In the Ring: Training day

The sweat flew in the air almost as fast as the blows to his teammates gloves.

Craig Machado, covered from head to foot  in a black sauna suit that looked like a trash bag, never stopped moving around the gym as he jumped, jogged or punched in tune to the rock music playing in the backround.

Thursday was his last night of training hard before his mixed martial arts fight in Fredericksburg, Va. on Saturday. The sauna suit was to help him sweat out the 13 pounds he needs to lose so that on Friday, when Machado has to weigh in to make weight to fight, he is down to the 145 pounds  where he needs to be.

“I started dieting last Thursday and I started at 165 pounds; tonight I weighed myself at 7 p.m. and was at 157.8 pounds. I need to get to at least 146–they give a one pound allowance–so that I’m not close to not fighting like I almost was in two other fights,” the 27-year-old fighter said.

“I mean I made it, but it was a big deal and we all were like “oh my God, Craig’s not going to make weight” and we were all rushing around, so to be safe  I start my diet and work out early to get my weight lower.”

Machado has fought six times with a record of 3 and 3. He said his last fight, though lost in a split decision, was his best fight.

“I lost, but when I am in the cage, nothing can happen out of my own fault, for not training harder. I thought I won, but I didn’t. So I trained better for the fight this Saturday,” said Machado.

Craig training-Click for more pictures

The 24-48 hour period before weigh-in, the day before a fight, are important for fighters. If they can’t cut the weight, they can’t fight.

For a few days before,  dehydration and dieting are the best ways to get down to weight to prepare; but the years behind training-physically and mentally- are what gets a fighter to the ring or cage.

“I used to be smaller when I was younger but always wanted to be bigger, the hero-type”, said Machado. “Then,when I was a bouncer, one night I couldn’t toss out a guy; so a guy at my gym told me he trained in MMA so he helped me.

“I was horrendous at first but stuck with it. I want to be here, and so now I’m stuck–even though  I got choked out my first fight, something about it got me to stay.”

Machado, after a few rounds of practicing hitting and kicking with his teammate Carlo, jumped on the treadmill for 20 minutes to keep his heart beating almost as loud as “Paper Wings” by Rise Against that was blaring in the background.

His team, Baltimore BJJ in Rosedale, Md., is like a second family to Machado.

Under coach and owner Lee Synkowski, Machado and the rest of his teammates train mostly learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or a fight technique based around submission holds–like chokes and arm bars–and gaining and holding onto advantageous positions.

“My coach isn’t your typical coach. My team is a bunch of nice guys who have fun and not just out to hurt people–we do yoga too. We are more likely to say to our opponents “hey, I love you dude, but I’ll still break your arm;” most others are out for blood.

“But we are a family. My coach, if I called him right now, would come if I needed him. He was there for me when I got my shoulder surgery.”

This Saturday, Machado plans to go all out in his fight to earn points for his team as he goes up against his opponent who is a kickboxer-fighter with a record of 3-4.

“He’ll try to knock me out, but I’ll try to choke him out. When I go into the ring, I get booed because people don’t like me because I fight jui jitsu. And I don’t care about getting hit in the face,” said Machado about his fight on Saturday.

“I have heart and I am hard to put away and won’t quit. I’m athletic, intelligent and stay out of trouble. And I fight better than I train.”

**Fighting MMA isn’t what you see on T.V. If you are interested in learning more, look for future updates in “In the Ring” for results on Machado’s fight and after and on other information about the sport. Check out Baltimore BJJ, or if interested in getting personally trained by Machado in his gym, Back to Basics in Towson, email me.

Craig talking about his weight cutting:

Craig and Carlo practicing:

Craig on body fat:

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One Response to “In the Ring: Training day”

  1. rplant1 Says:

    check out these female sports bloggers. hilarioussssss. thought maybe it could give u some ideas for videos.

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