MMA fighters and boxers make use of Wakefield’s elite facilities

UFC Light Heavyweight Aleksandar Rakic trains in Wakefield.
UFC Light Heavyweight Aleksandar Rakic trains in Wakefield.

A ground-breaking partnership to nurture the next generation of elite mixed martial artists and boxers has been launched at Wakefield University Centre.

As a part of degree programme in Applied Sports Performance, staff and students will have the opportunity to provide bespoke physiological and nutritional testing services.

MMA training facilities in Wakefield.

MMA training facilities in Wakefield.

Carl Messen, from Heavy Duty Fight Management said: “The partnership is a key element of our performance pathway as it combines a state-of-the-art physiological testing with ease of access, as well as the educational and vocational development in the areas of sport science, nutrition and health needs we require moving forward.”

Matthew Roberts, the Programme Lead for Sport Science, added: “Wakefield University Centre is thrilled to have been chosen as the venue for the elite mixed martial artists and boxers as it provides our student with the opportunity to gain valuable experience from working with elite athletes.

“We are absolutely delighted to be playing a major role in the education and research of this exciting and physically demanding sport.”

Mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world and combines the techniques of boxing, Muay Thai kickboxing, and various grappling disciplines such as Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Current UFC light heavyweight star Aleksandar Rakic flew over from Austria specifically to utilise the specialised equipment in the Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre (ASIC) based at Wakefield College.

Students studying on the BSc (Hons) Applied Sports Performance course pushed Rakic to the absolute limits before providing him with a valuable in-depth analysis of his fitness and aerobic capacity. Tests included the punishing VO2 Max assessment, which pushes the athletes to exhaustion to test their aerobic capacity, a Wingate Anaerobic Power assessment and a number of blood tests to determine how well Alex’s biological machinery was working.