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21 June 2016

What makes a UFC fighter?

UFC has brought mixed martial arts to a limelight previously not thought possible, and with superstars like Conor McGregor and Jon Jones bringing even more hype to one of the fastest growing sports in the world, MMA is becoming a real force to be reckoned with.
Fast, energetic and physically demanding, MMA fighters know that the key to unlocking their full potential is preparation, fueling themselves with the correct food at the right times and recovering properly.
Gold Standard Nutrition has been involved with a previous Britain’s strongest man turned MMA veteran Oli Thompson for over 3 years now. He holds an impressive fighting record and his past success as a strongman shows he knows a thing or two about performance.
We managed to speak with Oli about how he prepares and recovers from his physically demanding sport:

Q: Hi Oli. Your sport must be very physically demanding, what is the most important part of your pre-fight prep?
A: There are so many aspects to a fight camp, it’s so hard to give one as most important, but confidence is essential so anything related to strategy and fitness will play a big part.

Q: Do you find it difficult to recover from a big fight?
A: My last fight was on New Years Eve in Japan. I won and didn’t take a lot of damage, but one huge knee to my chest still hurt for about 6 weeks after. THAT sort of thing can be difficult to recover from! The difficult part is getting back into that full time grind again, it’s a scary prospect that I know very well from my 25 pro fights.

Q: As well as a successful career in MMA, you once held the title of Britain’s Strongest Man. How do these two disciplines differ in terms of preparing, fueling and recovery?


A: A big difference is the strongman requires energy in much smaller bursts up to 90 seconds max, as opposed to 3 x 5 min rounds. Both require high energy carbs fats protein, with strongman I could literally eat anything with no restrictions. Once I made the switch to MMA I dropped from 145kg to 112kg, fortunately my knowledge about nutrition has improved since and I work with a great team.  I actually eat around 6 times a day, so being able to spend less time in the kitchen was made a lot easier thanks to the great support I’ve had from Gold Standard Nutrition.


Q: What does your diet look like?


A: Gold Standard Nutrition steam cooked chicken fillets are always in my freezer, fact. I have always relied on chicken as my main source of protein and having it precooked means I don’t have any excuses to not prep meals.I have found some of the new products to be a bonus, like the smoothies , I always start my day with an oats, fruit and veg smoothie and have enjoyed the ready made smoothie packs a lot. Grass fed steak and mince offers a little relief from the mass of chicken I get through and is very lean.

Q: Anything else to mix it up?


I have been using the new GSN sauces recently and find these help make things a little different. Very helpful when you eat the same meal 6 times a day, variety is key!


Q: Does your diet change the closer to a fight you get?


A: usually switch up my diet when about 6 weeks out from a fight, oats in the morning, then sweet potato is my only carb source outside of masses of veg and some fruit. The average breakfast smoothie contains oats, banana , blueberries, spinach, broccoli, almond milk and some good quality protein powder.


Q: What does the future hold for you?


A: I will be fighting very soon and I guarantee it will be a huge one, I have not fought since winning the IGF world title in Tokyo NYE, it’s been longer than I would of liked and a few big names have turned down fights with me during this time but I am excited to reveal the details, keep your eyes peeled!

Q: Thanks Oli.


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