A short while later, I sat down and tried to decide where to go next. I was twenty years old and still had a lot I wanted to accomplish in grappling, but I also wanted to explore real fighting. As it turned out, there was a perfect medium to utilize them both—The Ultimate Fighting Championship. I had dabbled in MMA training over the years, even entered an MMA competition when I was eighteen. I knew I would have a pretty big leg up over my opponents when it came to grappling, but I also understood that you could not win an MMA fight on grappling alone, especially when you were competing against the best fighters in the world. The main hole in my game had to do with bringing the fight to the ground. In jiu-jitsu, I had never learned any takedowns.

Understanding that wrestling was as technical in the takedown department as jiu-jitsu was in the submission department, I began training with as many wrestlers and MMA fighters as I could. In addition to picking up a whole slew of takedowns, I also learned little tricks on how to blend those takedowns with both striking and submissions.

I cannot express in words how much branching out helped me. I truly believe that you can learn something from everybody, whether that somebody is a white belt or a black belt. Some of the techniques and strategies you acquire will fit nicely into your game, and others won't suit you at all. But it is extremely beneficial to keep an open mind and absorb what you can from people who are willing to share. If you only train in one place, you only have one idea.

One of the MMA fighters that I learned from was UFC veteran John Lewis. In addition to being a wealth of knowledge, he was also very well connected in the MMA world. Before long I found myself rolling with UFC president Dana White at Lewis' academy in Las Vegas. Although White witnessed my skills on the mat firsthand, he was a little skeptical of allowing me into the event. This was beyond the days when you could beat an opponent with jiu-jitsu alone. Every opponent was now versed in jiu-jitsu, as well as versed in how to defend against submissions. In order to win a fight, you had to know everything—striking, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. White saw me as a strict jiu-jitsu guy, not realizing I had been scrapping all of my life.

He eventually decided to give me a chance, and on May 4, 2001, I found myself standing in the locker room backstage, preparing for the long walk down to the Octagon where I would do battle with Joey Gilbert, an experienced wresder and MMA fighter. I remember gazing into the bathroom mirror, and it felt like I had stepped away from myself. I knew I was facing a different kind of challenge than I had experienced in jiu-jitsu tournaments. In jiu-jitsu, you can win with skill. In a fight, you have to win with your heart and mind. You still have to be skilled, but if you don't have that fire in your eyes, your opponent will walk right through you.

Under normal circumstances I'm quiet and reserved, but that night in the locker room I stepped outside of myself. The only thing on my mind was victory

In the first few seconds of the first round, I moved toward my opponent and let him have it with my hands, just as I had done countless times with opponents on the streets of Hilo. But instead of trying to finish him off on my feet, I used my strikes to help me bring the fight to the ground. Once there, I battered Gilbert around, took his back, and flattened him out belly-down on the canvas. I unleashed with punches to the side of his head, and a few moments later the referee intervened.

I can honestly say that was the most important fight of my life. There was no belt on the line, but it was the first time I had fought in front of that many people. Listening to the music and the cheers of those in attendance ran a chill up and down my body. I had just lost my MMA virginity, and I knew I would never experience a moment like that again. I had discovered my destiny, the place I belonged, and I realized I would be involved in the sport in some fashion for a long time. The title belt still lurked far off in the distance, but after that first bout I decided it was only a matter of time until I wore that shiny piece of metal around my waist.

I carried that determination into my next fight against Din Thomas, the number three ranked lightweight MMA fighter in the world at the time. I knocked him out with a knee to the jaw in less than three minutes. Later that year I knocked out the always-dangerous Caol Uno in just eleven seconds.

Having three lightning-fast victories over top contenders in a very short period of time did wonders for my popularity, but it did little to prepare me for a long, drawn-out battle in the Octagon. And I knew such a battle was in store. Winning three fights in a row didn't make me feel invincible. It made me feel as though I had a lucky star following me around. I knew enough about lucky stars to realize that they could be there one minute and nowhere in sight the next.

After just three fights in the Octagon, UFC management gave me a shot at Jens Pulver and the lightweight title. Pulver was an exceptional wrestler with great punches, but I knew that I could beat him. I trained hard, just as I had for my past three fights. In the back of my mind, I realized that I should probably change my training routine up a little, make some refinements so I could keep improving. The problem was I didn't yet know what needed improving. When you lose a fight, you get to see the holes in your game that seldom become apparent through victory. Since I hadn't lost a fight, I didn't see the holes.

I handled that bout just as I had my past three—as a street fight. I was hopped up on adrenaline the entire time. Such a strategy worked wonderfully in my first battles because they came to such a quick conclusion, but Pulver managed to hang on through my first round attempts to put him away.

At the end of the first round, I ran back to my corner, unnecessarily burning energy, but then at the beginning of the second, I had a difficult time getting my momentum going again. It was quite discouraging, but the bottom line is that no fighter can get to the top without paying his dues, and at that point I hadn't paid my dues. If you had added up all the seconds I had spent in the Octagon before that night, it might have totaled two rounds. I needed ring experience to learn all the intricacies of competing in a five round war. My nerves and lack of experience wore on me, and as a result Jens took home the decision. That night he was a seasoned MMA veteran who fought a terrific fight.

Although losing the decision hurt, I'm glad that things played out as they did. If I had won, I would have retired from MMA that very night. That was my plan—get the belt and retire. Coming out of battle in defeat motivated me to better myself and my game. I realized that an MMA bout was nothing like a street fight or a jiu-jitsu match because it consisted of rounds, and anytime there are rounds, you have to pace yourself. I needed to learn how to deal with the constant stopping and starting, and the only way I could manage that was by handling my training and matches less like a street fight and more like a sport. Once I realized this, I became determined to do whatever it took in training to fight the perfect fight.

After a lot of hard work, I started my second run for the title belt strong, earning a TKO over Paul Creighton in UFC 37, but then my momentum slowed. I earned a decision over Matt Serra and then I had a draw with Caol Uno. Both fights were disappointing because I knew I hadn't performed up to my ability. I had wanted so bad for my fights to be perfect, yet neither one came even close to that. The draw with Uno got me down. I thought a lot about retirement. I took a step away from training to find my bearings, but the motivation to return to the sport didn't materialize.

Deep into my hiatus, I decided to pop my fight with Joey Gilbert into the VCR while sitting on the couch one day. I didn't care much about fighting at that point, so it was more out of boredom than anything else. When I saw myself in action, it was as if I were looking at someone else. I couldn't believe the fire that I'd had. I realized then that by trying to do everything perfect, I had lost the drive that had allowed me to win those first fights with such ease.

I had been on an impossible mission. No one can fight the perfect fight. Fighting is pure chaos, and to be a good fighter you simply have to be mentally and physically prepared to handle that chaos. Stepping away from the scrapper mentality to improve upon my skills had been a necessary step to learn all the intricacies of MMA competition, but now that I had improved upon my skills, it was just as necessary for me to reacquire that unbridled aggression. It was time to come full circle.

Looking back, I feel extremely lucky to have popped that tape into the VCR because it told me exactly what I needed to do. Maybe it was fate, I don't know. But something changed inside of me.

With my head right again, I reacquired the fire and brought that rawness into my next bout with Takanori Gomi, which took place on the big island in my brother's Rumble on the Rock fight organization. I attacked him as a scrapper with skills, and submitted him with a rear naked choke in the third round. Seeing how dangerous my newfound skills could be when blended with my passion and aggression gave me all the confidence in the world. I felt ready to do what I had set out to do when I first entered MMA competition—claim a UFC championship belt.

I took the first opportunity I could get, and it just so happened that that opportunity was for the welterweight title, not the lightweight title. Instead of fighting Jens Pul-ver, I would be taking on Matt Hughes. I understood that Hughes was one of the greatest champions to ever grace the Octagon, but that mattered little to me. I had found a sense of direction, both in fighting and my personal life. Nothing would get in my way.

I trained like an animal, and when I stepped into the cage that night, I knew without a doubt that when all was said and done I would have the title belt wrapped around my waist. I knew it could be a rough fight, and that I might get cut and head home bloody, but there was no question as far as who would be victorious. While training for the fight I kept an open mind, adapted to changes in the sport, and maintained unrelenting determination. Such a combination is a recipe for success.

