Interview with Chicago MMA Fighter Mark Miller - How to Adapt Boxing for MMA

When you ask most MMA fighters about the key components to MMA training, they testify that they are boxing, Thai kicks, wrestling defense and Brazilian jiu jitsu.  Although this is rarely disputed, there are more layers to this answer than the mere practice of these 4 different sports.  In fact, MMA has evolved into its own system – An American martial art system. In fact, MMA has evolved into its own system – An American martial art system.  Sole style practitioners may think that MMA today still offers them an open invitation, but without taking on a MMA training regiment that adapts these four components, it is hard to survive for long in the game.  Mark Miller a local Chicago MMA fighter, has been a member if the once IFL Red Bears Pro MMA Team and was one  TUF’s (The Ultimate Fighter) candidates on SPIKE TV.  Although his appearance on the show resulted in one awesome win and then in a loss in the fourth episode; Miller does not regret being part of the 2009 season.  Back in Chicago now, Miller is training, coaching and teaching at POW! MIxed Martial Arts and hoping to get called soon for another fight.  



KO:  What is one major defensive change that should be made for a MMA fighter when doing their boxing/punching training?

MM:   Rolling from punches is not as valuable because of the threat of the knee.  I prefer to absorb punches with my forearm and then counter.

KO:  Can you give upcoming MMA fighters that come from a stand up background a tip for their offensive training when striking?

MM :  The hand position of the hook changes up in MMA, it loops out more because you need to keep more distance between you and your opponent than in Western boxing.

KO:  What training drill should be an essential for an MMA fighter that integrates the power punches used form boxing.?

MM: In general, you should always be practicing shooting and various takedown defenses from punching.  Then naturally you need to learn and drill punches in various ground positions.

KO:  What is one type of position a boxer finds themselves in that also presents itself in MMA?

MM:  The clinch – in the center and up against the cage or ropes.  But they should be treated completely different.

KO:  Can you give our readers a solution for this for upcoming MMA fighters – how should they adapt this if they come from a boxing background?

MM : I also believe that practicing rabbit punches to the body from stand up is not as valuable.  They don’t add up quick enough, so I would rather take underhooks if I am in that range and throw knees to the body because the pay dividends faster than actual rabbit punches.”

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