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Misha Cirkunov using virtual reality to prepare for UFC Vancouver

Misha Cirkunov is getting over his Octagon anxieties with the help of virtual reality.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters are always looking for new and innovative ways to train. UFC light heavyweight, Misha Cirkunov, is turning to virtual reality.

Speaking with and other outlets at the UFC Vancouver open workouts, Cirkunov explained how he is using V.R. to simulate certain aspects of fight week. “Sometimes it’s even about how you wake up that day, how you are feeling that day in particular,” he said.

“In training, yeah, you can beat everybody but how well can you perform under the pressure, under these lights, in front of all these people. That’s something I’ve been actually working on. I’ve been doing some tricks to simulate all this at home.”

“I was using virtual reality... I put on the helmet and I see all these crowds, I’m in a world championship boxing ring and now it doesn’t phase me at all. Before it did,” he continued. “It’s just a matter of time. There is such a huge future with virtual reality. There are so many crazy games.”

“For example when I play the Creed [Rise to Glory] boxing game — I’m actually number one ranked now in the world for punching stats at one of the sessions there. Half an hour of putting the helmet on and using some wrist weights and doing movement and boxing game, I’m completely drenched,” he explained. “I’m so sweaty and at the same time so excited, I want to play more but I need to turn the AC on and the fans and bring a towel before I can continue. There is a huge future and opportunity in terms of learning because everything can be in 3D. Even just going over technique, it could be very interesting.”

Cirkunov fights Jimmy Crute on the main card of UFC Vancouver on Sat. (Sept. 14) on ESPN+. The event is headlined by Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje.

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