TUF winner Diego Brandao has revealed that he has anything but a typical routine for his training camps leading up to his major bouts in the UFC. He and several members of the army and police force, take to the shooting course and use a variation of AK-47s and M-16s to blow away photographs of his next opponent. He says that this is nothing personal against his opponents, stating “nothing personal against my opponent, I always do that as a motivation, It helps me to relax and focus on my opponent. This is something I usually do during all my camps, I live in the U.S. and that’s perfectly legal here. It is part of the American culture, and I only use that inside the shooting area. I train with guys from the army and police. They invited me to practice.”
Though it may seem strange and disrespectful to some, he says that it helps him relax and focus on his opponent. What people don’t understand about this sport is how much the mental aspect actually plays into every fight. We hear plenty of stories of guys who are monsters in the gym, dominating world-class fighters, but then when it comes time to fight in the UFC they crumble. This is not because they aren’t great fighters, it’s because they aren’t mentally prepared for the lights, show and pressure. We talk about octagon jitters all the time, and if taking shots at pictures of his opponents helps Diego Brandao prepare for the mental aspect of the fight he is about to take part in, then I say more power to him.