UFC fast became one of the most popular mainstream spectator sports. As a global brand, the UFC appeals to a wide-variety of fans. From the action inside the patented Octagon ™ ring, to the competitors themselves, it is easy to see the broad appeal. In UFC there is something for everyone.
But if your interest in the sport goes well beyond watching it from a raucous crowd, or on PPV, and you thirst for a taste of what the UFC gladiators go through, then these fitness classes are essential musts to add to your training repertoire:
The skills the combatants learn for their respective UFC fights can come down to their specific training styles and/or training camps. But they are almost always grouped into these 4 main categories:
UFC bouts begin in standing position. This is where fancy footwork and skilled hand techniques come into play to gain the early advantage. Before there was UFC, there was boxing. Made famous by the greats Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Manny Pacquiao, the skills required to be a great boxer transition to the world of UFC. Fast hands, ample power punches, and slick footwork are the basis of any good ground game.
From there the transition goes to kickboxing. A hybrid using both the hands and the feet to devastate an opponent. Most styles of kickboxing do not allow kicks to the legs, with the focus instead on fast paced, aggressive fighting with flamboyant high kicks and a heavy emphasis on boxing.
Most fighters incorporate Muay Thai in their stand-up fighting because of the large toolbox of techniques from which to draw. Unlike boxing or kickboxing, Muay Thai incorporates elbow and knee strikes alongside traditional punching and kicking. They also involve a lot of strikes from “the clinch” which is a technique used to control your opponent’s movements.
Once you have control of your opponent your next step is to get them to the ground. A background in Judo or Wrestling will benefit you hear. Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey showcased how a strong judo experience can transition well into the UFC as she dominated her opponents in :30 seconds or less. Judo classes teach a wide variety of grappling skills including sweeps, takedowns, and submissions that you will need to get your opponent onto the mat.
With your opponent grounded, you should be looking to finish the fight. This is where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) will benefit you. BJJ is uses submission holds, joint locks, and chokeholds to subdue the opponent. MMA fighters will train in BJJ to prepare them for grappling and ground fighting. BJJ teaches skills to effectively go against even a larger opponent and prepares you for times when you might not be in control.
For example, using a sweep, or reverse, from the bottom position can help you to gain the dominant position and possibly end the fight with a submission. When looking for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, make sure they are accredited. The UFC GYM School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now registered with the IBJJF, allowing our students to compete in local, national and internationally acclaimed BJJ tournaments.
To be able to incorporate all the skills that you have learned conditioning plays a major factor. That is why most MMA gyms should have conditioning classes that you can supplement your skill training with. This can be cardio-based with a focus on specific disciplines such as kickboxing or boxing conditioning, or it can focus more on technique, and even stretching so that you stay flexible and pliable in the ring.
Whatever classes you may choose in an effort to begin to train like an MMA fighter, make sure you have a well-rounded repertoire that includes the basics listed above.