MMA and vegan diets in media

Styles, training, conditioning, equipment - everything related to Martial Arts.

Moderators: hardcore iv, fredrikw, JP, stateofflux, bronco

MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby pimmando k. » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:37 pm ... -thinks-so

[quote]Vegan Diets in MMA. The New Fad? Kenny Florian Thinks So!

Headkick-xl_tiny by Matthew Roth on Feb 25, 2011 2:22 PM EST

Mixed Martial Artists, like most athletes, face a stereotype of the "steak eating, protein shake drinking" jocks. For a long time the fighter diet consisted of high protein coming from either chicken or steak with most nutrients absorbed into the body in the form of supplements. A look at Matt Hughes' website and you can see that this diet has been gold standard for MMA. Below is what Matt describes as his diet:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs oatmeal with honey yogurt – usually with almonds (I try to have almonds as my fat source)

Snacks: fruit maybe leftover steak or chicken breasts - I try to get proteins and carbs from actual foods and not rely on shakes and bars.

Other Meals: fish at least three times a week lots of chicken: mainly chicken breast, I try to stay away from red meat everyday (Which is very hard for me because I love steak; I might have a steak maybe twice a week tops) lots of coleslaw, broccoli, steamed vegetables. I try to eat 6-7 small meals a day, I don’t take the time to weigh my food or count my calories, I just eat sensibly.

Recently, there has been a shift from the protein heavy diet to a more balanced diet. The first fighter to live a vegtarian lifestyle was Jake Shields, who has been meat free his entire life. He's gone on record as saying it's the reason why he's able to keep his pace and strength. He credits a vegetarian lifestyle for his his energy levels as well. Going one step further are Mac Danzig and Antonio McKee, both living vegan lifestyles. Mac has been a vegan since 2004 and credits the diet for his ability to recover faster in training. Mckee has a reputation of being extremely strong and having a nonstop gas tank which could be attributed to eating lighter foods that burn off easier than heavy proteins.

Former Ultimate Fighter contestant Mike Dolce has become a trainer and nutritionist for many fighters who turned to the former Team Quest member for dietary advice. Dolce has been the driving force behind Quinton Jackson and Thiago Alves' ability to make weight recently. While his isn't a proponent of a vegan lifestyle, his focus is away from a protein heavy diet to a more balanced organic diet with the goal of cutting body fat. Dolce was criticized by Dana for complaining that while on The Ultimate Fighter it was easy for producers to get the house alcohol but would often delay delivering his food requests for free-range organic chicken.

Recently two more top fighters have joined the vegetarian/vegan life style. Current Strikeforce lightweight Jason High has made the jump to a meat free lifestyle when preparing for fights. He's a protege of Antonio McKee and recently made a change to a vegan diet in preparation for his fight with Rudy Bears at Titan 15. He won that fight and by all accounts will continue his diet for all fights going forward.

Kenny Florian discusses John Fitch after the Jump...


Kenny Florian spoke with Luke Thomas of SBNation MMA about Jon Fitch's jump to a raw vegan life style. It seems there are some concerns about the new diet and how it will affect the AKA fighter's game. I'll let Luke and Kenny explain:

There's another x-factor Florian shares that changes the dynamic of the fight considerably: Fitch's size. Normally a monstrous welterweight, Fitch's dietary changes have had some profound effects on his stature. "I know you mentioned him walking around at 200lbs, that is definitely the case. However, I just was with him at the last UFC in Vegas [UFC 126] he's actually walking around at 176lbs," Florian stated. "He's a vegan now. He's 100 percent vegan. He's changed his whole lifestlye. And the first thing I said to him 'Man, you're looking pretty darn skinny' and he said, 'yeah, I'm a vegan now and I'm 176lbs right now'. That is actually I hear maybe even a concern with people in his own camp."

While I may agree with Kenny that a large part of Jon's game was based on his ability to out muscle his opposition, that doesn't take away from his wrestling pedigree or grappling prowess. This isn't like a massive weight cut that Florian is attempting in order to recreate himself for the third time in his career under the Zuffa banner, John is attempting to live a healthier life style. By all accounts, he hasn't lost a step in the gym and is just as strong. John could potentially be a part of the movement away from the animal protein lifestyle to a more balanced way of life.

