T Nation

MMA Fighter's Perspective

All things being equal, the stronger fighter is the better fighter. But all things are not equal. Strength is such a small part of MMA. Superior technique in wrestling, jiu-jitsu and muay-thai will negate strength. Don?t get me wrong, strength doesn?t hurt, but I have never once felt like I lost because my opponent was stronger. Every loss I have incurred is because my opponent had a better game plan or better technique.

The article is about steroids and he has a good perspective… I just found that point most applicable in regards to strength training for MMA.

Link to article: http://www.insidefighting.com/betweenRoundsDisp.aspx?uid=3485

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
All things being equal, the stronger fighter is the better fighter. But all things are not equal. Strength is such a small part of MMA. Superior technique in wrestling, jiu-jitsu and muay-thai will negate strength. Don?t get me wrong, strength doesn?t hurt, but I have never once felt like I lost because my opponent was stronger. Every loss I have incurred is because my opponent had a better game plan or better technique.

The article is about steroids and he has a good perspective… I just found that point most applicable in regards to strength training for MMA.

Link to article: http://www.insidefighting.com/betweenRoundsDisp.aspx?uid=3485[/quote]

The author brings up some interesting points but I do disagree with the UFC and PRIDE wanting their guys to look ripped or like bodybuilders. Fedor and Tim Sylvia certainly don’t fit that mold and neither does Liddell.

I do think a fighter has to be marketable on some level for the organizations to really want to get behind a figher.

As for what happened with UFC and Matt Lindland, it’s an unfortunate situation.

There’s a good interview with Pat Miletich over at www.baltimoresun.com where he talks about his falling out with Dana White. Appears he has a habit of promising someone something and then not delivering.

Well… I agree with you for the most part… But…

Is there any question that Quinton Jackson would have tapped while in Ricardo Arona’s triangle had he lacked such awesome strength?

And, of course, Randelman’s slam of Fedor comes to mind. Had he slammed anyone else like that, he would have won. But Fedor is such that it doesn’t matter how strong you are. Most guys are not Fedor.

And Sherk’s technique was no better than Florian’s. Size and strength were the factor in that fight.

Coleman and other wrestlers have dominated because of their strength. Etc.

On this site, many dumb things are written about strength. E.g., someone said a MMA should have a 3x deadlift and squat. (I guess they should be training at Westside instead of a Gracie Academy or Chute Boxe?) But strength coaches write that stuff as marketing b.s., mainly. It’s a pitch to get people to hire them.

Saying a MMA should be able to compete as a powerlifter is just as wrong-headed as saying strength doesn’t matter. The truth, as is often the case, is the synthesis of those two theses.

If a person can do one ME workout a week without interfering with his fighting training, I think he should do so. But you’re right that strength can’t be the focus of training.

In fact, lifting should never interfere with technique training. If someone is too sore from lifting to train technique, then he is a fool.

But, if you can do both… do both.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:

The author brings up some interesting points but I do disagree with the UFC and PRIDE wanting their guys to look ripped or like bodybuilders. Fedor and Tim Sylvia certainly don’t fit that mold and neither does Liddell.
[/quote]

I agree with you except on this pt, because that is the exact reason that tim sylvia gave for using AAS before.

He didn’t need it to train he needed it so he could have abs and be more marketable.

If you’re not knockin people out like chuck then you need to have some kind of draw, ie physique. Plus you get more of the ring girl type skanks and porn stars that are now a major part of the UFC lifestyle (yay?).

Cal-Law, I agree, do both, but if you have to choose…

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Djwlfpack wrote:

The author brings up some interesting points but I do disagree with the UFC and PRIDE wanting their guys to look ripped or like bodybuilders. Fedor and Tim Sylvia certainly don’t fit that mold and neither does Liddell.

I agree with you except on this pt, because that is the exact reason that tim sylvia gave for using AAS before.

He didn’t need it to train he needed it so he could have abs and be more marketable.

If you’re not knockin people out like chuck then you need to have some kind of draw, ie physique. Plus you get more of the ring girl type skanks and porn stars that are now a major part of the UFC lifestyle (yay?).

Cal-Law, I agree, do both, but if you have to choose…[/quote]

I totally forgot about Sylvia’s steroid suspension.

I also second CA Law’s post. If only we could get ONE thread on MMA training going as a sticky somewhere in this board, perhaps all the confusion could be avoided.

