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UFC Featherweight Max Holloway teaches Pinoys his ‘sprawl-n’-brawl’ fighting style

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Max “Blessed” Holloway shows his fighting stance. Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net

“It doesn’t matter where you train, its how you train”.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) standout Max “Blessed” Holloway’s words echoed inside the four walls of CrossFit MNL’s Mall of Asia branch on Friday, during a group training session to hype up the upcoming UFC Manila card on October 15.

The spacious facility at Crossfit MOA accommodated the members of the media and Holloway's fans. Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net
The spacious facility at Crossfit MOA accommodated the members of the media and Holloway’s fans. Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net

Members of the local media along with some lucky fans were not only given the opportunity to witness the Hawaiian fighter up close, but also took part in some basic MMA training involving his exciting ‘sprawl and brawl’ fighting style.

The 24-year-old mixed martial artist gladly demonstrated how to keep the fight standing at all times by defending the opponent’s takedowns attempts and countering it with an array of striking moves.

He also highlighted the importance of the proper fighting stance and maintaining balance, while also showing the proper technique to execute a sprawl, which happens to be quite similar to the popular strength training move “burpee”.


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Holloway thwarts a fan’s takedown attempt. Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net

Under Max’s supervision, the unlikely group of scribes and fans enthusiastically imitated his best moves and let their fists fly in the form of one-two boxing combinations.

Once everyone got a hang of it, the participants paired up and took turns executing sprawls and jab-and-cross combinations, each move being slightly difficult than the last.

“Defend yourself, make them pay when you get back up” he said, encouraging the group of amateurs and even joking that some of the guys deserve UFC contracts.

Holloway guides two female participants' "sparring" session. Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net
Holloway guides two female participants’ “sparring” session. Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net
Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net
Photo by Khris Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net

After the tiring yet gratifying session, Holloway entertained questions regarding the many benefits of mixed martial arts, proper nutrition habits and his budding career.

He also shared his humble beginnings and even offered some advise for the Filipino youth who are looking to make a name for themselves in mixed martial arts.

“If you got a dream go after it. It’s more of self belief. Don’t rely on someone to believe in you cause’ that shit ain’t gonna work,” he said.

Holloway, who recalled how he started training in a small garage gym in Hawaii, added that he could relate to challenging upbringing of most children in the country, since he also had to scrap for what he had.

“That’s the thing kids lack nowadays. They look for confidence somewhere else. The biggest confidence comes from within. If you believe in yourself, no one can stop you. And you gotta understand, there’s gonna be bumps in the road. Everybody thinks success is a straight line up”.

“In the most uncomfortable time, try to be comfortable,” he told everyone in the room. “Believe in yourself and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do shit”.


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