I held fast to my game plan, which was to pummel Hughes with strikes and then use jiu-jitsu to take him out. Capitalizing on the first mistake Hughes made, I put him on his back. Once there, I immediately started dropping hard strikes to set up my passes, as well as using my passes to set up hard strikes (a strategy I thoroughly lay out in the following pages). Hughes managed to defend quite wTell for a few moments, but because I was throwing so much at him, I eventually created an opening to land that one hard shot that rocked him. While he was dazed and confused, I passed his guard, took his back, and locked in a rear naked choke. A few minutes later, I had the UFC title belt wrapped around my waist.

Full Circle

After achieving my ultimate goal in the UFC, I decided to branch out and achieve some other goals I had in MMA, primarily competing in Japan. I knew this might result in losing the UFC title belt, but a belt is just a belt. No one could ever take away that moment. As they say, a memory lasts a lifetime.

In May 2004,1 flew to Japan and did battle with Duane

Ludwig, one of the best strikers in MMA. To bring the fight to the ground, I stepped forward with a left hook and then transitioned right into a double-leg takedown, which is one of the first combinations I show in this book. Having trained jiu-jitsu since the age of seventeen, I pretty much had my way with him on the ground. I claimed the mount, transitioned into the kata-gatame choke (p. 265), and finished the fight

My next fight was back in Hawaii with Rodrigo Gracie. I knew this would be a good fight for the fans—the local boy against the up-and-coming Gracie. He was a lot bigger and stronger than most of the Gracie fighters, but by this point I was very confident in my direction and MMA game. Rodrigo might have been a large fighter with a tremendous amount of skill, but I knew that by blending my strikes with takedowns, as well as blending my striking with passes and submissions, I had a lot of ways to earn the victory. Rodrigo was also an excellent mixed martial artist, but he hadn't truly bolstered his jiu-jitsu with other aspects of the game. Such a style doesn't make you a bad fighter, it just limits your options.

On the night of the fight I attacked him with strikes and wrestling, which definitely helped earn me points on the judges' scorecards, but what allowed me to defeat him was superior jiu-jitsu.

Shortly after that fight, I entered the K-l fighting organization in Japan. The promoters threw some names around for my first opponent, and one of those names happened to be Ryoto Machida. I knew he was a very large fighter—two hundred and thirty five pounds to be exact—but I was excited to see how my skills fared against an opponent who grossly outweighed me. I wanted to test myself, and it turned out to be quite the test. Machida punched like a mule and kicked even harder.

Although I backed him up with punches for most of the fight, he did an excellent job sporadically pinning me up against the ropes and holding me down on the ground, earning points. I lost by decision, but I learned a lot from that fight and feel that if we were to meet again, the outcome would be much different.

To build my name in the K-l organization, I took on Renzo Gracie when the event came to Hawaii. I didn't take the fight lightly, but I didn't train as hard as I had for a lot of other fights. Renzo turned out to be one tough S.O.B. He executed a handful of techniques throughout the course of battle that caught me by surprise and annoyed me, several of which I adopted and included in this book. The way I earned the victory was by blending the striking and grappling aspects of the sport, as well as outdoing him with jiu-jitsu. As I will mention many times throughout this book, it is best to rely primarily upon your base discipline when fighting. My primary base is jiu-jitsu, so that is what I focus on. I add in striking and takedowns to make my jiu-jitsu better, but I generally don't steer too far from the familiar.

After four fights away from the UFC, I got the urge to return. The UFC had filled up with a barrage of exceptional competitors, and I wanted to be among the mix. I wanted to climb over them and reacquire the title belt.

My first opponent upon my return was Georges St. Pierre, an all-around mixed martial arts fighter. I didn't take the fight lightly, but I didn't train as hard as I should have. I definitely didn't train the six hours that I do now.

