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Tag: MMA training

Interview: Duke Roufus Discusses GLORY, The Pettis Brothers, And the Chaotic Art of Striking

(Roufus [at far left] with Sergio Pettis, Anthony Pettis, Ben Askren, and Roufusport BJJ coach Daniel Wanderley. Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog.)

By Elias Cepeda

Duke Roufus had an illustrious career as a kickboxer before becoming even more well-known as an MMA coach. In recent years, his highly regarded Roufusport camp has produced such talents as UFC champion Anthony Pettis, his younger brother Sergio, and former Bellator champ Ben Askren. In advance of the Glory 13 event in Tokyo this Saturday that Roufus is doing color commentary for, CagePotato sat down with him to look back on the twists and turns of his career, and look towards the future of some of his biggest stars.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: What would you say your role with Glory is, Duke? We hear and see you doing color commentary during events but when you were in Chicago last fall, you also had a big presence in all sorts of other pre-event activities.

DUKE ROUFUS: Well, about ten years ago they had me do color commentary for K-1 on pay-per-view broadcasts. This was really a natural progression when they came back with Glory. My role is that of a color commentator but I’m also just a huge kickboxing enthusiast. I love the sport. I’m just as big a fan as a participant.

We’ve always heard Joe Rogan talk about “K-1 level striking” in certain UFC fighters — meaning that a particular guy had great striking, so much so that he could survive in K-1, which was recognized as the top kickboxing promotion in the world. Has Glory replaced K-1 in that role?

Yeah, for sure. K-1 just struggled internally. Japanese kickboxing and MMA have had some internal issues. The guys from Glory have really stepped up. They are also huge kickboxing enthusiasts. Now, all the best fighters are fighting for Glory. We also did something similar to what MMA did with unified rules, and we’ve tried to set that up for kickboxing. We want to make it a fan-friendly fight. The fans can really tune in and enjoy the fights. We created a rule set that makes it fun for the fan.

As an expert kickboxer and one who knows Muay Thai so well, don’t you think that the Glory rules could be better, though? You have many fighters who have trained and competed under full Muay Thai rules — using elbows, using the clinch, using sweeps — and now they get to this point and they’re not allowed to use these effective weapons.

Well, with those things allowed, the tournaments would have a different outcome, that’s for sure. There would be more cuts from elbows and so more guys wouldn’t be able to move on in the tournament. And clinching is how you defend not getting elbowed.

The uneducated fan boos when the clinch happens. Uneducated MMA fans do the same thing when Jiu Jitsu happens in a fight. I understand clinching and the art of it. I understand trips and dumps. Unfortunately here in America, people want to see big punches and big kicks. It can be difficult to understand Muay Thai. Even the scoring is a little difficult to follow. Kickboxing is very similar to boxing. That makes it easy to follow.


UFC Purchases ‘LA Boxing’ Chain; Over 60 Gyms to Be Re-Branded This Year


Since the first UFC Gym opened in Concord, California, in January 2010, the branded fitness chain has expanded in slow, humble fashion — three more locations popped up in Cali, followed by the recently opened UFC Gym BJ Penn in Honolulu, and a Long Island outpost slated to open this spring. With the first wave now complete, it’s time for phase two of the invasion. Dana White confirmed today that the UFC has purchased the LA Boxing franchise, and will re-brand all of its gyms — more than 60 locations in 23 states — as UFC Gyms in the coming year.

“UFC Gyms has been huge for us,” said White. “It’s been an incredible, incredible business for us.”

Although the re-branding might increase the number of douchebags in your neighborhood who claim that they “train UFC,” this is a positive development for MMA awareness. Not only are the existing UFC Gyms massive (some up to 40,000+ square feet) and well-outfitted with the latest training equipment, they also feature a crapload of classes that help introduce members to the basics of MMA. For example, the class list for the Concord facility includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo, MMA Wrestling, San Shou, and “Hot Hula,” the art of mesmerizing an attacker with your gently swaying hips before savagely kicking them in the balls. Children welcome!

No, these are not legit MMA training camps, and they don’t promote themselves to be. But for MMA fans who just want to burn some calories and learn a few techniques, these places look pretty sweet. I can’t speak from personal experience, though, so if any of you have had good/bad experiences with UFC Gyms that you’d like to share, please drop ‘em in the comments section, or e-mail to protect your anonymity.


CagePotato PSA: Help ‘Ten Count Bag’ Get Off the Ground, Win the MMA Training Tool of the Future

(Props: Ten Count)

Inspired by that punch-power machine Drago was lighting up in Rocky IV (seriously), Michael Williamson designed the Ten Count Bag to be a cutting-edge training tool for boxers and MMA fighters to analyze their striking power and frequency, and track their improvement. The tricked-out heavy-bag uses a bluetooth connection to transmit information to your computer, tablet, or cell phone, telling you how hard you hit, the average force of your strikes, and how many punches you throw per round, giving you hard data to compare your workouts over time; you can even compare your performance against other users online.

