London Irish meets fighters from the Ultimate Fighting Championship® at Sunbury
London Irish welcomed two of Britain’s brightest Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) talents to Sunbury yesterday afternoon as they took part in some specialist mixed martial arts (MMA) training.
Paul “Sassangle” Sass and Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa, who will both be fighting at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on 29th September, joined the London Irish players in a training session that incorporated both rugby strength and conditioning training and MMA training.
Paul and Jimi, who are both undefeated winning 13 out of 13 and 11 fights out of 11 respectively, were very well received by the London Irish squad, especially by Max Lahiff who is a big UFC fan.
Max Lahiff said: “I watch a lot of UFC and have seen both of Paul’s bouts, so to have him come down and give us some insight into how he trains was amazing.”
The London Irish players kicked off the session with four sets of prowler shuttle runs which included ruck agility work before Paul and Jimi talked and demonstrated the Triangle Armbar and Flying Armbar holds. Paul and Jimi finished the session with a kick boxing demonstration.
London Irish and England international, Alex Corbisiero, is a huge fan of UFC and already has his tickets to the event in September. He said: “It was great to have Paul and Jimi down this afternoon; unfortunately, due to injury, I was unable to take part in the training session but it was great to see some of the training they do. Both sports require the same sort of dedication to be the best you can be so it was great that they were able to share their programme with us.”
UFC fighter, Paul Sass said: “It’s been great to show the team a few MMA techniques, the training we do is actually quite similar, although I’m not sure they’ll need my signature Triangle ArmBar, that would not be suitable to use on the pitch.”
Jimi Manuwa, a newcomer to the UFC who will make his debut in Nottingham on the 29th remarked, “The players at London Irish have such explosive power. Today was really good training practice for me; it really helps to mix things up and spar against athletes of different builds. I know a lot of the team are fans of the UFC so I hope to see them Octagon side in September cheering me on in my debut.”
The Ultimate Fighting Championship®:
Universally recognised for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC® produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now air on FX in an exciting new live format.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 149 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions and in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and in Quebec through Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.