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MMA Diet Guru Mike Dolce Says Rampage Jackson Was a Candy-Cheatin’ Nightmare, And He Could Get Cormier Down to 205 ‘This Friday’


(If this is a bad time, Mike, we can come back later | Photo via CombatLifestyle)

We just read a Q&A between the Las Vegas Sun and strength, conditioning, and diet specialist Mike Dolce — he prefers the term “performance coach” — and you should too. Dolce has worked with some of the biggest names in MMA in recent years, helping them get healthy and, notably, drop tons of weight before fights.

In the interview, Dolce discusses up-and-coming clients of his, who he thinks will become world champions next, his toughest projects ever, what his plan for Daniel Cormier is, and more. Check out some highlights below and then head over to the Sun to read the rest.

On Chael Sonnen, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and the toughest weight cut Dolce has ever overseen:

Chael was 233 pounds six weeks before the Michael Bisping fight. To go from 233 to 185 in six weeks is insane. The hardest issue — I would have to say Rampage is the hardest I’ve ever had to deal with. Not because he was the biggest or heaviest because he wasn’t. I helped Duane Ludwig lose 42 pounds in 13 days to fight Jim Miller on short notice here in Las Vegas. He went from 198 to 156 in 13 days with my coaching. It took eight weeks to do the same with Quinton.

Now it was so much easier with Duane because Duane is a professional; he’s a good guy with a big heart. He just got down to the business of working with no complaints, no objections, no obstacles. Some of these other guys, Rampage being one of them, everything was a challenge. He’s shown that not just with myself but with every business deal he’s ever been in.

On what made Jackson such a “challenging” client before his 2010 fight against Rashad Evans:

He had taken 14 months off to film “The A-Team” and “The Ultimate Fighter.” He came into camp 51 pounds overweight before the fight — seven weeks and six days before the fight.

We weren’t behind schedule, but we weren’t ahead of schedule. But I worry. I wasn’t satisfied with it. I talked to Quinton and he said, “I’m not cheating. I’m not doing anything wrong.”

A day does by and we go to train. It’s a three-story house and Quinton lives on the top floor. He forgets his gym bag, so I say I’ll go up there and get his gym bag. I go up and look and I see something that doesn’t look right inside his pillow — a purple box, or a square. I say, “What the hell is that?” I walk over and see it’s a candy bar, a Cadbury fruit and nut candy bar. There were four of them. Under the bed there were more wrappers. So what he was doing was, we would go and get gas before the gym. We’d sit in the car and fill it up. He’d go in to pay for the gas and the window would be right there, right below window level was the candy rack. He’d buy a bunch of these candy bars and put them in his pocket and go home and eat them.

I caught it and he turned it into a joke. So I say, “What we’re going to do is compromise: You’ve got a chocolate thing. I get it. I understand it. Therefore, I’ve got a healthy alternative to it.” In that area in England, the healthiest thing I could find was Nutella, which is really not that bad considering the alternative. It’s a mental thing, not a physical thing, so I start making him Nutella sandwiches, telling him, “It’s the best thing in the world — toasted, warm, crunchy and with banana slices. It’s delicious. That’s what we’ll have if you train your (butt) off. You’ll get those as a reward system.” We started to do that and the weight dropped immediately.

On his approach for Daniel Cormier:

What we’re doing with Daniel is just getting him healthy. My job is to get him down to 10 percent body fat with as much muscle mass as we can pack on his body. Once he’s there, we can decide whatever weight class he wants to go to. My job is to keep him healthy, fit, teach him how to eat and take care of himself. Whether he fights at 205 or not, I mean we could do it this Friday. That’s just what I do. I’ve gotten phone calls where guys are 30 pounds overweight a few days beforehand and we can do it. So we could do 205 or we could stay at heavyweight and go out and destroy everyone at that weight, too. It’s up to Daniel. I’m just happy to be involved because he’s a stud.

Read the rest of the interview at The Las Vegas Sun.

- Elias Cepeda

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virsaci- June 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm
I made a Nutella / Banana sandwich after reading this story.
It was delicious.
danomite- June 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm
Mike Dolce seems like a good guy. I need to go pick up his book and learn how to not be a fatty. I'm currently on the South Beach Parasite diet, but I don't think it's that healthy for me.
crappiefloper- June 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm
This entire exposé should be used as,"exhibit A " in the case for same day weigh ins
Flying Wristlock- June 20, 2013 at 11:53 am
How insanely unprofessional is it to talk about your dealings with specific clients who've paid you to do a service for them? Especially for someone who works with athletes that can be called celebrities. Fun stories for us an all that...but who wants to hire a guy who's gonna turn around and blather about your affairs for a bit of attention?
enrikk- June 21, 2013 at 3:06 am
Well Rampage has all but made a career out of being unprofessional, so I have a hard time building sympathy for someone else airing laundry that he would just as soon put out himself.

Also, I'm not sure what else Dolce can do when people ask him for interviews. There's already a million claims of 'miracle diets' floating around - the only thing that separates Dolce is that he's actually shown his method works on real people and he can train anyone to use it properly. His entire reputation is built on having achieved certain things with certain people, which inevitably means you get stories about how it was done.

I definitely think there is an assumed confidentiality when it comes to certain personal subjects, I just don't think anyone would assume that a professional fighter's weight cut would fall into that category unless the fighter explicitly said so.
Fried Taco- June 20, 2013 at 11:19 am
Rampage Jackson, the senior years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JbSkxI2DrY
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