I'm personally on the fence. When I was competitive in no gi grappling and preparing for my first amateur muay thai fight, I was eating a very meat heavy diet. I was burning a lot of calories and felt it was the best way to refuel after lifting and working out at the gym. I won my fight but was sluggish some days in sparring. For my second fight I cut out chicken and red meat and got my protein from mostly tofu and fish. I wasn't as sluggish in training and won the fight as well. I also felt a lot cleaner. I think this comes down to personal preference. These fighters know their bodies and as long as they can remain competitive, I think it doesn't matter what they are putting into their bodies. We'll know for sure on Saturday if Fitch is able to out muscle and bully BJ Penn like he has everyone else in his UFC career.
User avatar
pimmando k.
Active Member
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:47 pm
Location: Finland

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby Konstantin » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:13 pm

Thanks for posting.
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url][/url]
User avatar
Posts: 4600
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:37 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby JP » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:05 am

[quote]We'll know for sure on Saturday if Fitch is able to out muscle and bully BJ Penn like he has everyone else in his UFC career.

and he did :)
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 19190
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:14 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby pimmando k. » Mon May 30, 2011 10:37 am ... onger-for/

[quote]Off Yearlong Vegan Diet Experiment, Frank Mir Feels Stronger for UFC 130
By Matt Erickson
MMA writer

LAS VEGAS – A reasonably healthy diet is part and parcel to the lifestyles of most fighters. It's something that just comes with the territory. Even Roy Nelson, as much as he jokes about cheeseburgers, likely has to concern himself with it from time to time.

But very few fighters fall into the vegetarian class, and even fewer heavyweights go that route. But that's what Frank Mir did for a year before deciding it wasn't working for him. Now on a Paleolithic, or "caveman," diet, Mir said he's bigger than he's been in several fights – but more importantly, he's leaner.

"I got on the scale on Monday at 272 – muscle weighs a lot," said Mir, who fights fellow Las Vegan and sometimes training partner Nelson on Saturday at UFC 130. "Going off the vegan diet, I think, helped. There were some good approaches to it that I actually tried to do. ... The dieting thing, I think you have to approach as intelligently as you can. First I started as a vegetarian. And for a whole year, I gave it a shot. And it kept my weight down. But honestly, my body fat wasn't as low – I got a little bit softer. I was getting injured a lot more. I felt a lack of 'umph.' But I was very determined to try and be a healthier person."

After researching the Paleo diet, which focuses on hunter-gatherer foods like lean meats and fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and cuts out the processed foods common in the Western diet, Mir decided it might be more in line with his nutritional needs as a fighter.

And then his wife, whom Mir joked at Wednesday's press conference was the real boss, chimed in.

"My wife looked at (the Paleo diet) and said, 'This is the Mediterranean Diet,' Mir said prior to the press conference. "I'm like, 'Yeah, pretty much.' She said, 'This is how we've been eating for like the last 10 years.' Sometimes you've got to come full circle to appreciate where you are now."

After Mir stopped with the vegan principle, he said the weight gain came quickly.

"I was four pounds shy of 300 pounds – I completely shot up," the former UFC heavyweight champ told MMA Fighting. "But my strength felt incredible, and my wind actually didn't feel that bad. The only thing I probably lost a little was footwork – ask a 300-pound guy to dance left and right ... so I worked in the pocket a little for those couple months."

More: UFC 130 Fight Card | | Watch UFC 130 Live Online | UFC 130 Results

But the weight gain hurt him in training, and it forced him to tighten up his core once again.

"I didn't realize that now that I've thinned out my waistline again, my guard has returned to be pretty manacing again," Mir said. "With the half-guard and guard, if you have a belly it's hard to pull your knees up. I have very flexible legs, so I'm trying to put hooks in and work the omoplata and go off on the side, and all of a sudden I've got this belly that my thigh keeps hitting against. It hurt my style.

"But being a professional you realize if something's in the way of you being a better fighter, it has to go – be it friend, family member, eating habits, sleeping regimen, if it doesn't work to make me a better fighter then it has to go."

Mir has combined the new diet with a new confidence in his wrestling game, as well.

"Six months ago, I couldn't take my wife off her feet unless I threw some jewelry on the bed," Mir joked, his wife Jennifer sitting at his side. "Other than that, my takedowns were horrible. When people are pushing me against the cage, in the past I was more susceptible to allowing it to happen because I had that jiu-jitsu mentality that I'm not going to grind back. Now I'm learning about head position and I like to grind back. If you're going to push into me, you're not pushing me backward. We're going to go down right here."

And the strength he believes he gave up when he went vegan has returned now that lean meats and other proteins are back in the mix – and now that he's developing other skills in the gym at the same time.

"People are saying to me, 'Oh, you're so much stronger,' " Mir said. "But I think it's that I'm finally using my strength. In the past, I would try to use as little strength as possible because strength will get you tired if you explode too many times. Well, get in shape."

And that's just what Mir believes he had to do. And he said if things go as planned against Nelson on Saturday night, people shouldn't be too hard on his opponent.

"If anybody's going to be on his case and feels that he has a bad performance on Saturday, they've just got to realize that he's facing the best version of me that ever existed, that I ever thought could exist," Mir said.