I don't feel that Pierre outfought me; I feel I was out-conditioned. Nothing that Pierre did during the course of battle hurt me, but he did an excellent job getting ahead on the judges' scorecards by pinning me up against the cage and scoring takedowns. I was disappointed with the loss, but at the same time it showed me holes in my game that I needed to plug. It reminded me of just how important it is to constantly be learning and evolving.

I didn't expect to get a shot at the title anytime soon after my loss to Pierre, but when Pierre suffered an injury, I was called in to battle Hughes. Just as it was when I fought Hughes the first time, I knew there was no way I could lose. I trained hard every day, getting into peak cardiovascular condition. My game plan was to punish him with strikes, defend his takedowns, put him on his back, and smash him in the face just like I had the first time. Although this had been my game plan with Pierre, I had learned from that loss and trained for a five-round war.

In the first couple of rounds my game plan played out perfectly, and I got more confident with each second that passed. Toward the end of the second round, Hughes managed to put me on my back. As he came down with an elbow strike to my face, I slipped underneath his elbow, spun around his body, and took his back (p 192).

When you take an opponent's back, you have all sorts of offensive options and your opponent has next to none. It's a position from which you can end the fight at any moment. Some fighters like to get risky from the back and quickly execute a submission, but I like to take my time. Usually I'll soften my opponent up with strikes, bloody him a little, and then gradually slip in a submission such as a rear naked choke. But when I got Hughes's back, I didn't have the luxury of time. In addition to there only being a minute left in the round, I had also felt one of my ribs blow out when I made the transition to his back. If I couldn't lock in a submission before the minute was up, I would be in trouble at the beginning of the third.

Immediately I went for a reverse triangle choke. Hughes defended perfectly, so I went for an arm bar from the reverse triangle position. I put everything I had into it, but without first softening Hughes up with strikes, he remained strong and avoided the submission attempt.

Although I knew I was hurt when I took a seat in my corner after the second round, I still thought I could win. In my mind, it was desdny. When you have a hardcore mind-set like that, you truly believe nothing can get in your way. On top of that, all the people in attendance had paid money to see the fight. If you're not willing to give a 110 percent, you shouldn't even be in the cage. Giving up never even crossed my mind.

I headed back out at the beginning of the third, but every move I made sent pain shoodng through my side. I knew I had to baby my ribs, so when Hughes threw a left body hook, I curled my whole body in and tried to block the shot with my leg. Immediately Hughes recognized that I was injured. He capitalized on my weakness by shoodng in and scoring a takedown, ending up in my half guard.

In the beginning of my jiu-jitsu career, the one thing I focused on more than anything was not letting my opponents pass my guard. It's something I spent a lot of time perfecting, and as a result no one had ever passed my guard in jiu-jitsu competition or a fight. I felt confident that I could prevent Hughes from transitioning to side control, but then he started dropping shots to my injured ribs. The pain was excruciating. I was using my left arm to prevent him from passing, but I was forced to draw that arm in to protect my ribs.

Immediately Hughes transitioned to side control and captured me in what I like to call the Beat Down Position (p. 239), and that's exactly what he began to do—beat me down. I still believed there was no way I could lose, so when the referee pulled Hughes off of me, I thought I had escaped. I like to think that if I had slipped out of his hold I could have reacquired control, but that's probably not how things would have played out. With my ribs busted up like they were, Hughes most likely would have claimed the mount and continued his assault.

It took some time for the loss to sink in. Several of my friends said that I should never have headed back out for the third round injured, but I would much rather get pounded than throw in the towel and get booed out of the arena. I blamed the loss on a freak accident in the coming days, but I now realize that's not what happened. I lost the fight due to improper conditioning. I was in excellent cardiovascular condition, but I wasn't in perfect physical condition. The reason I say this is because I hadn't focused on being the best athlete I could every day of the year. Six months out of the year I managed to stay in shape, but I wasn't staying in peak shape. Then for a fight I would suddenly do what I needed to be one of the top athletes in the world. It doesn't work that way. My rib broke not because I was unlucky, but rather because I hadn't stayed in flawless fighting shape year-round. If I had been doing five thousand sit-ups every day and eating healthy meals every time I sat down at the table, my rib would most likely have held fast.

