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By Jerome Fonseca

Excellent conditioning along with powerful stamina should not be taken lightly in Mixed Martial Arts competition. Picture yourself stepping into a Mixed Martial Arts match. You have been physically active in Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for many years. You know every single technique in that discipline. Your kicking and striking is solid, your takedowns are overwhelming, and you have a ground game that is off the hook.

You enter the cage or mat knowing that you have the expertise to defeat this opponent. Then the question steps into your mind "Should I have consumed more time on MMA conditioning?" Before you can contemplate on a remedy you hear the noise of the bell. The battle has begun. Right off the get go you deliver a few razor- sharp jabs and then take your challenger down with such a quick single leg that he does not even have an opportunity to defend it. From the ground you perform your magic. You are in full command and feel like triumph will be yours.

Things start to transform when you detect that with each mix up you seem a little less dominant, and a little less in control of the situation. All of a sudden the shortness of breath steps in and the tide begins to turn on you. Your opponent gets up into his fighting stance and the referee yells over to you “Are you ready”? You are now totally out of gas and the guy you are brawling identifies the situation. He engages aggressively and you are now in a defensive posture. You don't have a single drop of energy to launch an offensive attack. Your legs feel like rubber, and your arms are so very heavy. As moments pass, your body starts to feel like it is crashing. He delivers the left hook and your hand is not protecting. You come to your senses back stage asking the question, “What happened”? It doesn`t matter how good you are in MMA, if you don`t have the conditioning, you are going to have a bad fight. Through a well-rounded MMA conditioning program we can prevent that from ever happening again!

Conditioning program should have the following:

• Strength
• Power
• Muscular Endurance
• Functional Strength
• Aerobic Capacity
• Anaerobic Capacity

Main ways to develop these attributes:

• Weight Lifting
• Functional Exercises
• Plyometrics
• Sprinting
• Running

Where do I begin? The most important area is where you are the weakest. Do I run out of gas easily? Am I extremely strong? These are the type of questions to ask yourself so that you know where you should be spending the most time. You can only be as strong as your weakest link. You should never neglect your strong areas. You should stay focus on those areas also.

You can eliminate your weaknesses and increase your strengths with just a little thought when developing a good MMA conditioning program.

Remember, if you are in better physical shape than your opponent, even if he or she has an edge in skill and technique, the odds are greatly increased in your favor because once your opponent runs out of gas; all technique and strategy will very easily disappear.

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