Mir fights Nelson in the co-main event of UFC 130 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.
User avatar
pimmando k.
Active Member
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:47 pm
Location: Finland

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby knackers » Mon May 30, 2011 11:30 am

awesome article, cheers.

heres another I come across the other day ... html?cat=5 :
[quote]How to Be an MMA Fighter on a Vegan Diet
Daniel O'Rourke, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Mar 13, 2011
MMA may very well be the fastest-growing sport in the world today. As techniques, training methods and fighting styles are evolving rapidly, another aspect is evolving as well; fighters are changing their diets. Even in
boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing, we are seeing an increasing trend of vegan fighters. Athletes are finding that they can gain more muscle, lose more weight, and win more fights on a vegan diet. But how do you become a champion fighter on a vegan diet? These are tips on how to become a vegan warrior.

#1 Go for whole foods.

The ideal vegan diet comes primarily from whole vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Supplements, energy bars and protein shakes are great, but they should not compromise your whole diet. Foods come in varying degrees of wholeness, so remember that the less processed it is, the better. Brown rice is better than white rice, apples are better than apple sauce, and tempeh, miso or tofu are all better than soy protein concentrate. Following this rule, you will lose weight, gain muscle and have more steady energy.

#2 Don't stress about protein.

Vegans have no problem getting enough protein. It is true you need the protein to build up muscles and recover from training, but even the most brutal MMA training regimen does not demand animal flesh. All vegetables and whole grains contain protein. Nuts seeds and beans are especially rich in vegan protein. If you're really looking to up your intake, you can go for tofu, tempeh, miso or spirulina. An MMA fighter needs at least 1.6 grams of protein per Kg of body weight. If you're eating right, you should have no problem getting all the amino acids you need to build muscle.

#3 Don't skip the fat. You have likely heard that you should avoid all fats, but I'm telling you otherwise. Fats will keep you feeling full for longer, and you will need them for endurance over the long, grueling training sessions that
MMA requires. Vegan fighters don't get their fats from meat, they get them from sources rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Canola or olive oil, nuts and avocados are all good sources. Avoid packaged foods, which are packed with saturated and trans fats.

#4 Ignore low-carb fad diets

Carbohydrates are your body's main source of fuel and energy. You are not going to be an MMA champion without energy; you aren't even going to survive training. A vegan fighter loves his carbohydrates. Eat natural, unprocessed sources like: whole grains, potatoes, and fruit. Avoid processed sugars and packaged food, which will slow you down and make you fat.

#5 Avoid alcohol completely

Staying away from alcohol is not a guideline; it's a rule. One beer can set you back 2 weeks or more. Vegan or not, nothing will beat you faster than spending a Saturday at the bar.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to becoming a vegan fighter. Whether you are boxing, kickboxing or fighting MMA, you are now on your way to dominating your sport.
“Animals do have a voice. If you ignore their suffering, I will remind you of it. If you don't understand them, I will translate. If you don't hear them, I will be their voice. You may silence them but you cannot silence me as long as I live.” ~ Anita Mahdessian (C
User avatar
Active Member
Posts: 951
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby JP » Tue May 31, 2011 12:30 pm

ah bullshit stuff from Mir - and i was just rooting for him at his fight... :(
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 19190
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:14 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby hardcore iv » Tue May 31, 2011 1:44 pm

[quote="JP"]ah bullshit stuff from Mir - and i was just rooting for him at his fight... :(

Pretty pathetic. All these MMA guys (except for Mac) seem to have whacky ideas about nutrition and their versions of vegan diets are pretty weird thanks to all the mumbo jumbo they must be reading on the internet. :(
"When you are born, you are set forth to die. The fact that you live or don't live between these two dates depends solely upon your own will, opportunities and desires. The weight exerciser, of course, indicates that he chooses to live." Joseph Curtis Hise
User avatar
hardcore iv
Active Member
Posts: 1727
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:36 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby No other way » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:50 pm

i'm not sure if i posted this here or not but after the Penn fight Fitch came to my gym to train combatives and looked every part of 200 pounds. He was huge.
User avatar
No other way
Active Member
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:09 pm
Location: rva, sUeSA

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby Twoism » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:40 pm

Just watching UFC 132 prelims on FB. Didn't know Aaron Simpson was a vegan, glad he won his fight. Rogan even commented on the fact that there are several vegetarian/vegan fighters in the UFC who are top level athletes. It's a great comeback to use MMA fighters as examples of vegan athletes when the naysayers are naysaying!
User avatar
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:47 pm
Location: UK

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby hoffmeister » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:37 pm

They spoke of Aron Simpson as a vegetarian on UFC 136 (prelim fight) and mentioned him with other vegetarians such as Jake Shields and Mac Danzig. But Wiki still say´s Danzig is vegan and the others vegetarians. Someone know anything?
this is Sparta
User avatar
Reluctant Moderator
Posts: 2403
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: Slayer, Sweden

Re: MMA and vegan diets in media

Postby F.B » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:14 pm

As far as I know Mac Danzig and Antonio Mckee are the only vegan fighters. Jake Shields and Aaron Simpson are vegetarians and guys like Jon Fitch and the Diaz brothers eat a mostly plant based diet, not for ethical reasons but to increase their performance.
User avatar
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:11 pm
Location: Chamonix, France

Return to Martial Arts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest