Heavy Hands (interview)

It's been a long time since the UFC was last in Cincinnati, but they've brought some serious talent along for their 2014 return. Connor sat down with two of the fighters on this weekend's main card to discuss training philosophies, fight strategies, and more.

First, middleweight Lorenz Larkin, who is known for his incredible array of strikes, including spinning wheel kicks, jumping round kicks, standing elbows, and many more. He describes the mentality that goes into throwing such unorthodox techniques, and why he's trying to move toward less pot-shotting and more volume striking in the future.

Next, Soa Palelei joins the show to describe the long road he's had that, once again, has brought him to the UFC. He talks about his unique conditioning program, the importance of pacing in a heavyweight fight, and explains why fundamental BJJ is one of the most important aspects of any fighter's game.

Direct download: larkin_palelei_interviews.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

Last weekend we saw one of the greatest title fights in UFC history. Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, two men known for their punching power and chins, spent five rounds beating the tar out of one another in an instant classic. Hendricks earned the unanimous decision, and became the first NEW welterweight champ in over six years.

His trainer, a well-traveled kickboxer and martial artist by the name of Steven Wright, was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss the fight. Steven told me how Johny prepared for Hendricks, the techniques that he developed and the reason that he's still improving as a striker with every performance. Wright also talks about some of the other students he's trained, such as Rashid Magomedov and Kelvin Gastelum, both of whom also enjoyed impressive wins recently.

Thanks, as always, for listening, and enjoy the show!

Direct download: 19-Steven_Wright.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

Zach Makovsky joins Connor today for the first half of the episode, in which he discusses his style of fighting and his approach to training. He explains how he models himself after other fighters and learns a lot from watching footage, and also discusses the value of experience in mixed martial arts, particularly as it pertains to fighting smoothly in transitions, something which Zach does very well.

Then, Connor breaks down the two most intriguing fights on the 170 main card, Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia and Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann. It's all about the ground game with these two matchups, but so much depends on how they choose to fight on their feet.

Enjoy, and join us again next Thursday for episode 17!

Direct download: 16-Zach_Makovsky_Interview_UFC_170_Preview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 3:12pm EDT

On a cold dim Cincinnati morning, Connor sat down to chat with one Daði Ástþórsson, who was surely experiencing an even dimmer and colder morning in Iceland at the time. The friend, former trainer, and business partner of popular friend of the show Luis Monda, Daði is an incredibly knowledgeable trainer of many young boxers, and in many ways is the originator of many of the ideas that Connor professes on the show and in his articles. Enjoy this discussion with one of the finest craftsmen in the sport.

Direct download: 13-Dadi_Astthorsson_Interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

A few weeks ago Connor sat down with Sifu Wilson Pitts, trainer extraordinaire of both boxing and Bagua Kung Fu, to talk about the ways in which those two martial arts overlap, and how principles from both can be better applied to MMA. Now Heavy Hands finally brings you this belated interview with one of the most knowledgable trainers around.

Direct download: 12-_Wilson_Pitts_Interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 1:20pm EDT

Heavy Hands is happy to bring the biggest opportunity for the show yet, an interview with Matt "The Immortal" Brown. Matt was kind enough to give us a little time to discuss the finer points of his game. Though he even defines himself as a "technical brawler," there is a depth of strategic and technical understanding to Matt's style. There is also a deadly simplicity to his fighting approach. He tells us how he approaches every fight with the mindset of reacting and adapting to the opponent, going wherever the fight takes him and trying always to finish the opponent.

We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.

Direct download: 9-Matt_Brown.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

Today Heavy Hands was lucky enough to have Lyte Burly on the show, a practitioner and trainer of boxing and the little-known New York-bred art of 52 Blocks, a.k.a. Jailhouse Rock, which was born in the prisons of 70s and 80s New York. Mr. Burly tells about his training philosophies, the fighters he looks up to and tries to emulate, and the defensive mentality that makes 52 the best system for street defense, and one that breeds better-disciplined boxers and mixed martial artists.

We're very happy to have Mr. Burly on the show, so we hope you enjoy the interview!

Direct download: 8-Interview_with_Lyte_Burly.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

One of the most underappreciated aspects of combat sports is a good trainer. Behind every Joe Louis there is a Jack Blackburn, behind every Manny Pacquiao a Freddie Roach, and behind Las Vegas trainer Luis Monda are Mike McCallum and Merqui Sosa. Connor and Corey sit down for a long talk with Luis about his training background and his views on training.

We get to hear some fantastic insights about a fighter's personality determining his/her style and the process of training new students as well as experienced ones.

And then we coerce Luis into breaking down Mayweather vs. Alvarez as well as Matthysse vs. Garcia)

Much thanks to Luis for the fantastic interview, and we hope you like it.

Direct download: 2-Luis_Monda.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 11:03am EDT