White Sox pitcher Philip Humber threw only the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history this past Saturday afternoon against the Seattle Mariners in what was a brilliant performance. Being the diehard Sox fan that I am, it put me in a fantastic mood heading into UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans.
It sounds like a celebratory watching of the fights was how the White Sox spent their evening as well (via the Chicago Tribune):
White Sox right-hander Philip Humber made sure to relish every moment commemorating Saturday's perfect game with his teammates.
That included spending Saturday night at a sports bar with about a dozen teammates to watch a UFC fight (even though Humber isn't a fight fan) to taping a "Top 10" segment for Monday's showing of "The Late Show with David Letterman.".
"You only get one chance to re-live it," Humber said Sunday morning.
Sure, maybe I'm just enjoying the chance to talk about my favorite baseball team and the awesome thing that happened over the weekend. But, Humber's White Sox teammate Adam Dunn is one of several MLB players who have pulled mixed martial arts into their off-season workouts.
Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox, Brad Penny of the Detroit Tigers and Russell Martin of the Yankees have used the sport's punches and kicks to improve their throwing and swinging. In addition to improving overall fitness, Martin said, mixed martial arts can make an athlete mentally tougher.
"You tolerate the pain and get through it," he said. "Mentally, I know I'm in a good place because I worked hard."
Unlike Martin, Dunn and Penny guard the secrets of their workouts as if they were team signs.
...he's studied the sport off and on since he was 14, at the prompting of a childhood friend. He tapered off over the last four years, but got back into it this winter since his longtime gym is now more convenient to his offseason home. And what, exactly, does he do at his offseason training sessions?
"We roll around and learn stuff," Dunn explained. "It's all on-the-ground stuff, it's all positioning. It's more of an endurance thing. It's a workout, bro, it's hard. That's kind of why I do it."
Dunn loves MMA--"people just see all the blood and that's what they think, but it's so tactical," he said--and he enjoys the jiu-jitsu sessions, which could happen anywhere from one time to four times a week during the offseason. But he said he has no desire to get into a ring himself, finding first base a superior destination.
"I don't like getting hit in the face," he noted. "I don't care how big you are, you get hit in the face, it hurts."
I'm going to go ahead and assume Dunn was in that group of guys at the bar helping Humber celebrate his accomplishment by watching Jon Jones defend his UFC light heavyweight title.