To reach the highest levels of this sport you must be on a constant quest to better yourself as a person and a fighter. You should strive to be number one every day of your life, not just when you're actively fighting. You must keep an open mind and experiment with new strategies and techniques. The sport continues to evolve every day, and if you're not willing to learn from your losses and mistakes, you're going to get left behind. The fight with Hughes reminded me just how important all these factors are. If you keep these things in mind as you struggle up the ladder, you will find success. It might not come today or tomorrow, but it will come. With undying determination, you can reach the top of any mountain.

The Sport of Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts is one of the most intricate sports in the world. It involves techniques and strategies from Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing, wrestling, judo, jeet kune do, and virtually every other martial art ever developed. Pit two fighters from one of these martial arts together and the possibilities of what can happen in the ring are immense. Pit two fighters together who have picked and studied techniques and strategies from a number of these arts, and then blended those techniques into a highly individualistic fighting style, the possibilities of what can happen in the ring or cage are nearly endless. This is what makes the sport of MMA so profound and amazing. No matter how badly a fighter is getting beaten, there is always something that he can pull out of his arsenal to turn the tide and gain the upper hand.

Having limitless possibilities in a sport gives you greater leeway to create your own style. Mixed martial arts is regimented in that you must have prowess in striking, takedowns, and grappling, as well as the ability to seamlessly blend all three aspects of the game together, but it is far from militaristic because you have the freedom to choose which aspect of the game will be your bread and butter. Some say that certain styles are better than others to have as your base, but it really just boils down to the individual. Some people are naturally better strikers, while others are born to grapple. Some fighters rely upon physical attributes and conditioning to come out on top, while others depend upon technique. Over the years, MMA champions have hailed from all sides of the coliseum. Every fighter is different both physically and mentally, and if your desire is to become an MMA champion, you must discover what works best for you.

If you're already an accomplished grappler or kick-boxer, you don't have to go searching for your base. It is important that you rely upon the techniques that have been ingrained into your DNA. I have seen many exceptional wrestlers enter MMA, feel inclined to turn it into a boxing match, and lose as a result. I have also seen many amazing kickboxers feel inclined to take their opponent down and wind up getting submitted. All the fighters from a specific martial arts background who have climbed to the top of the MMA mountain have done so by relying upon their primary discipline. Wrestlers rely upon takedowns and ground cn' pound. Strikers rely upon punches and kicks and knees to knock their opponent out. Jiu-jitsu practitioners rely upon submissions.

UFC competitor Randy Couture is first and foremost a wrestler. He is constantly adding strikes into his game, but he does so in such a way that the new techniques make him a better wrestler. UFC competitor Mirko Crocop is primarily a striker, but he is constantly improving his sprawls and grappling techniques so he can return to a position from which he can strike. My base is in jiu-jitsu. I haven't added too many kicks into my style because I haven't found them to be very conducive to my primary art, but I'm constantly adding in new boxing techniques that set me up perfectly for a takedown. I don't always choose to take my opponent down—often I choose to bang it out on my feet—but I have set my style up in such a way that I can always revert back to my base in moments of trouble or if a fight isn't going my way.

Now, if you're entering the sport of MMA without a background in wrestling or kickboxing or jiu-jitsu, you're going to have to find what aspect you gravitate toward. In the beginning you should spend an equal amount of time on the mats as you do with the boxing gloves on, but once you have found your specialty, the discipline you gravitate toward and have the most fun with, hone in on it. If it happens to be jiu-jitsu, you still want to train striking and wrestling, but you want to head for your black belt in jiu-jitsu. If striking is your thing, you still want to wrestle and train submissions, but you want your black belt in striking. I realize that if I had all the striking, wrestling, and takedown ability I do now, but I had a purple belt in jiu-jitsu rather than a black belt, I would not have gone this far in the sport of MMA.

However, after spending some time developing your base it is important not to get tunnel vision. Continuing to incorporate moves from other styles is a must. For strikers, those additions will be learning how to sprawl and stop the takedown, as well as learning how to control your opponent on the ground so you can return to your feet. It is vice versa for a grappler. He will add strikes into his style to gain the ability to hurt his opponent on his feet and work far enough inside to where he can execute a takedown. Although it can sometimes be difficult learning the intricacies on how to best blend styles, this book will certainly help you with this task.

