Monday, June 27, 2022

Jiří Procházka Explains Why He Punches Trees In Training

UFC light heavyweight contender Jiří Procházka has explained why he believes punching trees benefits his training and his body.

We’ve seen some bizarre training techniques in mixed martial arts and combat sports as a whole. A few that come to mind include Joshua Fabia chasing his pupils, including Diego Sanchez, around a cage with a knife, Tony Ferguson’s strange exploits in the gym, and Fabia (perhaps the king when it comes to questionable training) hitting an upside-down Sanchez with a stick.

After a video uploaded to Twitter by Procházka last year, we can add tree punching to that list…

Whatever “Denisa” does in training, apparently including striking bark, it seemingly works. The Czech star boasts a 28-3 professional record, which includes a remarkable 25 knockouts. He also held gold in the renowned Rizin promotion, and will have the chance to do so in the UFC next month.

After back-to-back knockouts in his first two Octagon appearances, including a memorable spinning back elbow finish against Dominick Reyes, Procházka has secured a title shot against Glover Teixeira. The pair will meet in the UFC 275 main event on June 11.

So, with that success, should all fighters be punching trees? Procházka seems to think so.

“This kind of training is very good for your body, for the stability. You can stabilize your punch when you’re punching the tree,” Procházka claimed during an interview with Overtime Heroics MMA. “But not a big tree like I punched in the video. It’s better to punch some smaller trees. That’s why I changed that.

“Sometimes I’m using the tree, sometimes I’m using the makiwara. The makiwara is like, a wood stick,” explained Procházka. “It’s helpful for your body, to be more powerful in your punches, to be stronger. You have your core, your stomach, be stable and just better.”

Having suggested that he’s knocked down a fare few trees in his time training in the forest, Procházka will look to replicate that result on another human when he next enters the Octagon.

Given his track record so far, it’s probably safe to say that should Teixeira be dethroned at UFC 275, he’ll be lucky to avoid going to sleep.

What do you make of Jiří Procházka’s unique training?

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