More MMA-fighters should do a synthesis of strong-mantraining and snatches/C&J for their strenght/conditioning. Imagine how tire-flips will help your takedown strenght… how heavy sandbag runs will help your endurance in the anaerob spectre… Imagine how heavy sledge work on a tire will help you get strong punches and kicks… :wink: Imagine how your body tackles/throws will love the snatch… yay!

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Is there any question that Quinton Jackson would have tapped while in Ricardo Arona’s triangle had he lacked such awesome strength?

And, of course, Randelman’s slam of Fedor comes to mind. Had he slammed anyone else like that, he would have won. But Fedor is such that it doesn’t matter how strong you are. Most guys are not Fedor.

Coleman and other wrestlers have dominated because of their strength. Etc.

[/quote]

The Rampage slam was definitely strength over technique. But the Randlemans slam was just as much, if not more, technique than strength. Randleman is a far better wrestler than Fedor, and it showed. However he is a far inferior submission fighter, and about 10 seconds after that slam…it showed.

I think it’s much the same with Coleman and the other wrestlers. They were/are world-class (sometimes Olympic level) wrestlers. Sure they are very strong, but their wrestling is phenomenal.

To say they dominated because of their strength totally discredits their far superior wrestling abilities, better than anyone else in the MMA game. They are amazing wrestlers, who are strong, and have a pisspoor MMA game.

The point remains that they HAD to be that strong to pull this sorta thing off

[quote]Adamsson wrote:
More MMA-fighters should do a synthesis of strong-mantraining and snatches/C&J for their strenght/conditioning. Imagine how tire-flips will help your takedown strenght… how heavy sandbag runs will help your endurance in the anaerob spectre… Imagine how heavy sledge work on a tire will help you get strong punches and kicks… :wink: Imagine how your body tackles/throws will love the snatch… yay![/quote]

diesel crew manual is all about that

anyway i’d rather be able to pull guard like aoki and rip peoples arms off (that boy really dont like arms)… but to each their own. Honestly i don’t see very many people pulling off rampage-like slams regardless of steroids or lifting, rampage/arona/some guy i saw do a powerbomb as well… freak occurences by freak athletes imo.

Well, If you drop all the long distance running that lots of mma-athletes still swear by, and do intense intervall tire-flips/sandbag-runs instead, you’ll get plenty of time to perfection the flying triangle AND the flying armbar… :wink:

[quote]Adamsson wrote:
More MMA-fighters should do a synthesis of strong-mantraining and snatches/C&J for their strenght/conditioning. Imagine how tire-flips will help your takedown strenght… how heavy sandbag runs will help your endurance in the anaerob spectre… Imagine how heavy sledge work on a tire will help you get strong punches and kicks… :wink: Imagine how your body tackles/throws will love the snatch… yay![/quote]

Monson tried that type of training in his prep with Sylvia - didn’t work weel for him at all.

To me it seems that the more successful fighters have better form - or technique.

Strength definitely adds to the resume, and if you can be really strong with superior technique…well you will be wearing a belt soon.

Bur I think technique alone will most always beat strength alone.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
Xen Nova wrote:
All things being equal, the stronger fighter is the better fighter. But all things are not equal. Strength is such a small part of MMA. Superior technique in wrestling, jiu-jitsu and muay-thai will negate strength. Don?t get me wrong, strength doesn?t hurt, but I have never once felt like I lost because my opponent was stronger. Every loss I have incurred is because my opponent had a better game plan or better technique.

The article is about steroids and he has a good perspective… I just found that point most applicable in regards to strength training for MMA.

Link to article: http://www.insidefighting.com/betweenRoundsDisp.aspx?uid=3485

The author brings up some interesting points but I do disagree with the UFC and PRIDE wanting their guys to look ripped or like bodybuilders. Fedor and Tim Sylvia certainly don’t fit that mold and neither does Liddell.

I do think a fighter has to be marketable on some level for the organizations to really want to get behind a figher.

As for what happened with UFC and Matt Lindland, it’s an unfortunate situation.

There’s a good interview with Pat Miletich over at www.baltimoresun.com where he talks about his falling out with Dana White. Appears he has a habit of promising someone something and then not delivering.[/quote]

I also read of a falling out of Vernon White with Zuffa productions… of the UFC… there was a letter posted on some site not sure of specifics but seems Dana White has control of the politics of the sport and is becoming more of a Vince McMahon {not sure of spelling} of UFC and is promoting or selling an image…

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Adamsson wrote:
More MMA-fighters should do a synthesis of strong-mantraining and snatches/C&J for their strenght/conditioning. Imagine how tire-flips will help your takedown strenght… how heavy sandbag runs will help your endurance in the anaerob spectre… Imagine how heavy sledge work on a tire will help you get strong punches and kicks… :wink: Imagine how your body tackles/throws will love the snatch… yay!

Monson tried that type of training in his prep with Sylvia - didn’t work weel for him at all.

To me it seems that the more successful fighters have better form - or technique.

Strength definitely adds to the resume, and if you can be really strong with superior technique…well you will be wearing a belt soon.

Bur I think technique alone will most always beat strength alone. [/quote]

Well, look at Crocop vs. Sapp… pure technique versus pure strenght. or Sapp vs. Nogueira… It isn’t a run-over, and Sapp doesen’t have any technique worth mentioning… :stuck_out_tongue:

My point isn’t that you should cut techique training, but that you should implement strenght/endurance work too. what will the perfect technique help you if you gass out after 1 minute? etc… It is a mix, you should have both… :slight_smile:

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Well… I agree with you for the most part… But…

Is there any question that Quinton Jackson would have tapped while in Ricardo Arona’s triangle had he lacked such awesome strength?

And, of course, Randelman’s slam of Fedor comes to mind. Had he slammed anyone else like that, he would have won. But Fedor is such that it doesn’t matter how strong you are. Most guys are not Fedor.

And Sherk’s technique was no better than Florian’s. Size and strength were the factor in that fight.

Coleman and other wrestlers have dominated because of their strength. Etc.

On this site, many dumb things are written about strength. E.g., someone said a MMA should have a 3x deadlift and squat. (I guess they should be training at Westside instead of a Gracie Academy or Chute Boxe?) But strength coaches write that stuff as marketing b.s., mainly. It’s a pitch to get people to hire them.

Saying a MMA should be able to compete as a powerlifter is just as wrong-headed as saying strength doesn’t matter. The truth, as is often the case, is the synthesis of those two theses.

If a person can do one ME workout a week without interfering with his fighting training, I think he should do so. But you’re right that strength can’t be the focus of training.

In fact, lifting should never interfere with technique training. If someone is too sore from lifting to train technique, then he is a fool.

But, if you can do both… do both.[/quote]

Good post. I nominate Xen’s write up from the other thread as a something that should be stickied.

as a beginner shootfighter, I agree that most important is skill and specific endurance and speed that comes from training the skills, and sparring. Not to mention the confidence to apply the skills that also comes with skill training and sparring.
BUT I do belive that the more powerful and conditioned you are, the more
opportunities you get to apply your skills- strenght and endurance do give you more room for trial and error so to speak, if you can keep on going despite of failed attempts, you have a better change of getting it right, simply cos you have more in the tank.

Hope you get what I mean, sorry for grammar mistakes, english is not my native language.

I belive that variety is of utmost importance in strenght and conditioning for a fighter (or any other athlete) who also does alot of skill training. and the focus of such conditioning should be, in my opinion, in increasing work capasity in the timeframe outlined by the fight at hand. And I also belive that the strongman type of training (and meddleys in particular) can be very effective when mix’d together with aerobic, anaerobic, explosive and endurace demanding event. “regular” weight-training is a great tool, and priceles for fixing weakneses.

thats what I as a beginer think, and apply.

In my experience, in general, the hierarchy is as follows:

  1. Technique
  2. Conditioning
  3. Speed
  4. Strength

You cannot discredit any one physical trait on this list, but in my fight and sparring/learning, this is how it broke down in importance. I agree with one of the above posters that flipping a tire would help a lot of aspects of finishing a takedown, for sure. However, it would probably be more beneficial to just practice the takedown a few more times against a heavier opponent.

I flip tires, climb ropes, all that shit, but honestly, the more I get into fighting, the more I realize that I can train for 3 hrs in the weightroom and get a little bit better, but if I train 3 hrs on the mat I get a lot more benefit.

[quote]danew wrote:
In my experience, in general, the hierarchy is as follows:

  1. Technique
  2. Conditioning
  3. Speed
  4. Strength

You cannot discredit any one physical trait on this list, but in my fight and sparring/learning, this is how it broke down in importance. I agree with one of the above posters that flipping a tire would help a lot of aspects of finishing a takedown, for sure. However, it would probably be more beneficial to just practice the takedown a few more times against a heavier opponent.