Training at 80 Percent

There is an answer for every technique your opponent can utilize in training and in the cage. Going all out at a 100 percent often hinders you from seeing that answer. Toning things down 20 or 25 percent keeps your mind clear, which allows you to react to what your opponent is doing. It makes you quicker because your body is relaxed, as well as prevents you from gassing out after executing three or four techniques. The same philosophy applies to most sports. If you watch a world-class sprinter in action, you'll see that although he is madly sprinting for the finish-line, his body and face are relaxed. You should still push yourself past your boundaries as often as you can, but when fighting you want to maintain a 75-80 percent exertion level.

Training lor a Fight

Competing in MMA requires a lot more than just having a large arsenal of techniques. To be successful in the sport, you must do a vast amount of cross training, physical strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility training. You must also have a solid nutrition plan. Although each of these requirements are crucial for surviving in the cage, the aim of this book is to show techniques and offer strategies. However, I wanted to touch base on a few of these topics and include a couple of circuit workouts that have worked for me over the years. There are dozens of books that focus specifically on these facets, and if your goal is to compete, I suggest seeking a few of them out.

Sports Specific Fight Gone Bad

Executing the "Sports Specific Fight Gone Bad" circuit a few times before an upcoming fight is an unbelievable way to get into shape both physically and mentally. The idea of the circuit is to simulate your upcoming fight. If your bout is scheduled for three, five-minute rounds, then your circuit will last three, five-minute rounds. Although each round will consist of the same drills, you will be doing a different drill each minute in the round. For example, if your bout has five minutes per round, you will be doing five separate drills, each lasting one minute. If your bout has ten minutes per round, you will be doing ten separate drills, each lasting one minute.

Deciding which drills to include in your rounds should be based upon your attributes and game plan, as well as your opponent's attributes and game plan. Generally what I like to do is make a list of ten things that I will most likely need in my upcoming fight. For example, if you're primarily a grappler and your opponent is an excellent striker, then you might include on your list "Striking to the Takedown," "Guard Passes," and "Mount Attacks." If you're primarily a striker and your opponent is an excellent grappler, you might want to include on the list "Defending against the Takedown," and "Mount Escapes." As you can see there are an endless number of drills you can include; the important part is choosing drills that will actually help you in your fight. They should all be sports specific.

Once you've got your list, you want to choose five drills (based upon five minutes per round) from that list on the day you plan to execute the "Sports Specific Fight Gone Bad" circuit. Then you need to gather up five training partners and assign a drill to each one of them. For instance, if you assigned "Mount Escapes" to Training Partner #1, his only job will be to remain mounted on top of you, and your only job will be to escape. If you've assigned "Defending against the Takedown" to Training Partner #2, his only job will be to get you to the ground, and your only job will be to prevent him from doing so. You're still sparring as hard as you normally would; the only difference is you're trying to accomplish a specific goal.

After assigning all of the drills, climb into the cage and begin with Training Partner #1. As he goes all out to accomplish his goal, you go all out to accomplish your goal. If your goal is to stay mounted and your opponent escapes, you want to briefly stop the action so you can reacquire the mount. You do this for one minute. The instant that minute is up, Training Partner #2 jumps in and you attempt to achieve your second task for one minute. As you move through your partners, you want your cornerman to constandy encourage you from the sidelines while everyone else surrounding the cage cheers for your opponent.

Once you've gone through all of your partners, you take a minute break. Because this is a simulated fight, you want to have guys standing by to dump water on your head and rub your shoulders. Basically, bring you back to life for the next round. There should also be someone standing off to the side with a timer, making sure your next partner is ready to go each minute.

The trick with running the "Sports Specific Fight Gone Bad" circuit is not getting discouraged. Each minute you will be facing a training partner who is fresh, so expect to pretty much get dominated at every turn. A million thoughts will undoubtedly be running through your head: I want water, I can't go any longer, why am I doing this, screw all of you guys on the side. As these thoughts attack you from all angles, it is important to remember that the goal of this circuit is not to defeat your partners, because such a goal will be impossible under the conditions. Each minute you face a new animal, while you get more and more fatigued. The goal of the circuit is to push yourself past your limits and develop mental and physical stamina.


