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The 8 Weirdest Things MMA Fighters Believe

(No really, it’s good for you. Pic: DLAnderson.com)

It should come as no surprise that MMA fighters on the whole seem particularly susceptible to hokum and gimmickry. After all, in this sport everybody is looking for an edge. In an industry where your ability to keep up with the Joneses (pun totally intended) can be the difference between fighting in the Octagon in front of thousands of screaming fans and having a job where one of your main responsibilities is walking the girls to their cars at the end of the night, guys will do almost anything to stay on top.

Everybody wants to be the first to discover the next big thing, that next little trick that’s going to push them to the win. In other words, MMA fighters will try anything once. Naturally, that leads to guys dabbling in some crazy shit. Does some of it really help them? Sure, probably. Is some of it just utter crap? Definitely. With that in mind, here are our choices for the eight strangest things some MMA fighters believe …

8. Drinking urine (preferably your own) is good for you.

Primary propagators: Those nutty Machida boys.
Their “reasoning”: Yoshizo Machida (Japan’s answer to a wrestling dad) contends that ingesting your own urine acts as a “natural medicine” that flushes out the system, aiding in digestion and preventing the build-up of harmful bacteria. Former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is apparently so worried about staying disease free that he drinks his own piss every morning while preparing for fights. And you thought Rampage was just kidding about his breath.
Fact or crap: Well, the Machidas aren’t the only ones. In fact, the use of urine for medicinal purposes is wide-spread enough that it has its own name, several of them actually: “Urine therapy (also urotherapy, urinotherapy or uropathy)” according to the Source of All Modern Knowledge, which also contends: “While there are no known scientifically-proven health benefits of such therapeutic use for urine” it has been shown to include properties that can help ward off urinary tract infections. In any case, we’re sticking with taking our daily multivitamin.

7. The Law of Attraction

Primary propagators: Jon Jones, probably others.
Their “reasoning”: Popular among new age yuppies and (oddly) the toughest men in the world, the “Law of Attraction” basically contends that positive energy attracts other positive energy, and/or that thinking positively can manifest itself in positive physical results. When Jones got busted for  prematurely signing his name “Champion, 2011” at UFC 128, he explained away this hubris by contending he was simply trying to “speak it into existence.”
Fact or crap: Obvious crap. There’s certainly something to be said for staying positive and jacking up your confidence, but simply believing in something will not – we repeat not – make it so.

6. Something “big” will happen in 2012


Primary propagators: Mel Gibson, Lil Wayne, Joe Rogan, thousands of others.
Their “reasoning”: The whole 2012 phenomenon has established surprising traction in our culture, which probably relates more to something PT Barnum might say about us than anything having to do with the Mayan calendar or whatever. There are a lot of different splinter groups inside the 2012 crew, with some saying the year will see the literal end of the world (a few specifically singling out the date 12/21/12), while others simply believe we’ll see a “dramatic shift in human consciousness.” Either way, the whole thing has been a real boon to the publishing and movie industries and it seems like a lot of MMA fighters are on board. Case in point: When Japan was struck with a terrible earthquake last month, Ryan Bader tweeted that it could be the “lead up to 2012.” We hope he was joking.
Fact or crap: Depends on your expectations. If you simply think something significant will occur during the calendar year of 2012, you’re probably right. Significant world events happen every year after all. As for the actual end of the world, if the over/under is 2012, we’re going to play it safe and bet the over.

5. Stevia!

Primary propagators: Dan Quinn, Diego Sanchez.
Their “reasoning”: Well, by now we all know that former MMA fighter and all-around crazyperson Dan Quinn has for years been producing a video series of escalating insanity where – among many, many other things – he preaches his belief of this particular herbal supplement as a cure-all. What we didn’t expect was for Sanchez to show up during 2009 also professing that Stevia was “a miracle for the human body” and that it’d caused a lump in his girlfriend’s breast to disappear after just a short time. “I don’t have a doctor explanation for it,” said an amazed Sanchez. No, clearly not. Sanchez’s fling with Stevia may have been short-lived (he’s back with Greg Jackson now and allegedly off the crazy pills), but thank God there is still video evidence of it.
Fact or crap: While Stevia is primarily utilized as a natural sweetener, there are those who believe in its medicinal uses as well. Some of them are probably even sane, but as long as the chief MMA spokespersons are a well-known storm-harnesser and a guy who claims to be the model for the original Bad Boy logo, we’re saying this is crap.

