Coach Tips for Training an MMA Fighter


While cheering on the athletes at the Winter Olympics we are also thinking about bobsledding or ice-skating. The Tour de France is next and keeps us all equally engaged. The World Cup is the next big event, and it brings out the soccer fan in all of us. Chuck “The Iceman”, a former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer has teamed up with the MMA Conditioning Association in order to bring his decades of experience into the curriculum. The curriculum will include Chuck’s favourite workouts, drills and circuits as well as his secrets to success. The core curriculum also includes sports nutrition, exercise science, and sports psychology. It also covers injury prevention, martial art biomechanics, flexibility training, and balance. These modules are taught in part by award-winning fitness professionals and Ph.D. students.

Each of these seasons are just that: a time when we rally around a sport, and admir the athletes who train and work so hard. It’s different with MMA. It’s almost as if MMA is a big train that’s roaring toward the station without stopping. It doesn’t have a season that is less important than the others, and it doesn’t allow us to forget the thrill of a fight or all the hard work put into training.

Big events such as last weekend’s Rousey and Holm bout keep the excitement alive. Holly Holm bravely fought against all odds and achieved what many thought impossible. This feat is a testimony to Jacksons MMA’s excellent coaching and the countless hours Holly put into becoming the fighter she is today. Jacksons MMA is proud of Holly and we look forward to cheering her on in the future.

Training Your Fighter

We wanted to celebrate all that goes into training pro fighters. So we gathered together some of our friends to find out what it takes to make a champion. Here are some key points coaches need to remember when training fighters.

Force Consistency

Because talent is only so great, consistency is the key to success. The key to winning is consistency in training. This means that you must put in the effort, without excuses. Part of training pro fighters is to push back against these excuses and enforce consistency.

Keep Your Fighter Focused

Training takes just as much effort outside of the gym than inside. Fighters must be determined, focused, and willing to sacrifice. Novice fighters underestimate the amount of sacrifices they will need to make. If you are a focused fighter, it is not difficult to go out with friends or attend parties or family events.

Balance Drills, Hard Sparring and Conditioning

Trainers used to prefer live sparring in the past. We now know that live sparring doesn’t have to be the preferred method of training. For routine gym work, drills that are well-executed are a better choice. These drills keep your fighters fit and healthy, while also giving you sharp technique due to the drilling and high volume reps. Drills are also good for building critical muscle memory. Drills are also known to be effective in building muscle memory.

In between drills, there is always a place for some hard sparring. Hard sparring is a great way to improve your reaction time and skills. They also get used to the stress they will be facing in the ring. The goal of hard sparring doesn’t mean that your fighter should knock out anyone or get knocked out. Hard sparring can be detrimental to a fighter’s ability to continue their career and recovery. Balance drills, hard sparring, conditioning, and you will ensure that your fighters train smart.

Enforce Good Nutrition

Although we all know that nutrition is equally important as physical training and weight loss, fighters continue to lose weight too quickly to get in the ring. They end up exhausted and completely wiped out before the fight starts. Training is a marathon and not a sprint. It is important to take the time to eat well and lose weight safely.

You should make sure they have training partners

While you can’t be there for your fighter 24/7, they still need the support of their trainers. Training partners are worth their weight. Your fighter will be supported by training partners in ways that you won’t be able to. Your fighter will be challenged by their training partners to improve and do their best. Training partners are especially good at calling out each other if things get off track. Although fighting is an individual sport and requires a partner to train, it is one of the most important things you can do as coach.