Post fight Sunday morning. Obviously a great night for Edson Barboza with his spectacular finish of Terry Etim which is likely to go down in UFC history on nearly every highlight reel. As we usually do as a team post fight, is review what we learned. Without revealing too much here, this session will be concerning Edson Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning. I say, “without revealing too much” because we use some very advanced techniques with Edson that no one else in the MMA world or BJJ world we know of are using them. Thats not to say that they are not as protective of them as we are, but that is all I know.
For this camp especially, we were working on a few things. The first, was adding an additional 6 to 7 pounds of muscle mass to Edsons frame. IN the 3 years I have been working on him we have especially worked on his lower back, shoulders and legs. This camp was focusing on his leg strength. We wanted his guard game to continue to develop and his butterfly sweeps to be more explosive and sudden. You saw that in play last night. A combination of great technique and appropriate muscle development in those areas were key. Additionally, Edsons power on his kicks were dramatically improved. Albeit, Edson always had sick power, but you could see he was getting his kicks off a split second quicker and delivering more power. Even a Muay That / Kickboxing pro like Terry Etim was feeling the abuse as early as late in the first round.
We focused on Edsons upper body strength, as the takedown defense, under hooks and pummeling are keys to shutting down a takedown or putting yourself in a better position to execute a sweep upon hitting the ground. The result of this work was evident in Edsons takedown defense and the few times he was taken down, he was able to put himself in a position to get right up.
Finally, we made some adjustment in the weight cutting area. This was a fight card due to the Belfort – Johnson fight that was controversial in the weight cutting area. I don’t know the details of what occurred with Anthony and his situation, but please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Cutting weight if done correctly can be a relatively safe process. Does the fighter suffer during the process, sure. He also suffers in grappling, boxing, kickboxing and conditioning. It is part of the profession. Responsible approaches to weight cutting can be a very effective approach to giving a fighter an edge. We have developed an excellent process that focuses on fighter safety first and fighter advantage second.
Edson came in faster, stronger and more durable due not only to his program that he was put through. But more importantly, as a professional, he trusted his camp and coaches and was 100% compliant in the process and enjoyed the spoils of his victory on Saturday night.