4. God takes a special interest in their lives


Primary propagators: Almost everybody.
Their “reasoning”: Plenty of professional athletes love God and MMA fighters are certainly no exception. In fact, it feels like more of an exception to the rule when fighters don’t thank the big man upstairs after a win. The appeal is obvious: When you compete in a field where the margin for error is so small and the potential risks far outweigh the rewards, it’s probably nice to be able to believe that the outcome is essentially out of your hands.
Fact or crap: Theologians we are not and the extent to which “God” is likely just man’s half-assed attempt to cope with his own mortality is probably a discussion best left for another time. One thing seems clear though, if there is a God he’s probably not spending his Saturday nights watching “Ultimate Fight Nights” on SpikeTV and investing himself emotionally in who wins. And if he is, dude, get back to work!

3. When they win, it’s a sure sign of their superiority. When they lose, they just “had a bad night.”


Primary propagators: Absolutely everybody.
Their “reasoning”: Look, we know MMA may well be the most challenging, most emotionally grueling sport in the world. A guy spends six to eight weeks living like a monk in training camp, absolutely kills himself to make sure he’s as prepared as he can be … and then he loses. That’s gonna be tough to make sense of in the old mindbrain, you know what we mean? Clearly, after suffering a crushing defeat the easiest thing to do is to simply chalk it up to “feeling flat” or “having an off night” and avoid the mental anguish admitting (even to yourself) the other guy was better than you.
Fact or crap: Of course, certain losses can rightly be attributed to “a bad night,” but not every single one. Sometimes, you’re just not as good as your opponent. Now, that’s a fact.

2. Energy bracelets

Primary propagators: Court McGee
Their “reasoning”: In the wake of his UFC victory over Ryan Jensen last October, “Ultimate Fighter 11” champ and self-professed recovering drug addict McGee has given at least a bit of the credit to something called the EFX Performance bracelet, a black silicone band with a holographic in-lay that allegedly imbibes its user with added “balance, reflexes and stamina.”  “After a flash knockdown in the first round, my equilibrium was tested, but I was able to recover my balance noticeably quicker thanks to EFX’s holographic technology,” McGee said in an EFX press release. “EFX is the only thing I use to help increase my balance and stamina, the proof that it works for me was evident that night.”
Fact or crap: We gotta say crap. Sorry Court, we’ve always liked you, but we just don’t see how wearing a plastic strap around your wrist possibly help you that much. We put “energy bracelets” right up there with x-ray glasses and sea monkeys in terms of cool stuff you can order out of the back of a magazine. Just don’t know if we’d stake our MMA career on it.

1. Weirdo diets will greatly improve their athletic performance

Primary propagators: Too many to name.
Their “reasoning”: The MMA community has always been a bastion of odd dietary habits. From Jon Fitch suddenly going vegan to Mike Dolce’s mysterious “Dolce Diet” system, everybody claims to have the inside track on what professional athletes should be eating. We’ve seen “blood type diets” and “PH balance diets” and “Gracie diets” and “desert island diets.” Just once, we’d like to see a guy win his fight and then get on the mic to say he did it all on the “Donuts and Hot Pockets diet.”
Fact or crap: Probably fact, but still. Obviously, the stuff you use to fuel your body is going to affect how it performs, but is it possible that all these different approaches could be right all at the same time? Don’t know. The whole MMA nutrition scene is so confusing at this point, the only thing we really know for sure is that the all meat, no vegetable approach is not the right one. That shit will give you diverticulitis.

