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Look how the mainstream changes its tune

Well, well, well.  So they are athletes after all, aren't they?  Just like we've been saying for years and years now, MMA fighters are some of the most athletic, physically-conditioned humans on the planet.

Confused?  Peep this article by Dave Shollar over at Boxingscene.com.  Ol' Dave is an ESPN radio host in Atlantic City and decided to take up Muay Thai kickboxing after being inspired by Anderson Silva.  The result was not exactly what he was expecting.  Notable quote:

After seeing Silva's mastery of the ancient Thailand fighting style in his recent UFC bouts, I decided last month that I should give it a try at the local LA Boxing facility in my area. I figured that since I have been boxing and weight training since high school, the transition to Muay Thai would give me a better understanding of the style so often employed by today's top MMA fighters. In my early twenties and in what I consider to be great shape, the training couldn't be that difficult, right?

Boy was that a miscalculation. Training under South Jersey Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guru Jose Tabora, the past few weeks have been as physically grueling as any training I've ever done, not to mention the fact that it's been a mental butt whooping. I learned quickly that training in the craft that Silva has mastered drains you like an old-fashioned guillotine choke.

In my first weeks of class, I have learned to rotate my hips in Silly-Putty directions and throw kicks, punches, and knee and elbow strikes using my entire body. In addition, my cardiovascular conditioning and psychological will power have been tested like never before.

Sounds about right.  Dave details the classes later in the piece, all of which sound like a typical Thai boxing experience.  The good news, though, is that the class really opened his eyes to the level of athletic performance in MMA through grueling workouts, drilled technique, and an emphasis on perseverance.

Look at how the mainstream is coming along.