(1st Minute] Striking For The Takedown

Strike at your partner and consistently work for the takedown,

(2nd Minute] Pressing Opponent against the Cage

While pressing your opponent against the cage, throw strikes and go for takedowns. If your opponent escapes the position, reset.

(3rd Minute] Fighting from the Sprawl

Let your opponent secure your legs in the shot position, and then work your sprawl and escapes. The moment you escape, reset.

(4th Minute] Ground n' Pound

From your opponent's guard, use ground and pound techniques to set up a pass. The moment you pass your opponent's guard, reset.

(5th Minute] Side Control

Starting in the top side control position, work to strike your opponent, lock in submissions, and transition to the mount or back. Once you complete a transition, reset.

Fight Gone Bad [Cross-Fit!

While the "Sports Specific Fight Gone Bad" circuit will do wonders to prepare you for your upcoming war in the cage, it is still important to supplement that training with a purely strength and cardio-conditioning circuit. There are many different circuits that you can do, but the Fight Gone Bad Cross-Fit circuit has worked the best for me over the years.

Instead of doing a different drill for each minute in your rounds, you're going to do a different exercise. Since you will be pushing, pulling, punching, dodging, and slamming your opponent in the ring, these are the types of exercises you should include on your list.

You won't need five training partners for this circuit, but it helps to have two. The first training partner will lead you from station to station, as well as keep track of time and reps. Every rep you do at each station will count as a point. At the end of each round your training partner will add up all the points you earned, and that will be your goal to beat in your next round. You're second training partner's only job will be to motivate you. As you move from one round to the next, you will become more and more exhausted. Having someone giving constant encouragement helps more than you can imagine.


(1st Minute! Medicine Ball Squats

Have your training partner grab a medicine ball and stand on the edge of something that is elevated five feet off the ground (if you have an elevated ring, this tends to work best), while you stand beneath him. As your opponent drops the ball in front of your face, catch the ball and squat down. The instant you reach the bottom of your squat, explode upward and throw the ball back up to your partner. Keep going until the minute is up. (If you don't have an elevated platform, bouncing the ball off an open wall will work fine.)

(2nd Minute] Upright Rows

Grab the forty-five-pound weight lifting bar. Making sure your knees are bent and your back is straight, heft the bar up to your chin and then bring it back down to your waist. Do this as many times as you can until the minute is expired.

(3rd Minute] Box Jumps

Move over to the two-foot box and jump up and down as many times as possible for one minute.

(4th Minute] Military Press

Return to the forty-five pound bar and hoist it up onto your chest while in the standing position. Once there, extend the bar upwards over your head and then bring it back down to your chest.

(5th Minute] Row Machine

Climb onto the row machine and do as many reps as you can for one minute straight. Since this is your last minute in the round, give everything you have. (At this station, I count each calorie burned as one point.)

(6th Minute] Break

Breathe deep and recover. Have one of your training partners bring you back to life by pouring cold water on the back of your neck and massaging your shoulders. At the forty-second mark, stand up and get ready for your next round.

The Holyfield Circuit

The Holyfield is a great circuit for developing muscle endurance, and like all circuits it is a test of heart. In order to get started, you'll need to find a grassy field to do your workout, and then put a marker forty yards from the starting line and another marker ten yards from the starting line. (Football fields tend to work best because the yardage is already measured out.) You'll also need two training partners, one to keep track of time and one to assist you with the exercises.

Instead of choosing one exercise to do each minute of your rounds, you have a set list of exercises that you will do back to back until the round is over. If you're in excellent shape you might run through the list a couple of times before the round is over, and if you're not in excellent shape you might only make it through the list once. The important part is not stopping until the round is over. After you take your one-minute break at the end of each round, you want to immediately get started on your next round. As with the Fight Gone Bad circuits, you want to do the same number of rounds scheduled for your upcoming fight.

Boxing Simplified

Boxing Simplified

Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.

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