‘CONNOR McGREGOR says he earned upwards of $100million from one fight!’
‘But he’s not a fat idiot who managed to punch himself in the face at a wrestling class!’ counters The Missus, not unreasonably.
I am trying to gather support for my dream of becoming a mixed martial arts fighter. It is not going well… but my combat skills are about to get a tech-based boost. So watch out, McGregor! I am coming! Just very slowly…
First up are Hykso’s Punch Trackers (£179.99). These tiny trackers power up when you plug the nifty holding cradle into a USB port. They sit under boxing hand wraps at the wrist and Bluetooth-connect to an app that provides feedback on punch count, type, velocity and power. They are easy to set up and use, and the app feedback is detailed without being overwhelming. It’s like having a Fitbit for boxing and it’s very good. Brick-fisted Ultimate Fighting Championship star Daniel Cormier is a fan and Hysko is working on a version for kicks as well as punches.
With my punching sorted, I need to work on my grappling… or at least look like a grappler. British company Tatami has been at the cutting edge of wrestling gear since 2009. Its rash guards and leggings employ compression technology to aid workout efficacy. Made of a mix of polyester and elastane — it’s like Lycra — they ensure a snug fit, and have cool designs built into them via a process called sublimated printing. This means designs are embedded in the actual material rather than printed on top of it. So, unlike transfers on T-shirts, there’s no cracking. I like Tatami stuff and I wear my Thinker Monkey rash guard (£36) and spats (£40) with patriotic pride!
The boxing and grappling have demonstrated I need to improve my cardio, so I have the Training Mask 3.0 (£89.99) to help. This sits over the nose and mouth, and the dial at the front allows users to limit air flow during workouts, which makes respiratory muscles work harder. It also makes the wearer look like Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. Big like!
Finally, any good fighter needs to monitor their weight. The Nokia Body Cardio Scales (£149.99) do this and much more. Beautifully designed, they measure weight and provide readings on body composition, heart rate and pulse wave velocity, which is a reading of overall cardiovascular health. They are impressive.
Sadly, I am not. The scales report I am way off my ideal fighting weight and my body fat percentage contains more cake and stout than it ought to. So my dream of big-money UFC fights may not materialise. But after a few months of gadget-fuelled training, at least I will be sleek and honed. Then The Missus can’t call me ‘a fat idiot’.
Well, not the ‘fat’ bit at least…
Where the pros train
THE 15-acre Ultimate Fighting Championship corporate campus in Las Vegas opened in May and houses the multimillion-dollar UFC Performance Institute. The complex is the world’s first mixed martial arts performance, research and innovation centre, and its two floors boast all manner of tech wizardry designed to monitor, track and improve its fighters.
This includes such wonders as a hypoxic lab, which simulates altitude training by reducing oxygen levels, and a cryotherapy chamber that sends the body’s endorphin levels racing by subjecting it to sub-zero temperatures. Camera analysis and motion-capture technology enable athletes to dissect their training in minute detail.
The good news is that membership is free. The bad news is that it’s only free to fighters who compete under the UFC banner, whose alumni include fighting machine Conor McGregor (pictured).