Preparing For an MMA Fight – The Week Before

When preparing for an MMA fight with just one week to go, the emphasis has to be on readjustment, rehabilitation, and mental readiness.


Depending on the training regime implemented leading up to the fight, the week before the contest is the time to undo any routines that were in place that may affect your performance on the night of the fight. This may involve flying out to the host country if not already there, although I think one week is too short a time to adjust to some of the more extreme time zone differences.

Another adjustment that has to be made, is your own natural body clock. If you have been training during the morning and afternoons but your fight is going to be at night, possibly quite late into the evening depending on the duration of the preceding contests, then you will have to start getting up later each day in preparation for this .

You may need to make some final readjustments to your weight too in the week before. Nowadays that is done through sitting in a steam room on and off for a few hours to shed water from the body.


The week before an MMA fight is the time to make amends for all the high intensity training and sparring that would have taken a toll on your muscles and joints. You want to enter into the contest completely fresh and rested.

An interesting reminder from history here is that prior to breaking the sub 4 minute mile record, Roger Bannister rested the complete week without any training whatsoever. For an MMA fighter this could be the time for chiropractic massage, stretching and mobility work and technique honing. It will probably be a good idea to lay off intense weight training and even strenuous conditioning work.

Mental readiness

If you have not already been doing so, the seven days leading up to the contest should allow you the time to concentrate on tactics by watching videos of your opponent and also yourself to highlight any weaknesses and strategies yet to perfect.

It is also time to confront any fears and the reasons why you want to fight in the first place. You need to remember why you fight and what motivates you to win. Several fighters nowadays employ the services of sports psychologists to overcome mental roadblocks to their progress.