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How Does UFC Champion Israel Adesanya Stay in Peak Physical Condition?

3 Mins read

Israel Adesanaya will take on Brazilian Alex Pereira on November 12th at Madison Square Garden, New York City, in the headline bout at UFC 281. The Nigerian Middleweight Champion will take on contender Pereira in a highly anticipated bout that sees the two best fighters in the division come face to face.

Adesanya has a 23-1 record with 15 knockouts and has never lost at middleweight. His only defeat came against Jan Błachowicz at UFC 259, when he stepped up in weight to fight for the Light Heavyweight Title in Las Vegas.

Pereira, at 35, is a relative newcomer to MMA, and is 6-1. On paper, this fight might seem like a forgone conclusion, but back in 2016 Pereira beat Adesanya in a unanimous decision at the Glory of Heroes Kickboxing bout in China.

Pereira will go into the bout knowing he’s beaten opponent before, while Adesanya will be looking for revenge and be eager to keep hold of his title. According to the latest sports betting, the Nigerian is favourite, in what looks likely to be a very close fight.

Training Regime

Israel Adesanya’s success and popularity is easy to understand. The ‘Stylebender’ is an exciting fighter with an incredible physique, who’s capable of unbelievable moves. That physique and those fighting skills come from a strict training regime and diet. The Nigerian’s work outs focus on strength, endurance and conditioning, with a daily routine that includes:

Sparring

Adesanya’s workout routine combines different sparring techniques.

  1. Bag Work: His incredible punching power comes from hours spent punching a heavy bag until he can do it no more.
  2. Focus Mitts: Hand speed and punch accuracy is improved through focus mitts – As above, this is done till he can’t go on.
  3. The sparring session is completed with free weights session, including squats and lunges to build muscle.

Wrestling

Israel Adesanya has never won by submission, but his wrestling skills are second to none. They are honed through extensive training and provide one of the best cardio workouts around.

Wrestling provides a full-body workout and incorporates every muscle group, giving a well-rounded workout with every session. It also helps reduce injuries by ensuring there are no muscle imbalances.

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(Adesanya’s training programme before UFC 276 was brutal yet successful) 

Running

Long runs are a key element to the Nigerian fighters training regime. Perfect for much needed fight stamina and endurance, runs are also great for cardio and leg muscles. It also helps maintain his speed.

Long runs also get the fighter outside and not stuck in a gym all day, which science has proved helps with stress and clears the mind. 

Shadowboxing

Shadowboxing is a great workout for anybody interested in getting fit. With zero impact it manages to combine both cardio and strength training. It also increases endurance and tones muscles. More importantly for a fighter, shadowboxing is a great way to enhance eye-hand coordination and improves accuracy in the octagon.

Stylebender

Isreal’s workout isn’t rigid and will evolve day to day. He doesn’t just stick with one style or one method of training – hence his nickname ‘The Stylebender’ – he uses a combination of styles and methods in order to create his own unique training camp.

His regime is also dictated by how he is feeling. By wearing an omega wave activity tracker that lets him know how his body is feeling and allows him to alter the intensity of his training accordingly.

Diet Plan

Training alone doesn’t create a physique like Adesanya’s, a strict diet is also crucial. His meal plan is prepared by a nutritionist to ensure it meet all of his needs, and helps him maintain his weight so he stays in the middleweight division.

A nutritionist will track the fighter’s calorie and nutritional intake so his body as working at its optimum level when a fight comes around. His diet will normally involve five meals a day plus a pre-training snack, making sure his body gets enough carbs, healthy fats, and proteins.

Five meals a day might sound like a lot but the portion sizes are smaller, allowing him to train for longer and not feel bloated or too full.

Typical Meal Plan 

Meal 1

Oatmeal with fruit – strawberries/blueberries/raspberries/bananas. 

Oats keep you fuller for longer thanks to the fibre in them, and helps prevent unhealthy snacking.

Meal 2

Bacon, banana, eggs, chocolate chip protein pancake. 

Pancakes provide important protein supplements that help boost metabolism and build muscles. 

Meal 3

Chicken, rice, potatoes, and teriyaki

Chicken is filled with high-quality proteins and is low in fat. Rich in protein, it also contains, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron, Copper.

Meal 4

Wild rice and honey BBQ chicken

Low in calories, wild rice is a balanced food source, providing a healthy mix of protein and fibre. It also contains the antioxidant manganese which also assists metabolism.

Meal 5 

Wild rice and sweet chili chicken

Water

Hydration is key for anyone, let alone an elite athlete and Adesanya regularly monitors his water intake.

The ‘Stylebender’ is one of the best MMA fighters in the world thanks to his dedication to training and diet. Will his impressive regime help him retain his welterweight title?  We have to wait until November and UFC 281 to find out.

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