Photos by Nec Bezmma Nomen
Guest post by Dr Kickass, Mike Piekarski, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Former MMA Fighter, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt. Follow him on instagram.
Endurance for competition, or someone’s “gas tank” can be broken up into 2 components: skill and energy rate production.
Skill or economy of movements is the ability to effectively use the differing energy systems for the optimal moment. A perfect example is when a fighter starts off too aggressively and attains a pace that is unattainable for a prolonged period. With economy of movements the fighter chooses a pace that they can maintain and occasionally taps into the higher levels for specific moments (explosively finishing a takedown, flurry of strikes etc…)
When discussing energy rate production essentially this is broken down to: capacity and production. Essentially how much energy does the fighters possess and how quickly does the energy regenerate mid-fight. There are 3 energy systems that function simultaneously.
1️⃣Phosphagen system (anaerobic) – explosively finishing a takedown
2️⃣Glycolysis (anaerobic) – clinch / positional grappling
3️⃣Oxidative phosphorylation (aerobic) – moving around in the cage, recovering from anaerobic bursts.
How does this affect a fighter like Francis Ngannu?
Ngannu has demonstrated fight ending power on multiple occasions, which translates to a very efficient phosphagen system. It is physiologically impossible for a fighter to maintain an anaerobic pace for long durations. Ngannu’s cardio problem: oxidative phosphorylation and economy of movements.
Economy of movements:
He relies on raw athleticism and physicality therefore he cannot be as effective with his movements. This translates to defending takedowns and trying to get up from inferior positions.
Ineffective recovery (oxidative phosphorylation): Early in the fight Ngannu landed big punches, however his cardio system did not have the ability for the anerobic capabity to recover quick enough.
Once @stipemiocicufc found his pace and positioning he was able to drain @francisngannou ‘s energy, therefore he was never in the position to apply sufficient rest to reuse his power.
Keep developing more skills to rely on physicality less. Develop an adequate aerobic system to improve anaerobic regeneration.