Mixed Martial Arts Pre-Fight Tips
Bas Rutten (Former UFC Heavyweight Champion) gives expert video advice on: What is a good pre-fight training tip?; What are some good pre-fight eating tips?; What are some good pre-fight traveling tips? and more...
What is a good pre-fight training tip?
It depends how many times you fight. Let's say, last time I didn't fight for seven years and I came back and I gave myself three months' time to train. What you're doing is, after a workout, Thai pads, it's a real hard workout, and I do maybe like ten rounds of one minute, and only one minute. And everybody looks at me like I'm crazy. But I always say, build it up gradually. So the week later, I do ten rounds of one and a half minutes. Then I do ten rounds of two minutes. Every week I add thirty seconds to that round until I'm going to be at the five minute mark, and that's gradually, I build it up.
What are some good pre-fight eating tips?
Food is very important, you want to eat the same food. Make sure it's healthy, you want to stay away from dairy, cheese, milk, eggs, all that stuff. Stay away from that. Some people are allergic to crab meat and all shellfish like me. If I eat it the next day it's very hard for me to workout, my fills with lacid acid. You need to start knowing these things. Eat stuff and write down what you ate and if the next day you have a bad workout it's probably the food. Ninety nine percent it's the food, see what you ate before, cut some things out and try it again. That's the way you find out what you can eat and what your body wants. Before you go to a fight, eat the same food. The dumbest comment I ever heard is when someone gets sick because the night before they ate at some shady sushi place or McDonald's. I've seen some things, I've seen fighters on the day of the fight eating cheeseburgers. I say, "What are you doing?" You're putting the wrong fuel in. It's simple, what you put in your body is what comes out. If you put bad food in, well bad comes out. A car that drives on gasoline won't drive on diesel. It's very simple, that's very important. Stay with the same food that you've been eating for the past six weeks before the fight. Don't change anything on the day of the fight. This guy came in on the day of the fight and said, "Listen man, I've got this great energy drink for you, try it out." That's a big no-no. You want to stay away from things your body don't know.
What are some good pre-fight traveling tips?
If you travel, especially out of state, make sure that you bring, on your carry on luggage, your mouth piece with you. You should go in protected, but God forbid, if before the fight your luggage gets lost, and you don't have your very own mouthpiece, that's a very bad thing. A mouthpiece is so important to have - a really good mouthpiece. Some people make this mouthpiece, they put it in hot water and they put them in and they really believe that's a professional mouthpiece. No, no, no. It's very important to spend some money on a mouthpiece. You're a professional. Get a professional mouthpiece. Most of the time it's tax deductible, so write it off for taxes, but make sure that it is 100%. It's really important to do that. Also, bring it on with your carry-on luggage. I used to do the same thing when I would fly to Japan. I would bring everything I needed in the fight in my carry on, even my outfit that I was going to fight in, because a lot of fighters are superstitious. They always think "I have never lost in this particular outfit", and that's the outfit you're going to fight in because if you lost in one, maybe you'd think "ah, it's bad luck." See what I mean? Bring your own outfit, otherwise you're going to start thinking things like "well, maybe I'm going to lose. Maybe my lucky outfit isn't here." You don't need all of that trouble. You have stress enough already on the day of the fight. Make sure that you don't have any stress.
What are some good tips for just before the fight?
I am all about relaxation. I am about keeping your mind relaxed. I believe in a relaxed mind is way more faster than a stress mind. So when I have people in my dressing room to tell me, you got to knock them out. They are the first ones to leave. So I do not have those guys in my dressing room. No one tells me what to do. No aggressiveness. No violence. Do not come to me and say, you know what he said to you yesterday. He said you were an asshole. Once they start doing that and start filling my mind with anger. Once your anger comes in it is uncontrollable. Anger is not a good thing. You cannot control anger. You have to stay relaxed, relaxed, relaxed. So I listen to relaxing music and most of the time we play games in the dressing room. Or I will take a nap. For some reason after 10 fights I started to do that in Japan and you know wake up an hour and a half before the fight. Start warming up. Have a real hard warm-up. This is very important. A lot of people, I want to have my second wind in the ring. I do not want to get in the ring and have the barrier that I had to climb over to go to the second wind. I work out like a madman in the dressing room. People telling all the time you got to stop. You are warm enough. But I do not believe them. I think you can go real hard and I trained so hard, at least six minutes. So I have the energy. I am not worried about that. The thing to do once you walk to the ring, I would say, see if you can cancel all the people around you in the ring. That is one of my gifts. I truly believe that is my gift for me, because it keeps you calm if shut everybody up. I listen to his corner and my corner. I just focus on those two corners and that is it.