Williamson and his team are producing the Ten Count Bag independently — which ain’t cheap, as he explains in the video above — so he’s looking for some outside help to get his product to market. Here’s the link where you can donate money to his cause or pre-order one of the bags. And here’s what’s in it for you:

- Once the Ten Count Bag has raised $30,000, one CagePotato donor will be randomly selected to receive one of the bags. All you have to do is type the word “CagePotato” in the comments section of the Indiegogo page after you kick in some cash, and you’ll be entered to win.

- Everyone who pre-orders a bag (check out the $299 “Super Early Bird” level) before December 9th will receive a free pair of MMA gloves and a set of handwraps, compliments of CagePotato.

Once the Ten Count Bag hits market, Williamson plans to develop another product that will monitor concussions in combat sports — which could revolutionize training safety in MMA and boxing. (You wouldn’t need to be a Ph.D. candidate to know when to quit fighting, for example.) So give the video a look, donate or order if you can, and help an awesome new training product get off the ground — and possibly into your own home.


[VIDEO] The Greatest Exercise Equipment Ad Ever, Starring Chael Sonnen (Of Course)

(Triangle defense sold separately.) 

We first caught a glimpse of the incredible human Whack-a-Mole style training device designed by Nexersys when Matt Serra took us on a tour of Chael Sonnen’s house in between trips to the deli to get some nice gabagool. Chael could not speak highly enough of the revolutionary piece of equipment, so much so that he recently decided to appear in an ad for the product. Sort of.

Basically, the “ad” is nothing more than the “Oregon Gangster” riffing on prison politics and how awesome he is for just under a minute. He not once mentions the product at hand, or even how it works, but that kind of frivolous information is best left for the puny-brained weaklings who think that a few push-ups a day will transform them into the next Ultimate Fighter. So goes the reasoning of Chael P. Sonnen.

Video after the jump. 


Is Intense Sparring Really to Blame for the Recent Rash of UFC Injuries?

(The gold don’t come for free.)

By Elias Cepeda

Can you remember a time when the UFC has had more major injuries suffered by fighters in significant upcoming bouts at any other point than it has this spring? The heck if we can. So you can’t blame UFC President Dana White for being a little desperate to find answers as he and his matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby scramble to find replacement after replacement for televised bouts.

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the fighters who have pulled out of scheduled fights due to injury since last month:

- Chad Griggs from his fight with Phil Davis
- Yoshihiro Akiyama from his fight with Alves, and then Alves himself.
- Brian Stann from a fight with debuting Hector Lombard.
- Michael Bisping from his fight with Tim Boetsch.
- Thiago Silva from a scheduled bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
- Jon Fitch from his bout against Aaron Simpson.
- Vitor Belfort from his rematch with Wanderlei Silva.
- Jose Aldo from his title defense against Erik Koch.

White recently seemed to put the blame for such injuries on fighters sparring too hard against one another in training camp: “You have so many talented guys out there now all in the same camp, going at it like they’re fighting for the title. These guys need to tone it down in training a bit and stop hurting each other,” he said.

White’s anxiety over the recent rash of injuries is understandable but is he correct in diagnosing the cause? Are the majority of these injuries simply the result of training partners going too hard on each other? Or does Dana imploring fighters to “stop hurting each other,” make about as much sense as him telling fans who don’t have Fuel TV and have trouble watching UFC events to “figure that shit out”?


Video: Fedor Emelianenko Upgrades to a Nicer Playground in Preparation for Pedro Rizzo Fight

(Props: 2themaXmmaFitness)

Fedor Emelianenko‘s next fight against Pedro Rizzo is just two weeks away, and judging by this training video recently shot at the Vital Skills facility in the Netherlands, Fedor still prefers to work out under the sun. But unlike his previous outdoor training camp, where he swung hammers alongside Stary Oskol locals in bombed-out playgrounds, there’s a sense of organization and modernity to his current strength-and-conditioning drills, and his set of trainers — which include kickboxing legend Ernesto Hoost — don’t seem to give him any special treatment whtsoever. And just from a physical standpoint, it’s impressive that Fedor can still jump up onto a pair of stacked tractor tires with such ease.

It’s never too late in life to re-invent yourself, and the fact that Fedor is seeking out new environments to prepare for his fight suggest that he’s still taking his career seriously. I’m not saying that he’ll ever return to the top of the heavyweight food chain — but there might still be a lot of fight left in this dog.


Photos: Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller Trains for UFC 146 Fight With C.B. Dollaway

By Anton Gurevich

One of the fighters testing his skills at UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Overeem will be Jason “Mayhem” Miller, fighting the Octagon veteran C.B. Dollaway. Miller is undoubtedly one of the most colorful characters in MMA, entertaining audiences as the host of MTV’s Bully Beatdown, and as a coach on TUF 14. In his last fight, Miller was TKO’d by Michael “The Count” Bisping at the TUF 14 Finale, drawing fire from UFC President Dana White, who harshly criticized Miller for his performance. This time, Mayhem will look to prove his critics wrong. photographer Scott Hirano was at Mark Munoz’s REIGN Training Center in Orange County, California, to deliver the following photo-report of Mayhem Miller’s preparations for Dollaway. Please make sure to follow Scott on Twitter @ScottHirano. Mayhem Monkeys can follow their leader @MayhemMiller.

