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Mixed Martial Arts Tips to Become a Better 'UFC Fighter'

By Cliff Montgomery, ExtremeProSports.com
We know that a proper strength-training schedule can heighten a fighter's explosive strength and speed. The ability to properly prepare one's self for MMA is normally achieved without any real risk. Because of this, it is important that we do not lose sight of that central kickboxing exercise, sparring. As an ultimate fighter, you must move from safer exercises towards highly intense training as your final objective.

Just imagine you have 12 weeks to prepare for a bout: your first few weeks may highlight drills and strength exercises. You will acquire some solid basics before focusing on more particular (and concentrated) fight preparation.

But you are not preparing for a 'professional wrestling' competition. Skill training in real wrestling, boxing, and kicking forms the backbone of your routine. You must train according to your desired purpose. In MMA, your final intent is to win matches.

Regardless of the success you have in training, you must employ what you learn through real sparring. Only with these tests may you truly gauge your reactions, tempo, and combination punches.

Sparring also trains the fighter to master the understandable nervous energy he will feel on fight night. 'Guts' often play a major factor in who wins a close UFC match. The only way to conquer such feelings is through hard experience.

These are emotions which people outside the fighting arts may perhaps never understand. All fighters have been apprehensive at some point in their careers. This is simply part of the development process of any fighter. You must first learn the game before truly achieving full and complete confidence.

This is not a sport that can be mastered over night: its beauty is in its test of guts, of--let's say it--manhood.

Ultimate fighters combine the physical conditioning of the boxer, the grit and power of the wrestler and the speed and agility of the martial artist. You must integrate several forms of fighting to truly optimize your performance.

Therefore approach each sparring contest as a means to improve a part of your game. You may work on your jab, on your kicking, or try some kick-ass boxing combinations. Spar with as many opponents as possible. The more contests you have under your belt, the more experience you'll have going into the ring.

Such diversity is also a significant ethic to apply to your strength and conditioning regimen. An athlete who incorporates great variety into his exercises will have an advantage over one who binds himself to one training style or mechanism.

Many trainers and athletes haplessly follow one narrow-minded theory about getting into shape. These individuals select a single exercise method and reap the benefits of only one training style, while ignoring--and discrediting--all other forms and methods.

An MMA athlete is not defined by his ability to perform a certain number of repetitions, or by how much weight he can lift. He will instead be evaluated and judged on his multi-faceted performance--making variety especially important for the ultimate fighter.

There is no one system, no single apparatus which provides the overall strength and conditioning necessary for MMA. Many people find practically every means possible to justify their particular training system, to no avail. The truth is found after all in who is most clearly winning matches against a variety of opponents, not in empty talk.

What will the pure wrestler do if a skilled boxer keeps him from planting his feet and getting clear holds? MMA athletes must first work on building and advancing their present skill sets; so it is best to pursue integrated advancements to strength and conditioning.

In addition to ability preparation, the fighter must employ high-power, high-energy drills. Common cases include heavy bag training, interval running, along with non-weighted GPP (General Physical Preparation). Common GPP exercises include push-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbing, split jumps, and running in place.

A quick word about nutrition: If you want to lose weight, a gentle limitation would be 300 calories daily for a weight loss of about half-a-pound weekly, and 500 calories for one pound weight loss/week.

Of course carbohydrates along with fat are a regular fuel reserve during any type of low to moderate intensity training. Carb intake replaces the muscle glycogen you burn for fuel.

These carbohydrates include both the types of carbs found in sports drinks and gels consumed during training, as well as the whole grains, fruits, and vegetables which make up a balanced exercise diet.

Two hours before longer preparation sessions, eat up to 50-75 grams of carbohydrate. Pay particular attention to restoring nutrition after longer training sessions, and consume 0.5 carb gram/pound. You can also toss in 10-15 grams of protein to your recovery snack.

For very early morning exercises, you can allow yourself a small measure of carbohydrate to help preserve blood glucose levels during these early activities.

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