I flip tires, climb ropes, all that shit, but honestly, the more I get into fighting, the more I realize that I can train for 3 hrs in the weightroom and get a little bit better, but if I train 3 hrs on the mat I get a lot more benefit.[/quote]

I have to admit that i disagree just a bit. I agree that the focus should be on technique, but being 105kg and pretty strong has helped me immensly both on the ground and standup (although: most on the ground).

People can just dream about submitting me most of the time, beacause I can muscle my way out of most kinds of trouble. This is a very… ambivalent situation of course. If you get TOO used to relying on strenght… it is a very bad thing, and you never learn the techniques good enough… Hard to do much about that though.

[quote]Adamsson wrote:

I have to admit that i disagree just a bit. I agree that the focus should be on technique, but being 105kg and pretty strong has helped me immensly both on the ground and standup (although: most on the ground).

People can just dream about submitting me most of the time, beacause I can muscle my way out of most kinds of trouble. This is a very… ambivalent situation of course. If you get TOO used to relying on strenght… it is a very bad thing, and you never learn the techniques good enough… Hard to do much about that though.
[/quote]

Don’t forget that there are weight classes in competitive MMA. The featherweights you are throwing around are not likely to be as strong as a guy of your size.
It has already been said: Strength is really important, but your strength gains are highly likely to cause a weight gain. Who cares if your “big 3” have increased by 10% if you end up in another weight class in front of fighters who are as strong as you are?

Strength is one of the most important aspects of MMA fighting… only if you are competing in the heavyweight division.

[quote]Maldoror wrote:
Adamsson wrote:

I have to admit that i disagree just a bit. I agree that the focus should be on technique, but being 105kg and pretty strong has helped me immensly both on the ground and standup (although: most on the ground).

People can just dream about submitting me most of the time, beacause I can muscle my way out of most kinds of trouble. This is a very… ambivalent situation of course. If you get TOO used to relying on strenght… it is a very bad thing, and you never learn the techniques good enough… Hard to do much about that though.

Don’t forget that there are weight classes in competitive MMA. The featherweights you are throwing around are not likely to be as strong as a guy of your size.
It has already been said: Strength is really important, but your strength gains are highly likely to cause a weight gain. Who cares if your “big 3” have increased by 10% if you end up in another weight class in front of fighters who are as strong as you are?

Strength is one of the most important aspects of MMA fighting… only if you are competing in the heavyweight division.[/quote]

Correct, relative strength is most important.

If you’re 230lbs, and lets say you can bench 350, and can muscle your way out of most techniques when going with a guy all the way up to about 180-190lbs.

But give a 155lb guy a bench of 325, and lets say he’s slightly sharper with his technique? You’ll find yourself in a WORLD of trouble.

I’m pretty damn strong for my size and I find that in grappling a lot, larger guys use their weight advantage (which is good leverage-wise) and strength advantage so much that they don’t ever really think “what happens if i meet someone stronger than me?”

But a large, strong guy, with great technique? Fucking scary thing. Very fucking scary.

Again weight classes are SO important especially with the advent of cutting weight. There are guys who weigh in at 170 who walk around at (and will enter the cage) at nearly 200. I can’t think of any 155lber who isn’t actually 170 and cuts down.

So if you gain 10lbs and send your lifts up 20lbs each. That may or may not be beneficial to you in your new weight class.

Now a 20lb gain on each lift w/ maybe 3-5lbs muscle gain? Wow. Lean out, even out that 3lbs and you’re a beast.

[quote]Adamsson wrote:
People can just dream about submitting me most of the time, beacause I can muscle my way out of most kinds of trouble. This is a very… ambivalent situation of course. If you get TOO used to relying on strenght… it is a very bad thing, and you never learn the techniques good enough… Hard to do much about that though.
[/quote]

Well, you could “turn off” your strength when sparring with smaller guys.

I’m also a pretty big guy (109 kg) so when I roll with smaller guys I try to avoid using my strength to get out of bad positions. Granted, even when I rely solely on technique, it’s still easier for me to control smaller guys in top positions.

If you use your strength too much during training, you might find yourself in a world of trouble when fighting someone of equal or greater strength.