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Ishmael- April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Diet: Horse meat, but no roids? Who does Al think he's fooling?
P.s. A Vegan diet isn't weird. It's even recommended by the United Nations. They are saying everyone should be doing this. It's more healthy than any other option out there. I'm glad to see awesome fighters like Fitch and Mac Danzig spreading the word.
darciesdaddy- March 31, 2011 at 10:49 am
The end of the Mayan calender in 2012 is no different than my Playboy calender ending every December 31. Their's just covers more than one year. They didn't expect the world to end, anymore than I expect it to end in December. They just expected to start up a new cycle.
Shaky- March 31, 2011 at 3:38 am
The Mayans never said 2012 would be the end of the earth, they just stopped predicting things past that point, so people assumed the world is meant to end there. I think they did all this hard work and predicted all these astronomical events etc and decided that they could just coast on that for a while
fatbellyfrank- March 31, 2011 at 1:58 am
I've always beleived in the old adage of" If I stroke my dick I will feel good" just my 2 cents worth
Sho Nuff- March 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm
The event in 2012 everyone will be talking about:

A new reality show with Stephen Seagall and ex-UFC fighter Anderson Silva called - Damn, the Spider Just Front-Kicked You in the Face!

Also, god is imaginary, but the reality show will get more attention.
Squidjitsu- March 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm
@cabj1905 "90% of the game is half mental"

That means that only 45% of the game is mental.

The Laws of Attaction - made from bits of real science so you know that it's good. 60% of the time it works EVERY time.
Rarghface- March 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm
To be fair, a lot of MMA fighters tend to draw strength from the whole GOD LOVES ME AND ONLY ME THING. A lot of them believe that they've been given some sort of physical talent and it adds a lot of motivation and willpower for them. While believing that God gave you the strength to whoop someones ass is selfish and probably against everything that the bible stands for, it seems to be a large boost for morale and the ability to push themselves. I'm uh, pretty sure though that if god gave you that amzing body, he'd be more interested in having you actually do something useful besides beating someones ass in a cage.
noizy- March 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm
About the diet thing, ask Roy Nelson.
rickards- March 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm
you forgot one..

consuming your semen is good for you!

"cage fighter" Alex Reid says,

"It's actually very good for a man to have unprotected sex as long as he doesn't ejaculate. Because I believe that all that semen has a lot of nutrition. A tablespoon of semen has your equivalent of steak, eggs, lemons and oranges. I am reabsorbing it into my body and it makes me go raaaaahh,"

