"I definitely believe that the mental aspect is massive. Probably the biggest chunk of what is necessary because you think mental and you think just about your gameness in the ring or your attitude towards fighting. But mental encompasses a lot more than that. The mental aspect also includes training - how do you look at your own progression and be smart enough to see your weaknesses and force yourself to do things your uncomfortable with in the gym because there's no way - you can't lose here. Every time you tap, get hit, whatever, it doesn't go on your record. So might as well get it all out here and make all your mistakes and take those mistakes the data necessary to turn it from a mistake into a success."
-- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Josh Barnett (32-6) tells Fight Magazine about what he considers to be the most critical skills for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter to have if they wish to have a successful career in one of the most difficult sports on the planet. While any fighter can put hours in the gym working on striking, grappling and conditioning, "The Warmaster" feels it is the mental side of the game that sets the elite competitors apart from all the rest. The 35-year-old certainly has the knowledge and experience to give such an opinion, as for well over a decade now Barnett has been considered among the top-10 fighters in his weight class and holds victories over the likes of Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Pedro Rizzo and many others. Longevity in a sport as physically taxing in MMA is very difficult to accomplish, and pairing longevity with success is an even more daunting task. Barnett has done that since starting his career in 1997, though, and he credits it all to a strong mental outlook.
Barnett will next compete at UFC 164: "Henderson vs. Grant" when he meets former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in the co-main event of the evening from the Bradley Centre in Milwaukee, Wis., on Aug. 31, 2013.
For more news and notes on UFC 164, click here.