Check out the rest of this gallery on!


Exclusive: ‘Dolce Diet’ Founder Mike Dolce on Weight-Cuts, Roy Nelson’s Quest for 205 + More

(Vitor’s shorts say “Jesus,” but his abs say “Nutella and banana on rye.”)

By Jonathan Shrager

Though he first landed on our radars as a competitor on TUF 7, fighter/trainer Mike Dolce has become much more famous for The Dolce Diet — the health and nutrition system he employs to help MMA stars hit their weight limits while retaining peak performance on fight-day. Fresh off his wizard-like guidance of Thiago Alves earlier this month, we decided to get the Living Lean author on the phone to find out exactly how he does it. Enjoy…

JONATHAN SHRAGER: Hi Mike, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. You are arguably the most renowned nutritionist in MMA nowadays.
Well, thank you. I prefer “performance coach” actually, but people often refer to me as a nutritionist because I’ve become synonymous with The Dolce Diet, so I understand why. I do quite a bit, including nutrition and Strength & Conditioning.

So who is the current crop of fighters that you’re working with?
Thiago Alves, of course, with whom I travelled to England. Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Jake Ellenberger, Jay Hieron, Mike Pyle, and I started working with Jorge Masvidal in advance of his Strikeforce lightweight title fight with Gilbert Melendez. Jorge is a great guy and a super-talented athlete.

I recently interviewed Jorge, and he confessed his love of junk food including McDonald’s. Have you ever caught him attempting to eat any junk food behind your back? Is his love for McDonald’s difficult to contain?
Haha! No, Jorge is very committed to performing at the top of his potential. He is so dedicated to his craft, there is nothing to pull him off course. But he did admit his love of McDonald’s to me and we agreed that would be his victory celebration.

Post-fight, do you allow your fighters a little leeway to have a week off and eat what they want? Do you yourself ever celebrate with the fighters by eating some greasy or sugary foods?
Yes, I employ a principle of earned meals, a concept established to allow athletes or individuals to enjoy a meal that may not be consistent with their goals. For my athletes, I usually give them until Wednesday after the fight to ignore my phone calls before we start dialing their lifestyle back in. The great thing about guys or girls who follow The Dolce Diet, is that they lose the old cravings for junk and instead just look for larger portions of what we’ve been eating all camp. After a fight, I’ll usually indulge in a burger or slice of pizza with the team, but that’s usually because we don’t leave the venue until after midnight and our options are limited.

Following his fight with Frank Mir, Dana White suggested that Roy Nelson should try to make 205 lbs in an attempt to rejuvenate himself and his career. Roy subsequently claimed that this would require him to lose a limb, but now he says he’ll try to do it if he gets enough Facebook fans. Would you be the man to help Roy shed the belly?


How to Get Killing-Machine Legs Like Edson Barboza [VIDEO]

If you’re like most people, you neglect your legs when you go to the gym, preferring to focus on your GMs. Edson Barboza is not most people. The undefeated UFC lightweight — who returns at UFC 146 against Evan Dunham on May 26th — understands that it requires intense cultivation to turn your legs into tools of destruction. Fortunately, has just released a video with Barboza’s strength and conditioning coach Joe Mullings that runs down his 45-minute leg routine. Follow these seven steps, and soon you’ll achieve the “suddenness” required to do this to somebody’s face. Here we go…

1. Deep squats with IronMind belt (5 sets of 12 reps), which looks uncomfortably similar to this.

2. Single-legged step-ups (5 sets of 12 reps)

3. 30-pound medicine ball 21′s (5 sets); a “21″ set consists of seven reps in the bottom half of the range of motion, seven reps in the top half of the range of motion, then seven reps of the full exercise.


‘Proving Ground’ Finalist of the Day: Welcome to Andrew Carrillo’s World

The next hungry finalist in our Proving Ground competition is Andrew Carrillo, who sent us a two-part video package containing the closest thing to a celebrity endorsement we’ve seen so far. In part 1 (above), Andrew’s coaches and teammates talk about their experience training with him, and why the featherweight prospect would be a great fit in Shark Fights. Among the well-wishers is UFC veteran and Premier Combat Center co-owner Ryan Jensen, who had this to say:

Andrew’s one of the hardest-working guys in the gym, he puts in 110% effort every single time, he’s always pushing the guys, and he’s always trying to help the guys that are less-talented than him learn as much as they can. He’s a huge asset to the gym, and I’m just glad he’s part of the team…He is a guy that came in to us with a lot of wrestling, he had a little bit of standup, and now he’s starting to really turn into a true mixed martial artist…Andrew deserves to win this contract because he’s put in the hard work, he’s in every single day, he gives 110, 120% every time he’s in, and he’s not gonna disappoint. He’s gonna bring it in the cage, and he’s gonna throw a good show for you guys and you’ll be impressed.”

After the jump: Part 2 of Carrillo’s finalist video, in which Andrew finally shows his face, and takes us through a rather intense-looking workout. Visit Andrew’s Proving Ground page to watch him kick ass in past fights, and click his Facebook “Like” button if you’d like to see him represent at Shark Fights 19!