me it takes a lot of training to become a UFC fighter and left me wondering.. What does it take ot be a UFC fighter?
Some of the things You can't do in a UFC fight
- Hair pulling.
- Fish hooking.
- Groin attacks of any kind.
- Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
- Small joint manipulation.
- Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
- Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
- Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
- Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
- Grabbing the clavicle.
- Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
About the Sport
After watching the bout my second question was "What are the Rules" There didn't seem to be a lot intervention from the referee despite the amount of blood on the mat. I was then informed that the bout would end 1) when time was up 2) when the fighter taps out or 3) when the fighter is knocked out! I did find some rules in the UFC championship page and listed them adjacent to this text.
Mixed Martial Arts has been around for the last 100 years or so. The UFC was formed in 1993 and reorganized by Zuffa L.L.C.in 2001. This is when the sport really began to get some recognition. The sport is televised through pay preview and now the Ultimate Fighter program can be seen regularly on Spike TV. The sport is also drawing large crowds during the events.
Mixed Martial Arts as you my already know is a combination of wrestling,( in it's many forms) Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Kickboxing or Karate. There are many many forms of mixed martial arts. The athletes preform in the Octagon, compatible to a boxing ring. The Octagon is claimed by Zuffa to be the safest and neutral ground for fighters. I believe "The Octagon" has been trademarked by Zuffa as well. And of course there are Octagon girls to provide eye candy for the guys.
Just as in boxing there are weight classes and the fight seem to last all year long.
I began to do some research to see what an athelete would have to endure to earn the right to get into "The Octagon"
When researching this subject i found diet to be a big part of the plan to become an MMA ( Mixed martial Arts) fighter. It is a diet that us gals would be envious of in some ways. Body builders require protein and lots of it. The recommendations are for the body builders to get their proteins in the most natural ways possible. Beef, Chicken and eggs cooked is the best form of proteins. An MMA athlete should be eating 2 grams of protein per pound. If the fighter is taking steroids than the amount may double. So for a man at 250 pounds the recommendation is around 500 grams of protein per day Water, at least a gallon per 100 grams of protein is recommended per day to increase a metabolic flush. Normally I would get excited at the prospect of of meat diet, but this sounds like work! Fighters "eat for function, not flavor" Where is the fun in that? Fighters have to eat at least five times a day, at least every two hours.
Supplements are also a consideration of a fighters diet.
Carbohydrates are important to fuel the fighter. Carbs are to be taken in the most natural form possible.. cereals or processed foods are discouraged while fruits and veggies are better! Grapefruits are recommended
Cholesterol is necesary to the fighter becusae it is the building blockl of testosterone. Omega-3 is a fat found in fish oil. IMMA fighters ste it is necessary to consume 1000mg of fish oil per 100 pounds of body weight.
No mention of chocolate. Hmm Maybe I am not so jealous...
"You are not out of shape, you are just in a different shape than you want to be in." Let's put a positive spin on it."
The training regiment is brutal as you may have expected. the following regiment is followed by Heath Herring as mentioned in his interview wit Body Building.com He states he runs two miles tow to three times per week. Part of that run is hill sprints with only a minute rest between sprints. He also does a lot of light weight lifting to encourage more flexibility, He also encourages a trainer to help push you through the rough spots.
Kevin Kearns is a trainer of MMA fighters and was also interviewed on Bodybuilders.com He recommended a workout regimen of 2 days a week of Yoga., 3 days a week of strength training, three days of aerobics on a stair master or trampoline, and 1 to 2 days of work on MMA techniques. I feel tired already! Nicknamed Dr. Evil Mr. Kearns has been in the business of helping people shape up since 1990. He has used his fame and fortune from working with UFC fighters to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity. He tries to reach as many people as possible with his collection of over 300 DVDs and two websites posted below. One of his famous phrases in motivating people is G.O.T.A ( got to get off you Ass!)
I was reading some interviews from BodyBuilders.com ( link is included below) I was surprised by one interview form Heath Herring, a MMA fighter since 1996. He stated that fighting in the UFC is one of the safest sports in the world because of the ability to tap out f defeated. He went on further to state boxing was more dangerous because a fighter would have to actually get knocked out.before he lost. He also reports that the biggest misconception that Americans have is that this is a dangerous sport because of the violence. it is dangerous to the person who goes into the fight not knowing what it is all about.
Krzysztof Soszynski states in an interview with MMA Junkie.com that he finally figured out how to mentally prepare for a fight. He mention in his interview it took him five years to figure out he would just have to put the pizza down and have fun with his fight. he states all of his training has come together when he relaxes a bit in the Octagon.
On the same website there is an interview with Martin Rooney the author of "Training For Warriors" a best selling book on the MMA. Mr. Rooney has achieved purple belt in jiu jitsu and a black belt in judo. His book discusses the keys to physical fitness and for combat. he emphasizes you "have to be the perfect athlete" You can't be overweight nor can you run out of steam during a match. Cardiovascular and weight training are key because one relies on the other. Mr. Rooney believes the day of the overweight or muscle bout athlete are over. This hubber believes The perfect athlete is surely of the great appeals to the audience, and may be one of the reasons it is increasingly popular.
Who are some of the most popular MMA athletes?
Extreme Pro Sport.com calls Fedor Emelianenko one of the best MMA fighters of all time. He is described as a heavy weight who strikes fast and hard. He favors the Sambo style of wrestling.
Randy Coutrue is alos a very popular MMA fighter and has been around a while. He is known for his take downs and his mental strength.
mirko cro cop is said to be the most famous fighter by the UFC webpage. He is well known for his knockouts but there is concern that he is not in his best physical shape.
While doing research for this article I ran across teh name Brok Lesnar. He is the only WWE champion to ever come to the Octagon and be sucessful at beating Randy couture for the heavyweight title.
There is no doubt that this is an increasingly popular sport. And there is even less doubt that you have to have extreme dedication and discipline to this sport. If you re asking me if I will be watching a UFC fight again I would have to say yes. ( on the couch with my chocolate!) Not for the violence of it all but for the true appreciation of what a fighter would have to go through to get there. As Martin Rooney put it. UFC fighter are the ultimate athlete.
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