RE: senseaboutscience.com (http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/PDF/celebscience2010%20FINAL.pdf)
RwilsonR- March 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm
@ intercetp - Can't we just bring Natasha back? That Brazilian chick's curves scare me.
RwilsonR- March 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm
@ cabj - The thing is, I wasn't criticizing you. I wasn't saying you are entirely wrong, I was just making a Matrix reference since your argument reminded me of Neo. I wasn't saying there isn't merit to your argument, though I think you overstate things. I think there is a huge connection between the mind and the body. In fact, I was thinking the same thing when I read #3 on this list, except I don't think calling it a "law" makes it anything remotely close to a scientific law. Can it be helpful? Sure. Is it in all cases all the time making it ascientific law? Certtainly not. If they just chalked it up to visualization and positive feelings, I would think the athletes that follow those principles are completely correct. I know a little about that by association, as my wife has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and has authored several studies on sports medicine and mind/body connections. Not saying I'm an expert, but I have a familiarity with the topic.
Also, I think your monkey reference has nothing to do with this, nor does the paraplegic thing. What the monkey's are controlling is a machine that reads alpha/beta brain waves from different regions and converts that into electonic signals that can control different things. It is the machine that is doing the work, but the principle is no different than the way your nerves respond to signals and tell your hand to move. Not sure that has anything to do with the "Law of Attraction."
@ macreadysshack - I just took a huge crap, so you're right, it must be true1
macreadysshack- March 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Thanks for snapping me out of it.
intercept440- March 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm
muthafukka's this isnt a physics or phsycology lesson. lets just concentrate on how do we get that big ass brazilion girl to replace chandlella.. im just saying
macreadysshack- March 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Cabj, dude there are so many more probable explanations for all that stuff. I haven't studied much beyond reading that bullshit 'The Secret' and lots of other wishful thinking bullshit. So I'll respectfully bow out of this discussion. I'll believe it when it doesn't sound like total bullshit to me.
macreadysshack- March 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm
RwilsonR You are so full of crap. You have a stomach ache right now, don't you. That's because I attracted a stomach ache at you. Don't be one of those people who relies on facts and observable evidence. That's just annoying and you are inviting a few people here to attract an exploding head at you.
cabj1905- March 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm
@RWR - Well, I must apologize for not articulating my thoughts correctly. By "you," I meant the general population/the author of this article. Therefore, my intent was not to attack you directly; I was engaging in discussion.
Ok, the monkey clips, I believe are from History Channel's "The Brain" though a youtube search should come up. You seem to have a firm grasp on placebo, so I'll skip that. The Star Wars/Matrix "mix-up" was satirical (you say World of Warcraft, I say Dungeons & Dragons, but really, what's the difference?)
Works cited: Just about any book on psychology, neurology, physiology and even philosophy should talk about the relationship between the mind and manipulating the outside world with thoughts. Coincidentally, just last night, Dr. Miguel Nicolelis (who conducted the monkey experiments) made an appearance on The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart to talk about his book, "Beyond Boundaries," and also discussed the potential of BCI technology in aiding paraplegics to regain full body movement by simply thinking about the action. So yeah, "Don't think you are, know you are" ("Try not. Do...or do not.") will be helping the Stephen Hawkings of the world walk again.
macreadysshack- March 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm
@ Smitty Thank God, yes they do. Just make sure you say some affirmations in the mirror, too.
RwilsonR- March 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm
@ cabj - I don't even know what to say. You have humbled me with your vague, yet incredibly scientific reference to monkeys controlling things with their minds, sugar pills overcoming diseases, mixed movie referneces, and Yogi Berra quotes. I never should have dismissed this non-referenced study and its scientific data, or called it gay. Worse still, I forgot that I did any of those things. Damn my ignorance! It's people like me who had Charles Darwin killed for being a witch.
Smitty- March 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm
What about steroids??? Do they not work any more???
cabj1905- March 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm
@RWR I don't know about the Yoda talk, but I find it highly ignorant to dismiss a study that has scientific data to back it up just because to you it sounds "gay." That's the kind of mentality that would have us thinking to this day that the Earth is flat and the Sun is 20 miles away.
Big Jumpin Dad- March 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm
@ ReX13

blaahbidi blahbidi blaah thats all i see when I read youre comments, youre weak sauce man
RwilsonR- March 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm
@ cabj1905 - "What are you waiting for. You're faster than this. Don't think you are, know you are. Stop trying to hit me and hit me"
agentsmith- March 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm
^^ I know, man. Just fuckin witcha.
RwilsonR- March 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm
@ agentsmith - I was speaking about the Paul Ehrlichs and Al Gores of the world who said that the oceans would be frozen and all fish would be dead in five years, and now say the seas will rise by 22 feet by 2018. Not talking about the natural course of geologic and solar progression through the centuries and eons.
cabj1905- March 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm
I completely disagree with your assertion of the Law of Attraction. It is a SCIENTIFIC fact that such a law exists. It only sounds like a bunch of crap because you immediately think "the secret" and "metaphysics." Yes, those things are totally gay and full of shit, but the Law of Attraction is the real deal. Ever see those videos of monkeys controlling machines with their minds? Ever wonder how the placebo effect works? Anything can be done by simply putting your thoughts to it, it's just that humans don't know how to use the Law of Attraction consciously. Monkeys can do it because they don't know they can't.
Anyway, even if it WERE crap, it's still good self-therapy for the fighters. 90% of the game is half mental, so you need to go in there with a good attitude or you're gonna do shitty.
In summation, don't shit-talk about subjects you are uneducated on; it makes you sound like an ass.
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