Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has some advice for the next generation of fighters: take as little damage as possible in training and in competition.
Holloway returned to the cage last Saturday, in the main event of UFC on ABC 1 on Fight Island, where he picked up a jaw-dropping unanimous decision victory over Calvin Kattar.
Ahead of the fight, Holloway emphasized that he completely refrained from sparring in his training camp. While not everybody thought that was a good idea, his success speaks for itself.
Post-fight Holloway encouraged younger fighters to take note of his decision, and protect their bodies and brains as much as possible both in the gym and in training. As he made this point, he borrowed a line from NFL legend Marshawn Lynch.
“Like a good legend, [NFL star] Marshawn Lynch said, ‘Save your chickens,’” Holloway said (via MMA Fighting). “Save your chickens. Right here, you only get one brain, save it. You guys don’t need to do it. You sparred enough, you trained enough, you know how to punch someone, you know how to slip a punch, why even take unnecessary damage before the main game? That’s just the way I think and everybody who keeps telling me on my [Facebook Gaming stream], everybody who tell me I should be training? No. I’ve been training, when I play games, leave me alone. I want to play video games.
“Please protect your guys’ head,” Holloway added. “If I had to tell an up-and-comer, be smart, figure out a way of taking less damage. You want to be in this game for a long time. I want to have more kids, I got Rush, little Rushy Boo Boo, and then I want more kids, so I want to be around for a long time for them.”
The timing of this comment from Max Holloway is difficult to ignore. Earlier this month, MMA Fighting ran an in-depth interview with former UFC lightweight Spencer Fischer, who is now dealing with severe and debilitating brain injuries. While the UFC recently pledged $1M toward research into brain injury, the fact remains that combat sports are tremendously damaging in that regard.
Hopefully, the next generation of fighters take heed of Holloway’s wise advice. There’s no surefire way to avoid being hit in MMA, but fighters can certainly limit the damage they take.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM