Yoga and the UFC: not the most obvious of pairings, but there’s a little romance in it. For instance, Jimi Manuwa will face Alex Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night London light heavyweight tonight. But who’s got the edge? Or we’ll rephrase, who’s doing yoga?
Don’t let their weight class fool you. As anyone could guess, both of these guys are serious fighters with enough manpower to knock your socks off, assuming you are not in yoga class and currently have your socks on. (If you are in yoga class, socks off, man!) However, Manuwa, a reformed “bad boy” who’s spent time in jail, has found his way back to the Octagon as an undefeated champion. His method of mental preparation? Yoga and meditation.
“That’s how I relax now,” Manuwa told Telegraph Sport, ”and it really does make me meditate when I go there. I get a sweat on as soon as I’m stretching out, my mind relaxes and my body feels brilliant.”
If Gareth A. Davies of the London Telegraph is right, and the fight will be decided by Manuwa’s ability to booster confidence and “soak up the kind of pressure Gustafsson brings, and counter with fire,” then we’d have to wonder if he means kapalabhati fire, because if so, edge: Manuwa.
To be perfectly honest, we prefer not to watch grown men beat the pulp out of each other, but we also respect that it’s a sport that takes high levels of physical and mental acuity. Now, we’re not betting yogadorks, but if we were, we’d go with the hot light heavyweight meditating yoga fan for the win.
Bonus Info: Following Manuwa’s own incarcerated days he’s been teaching MMA classes to boys living in a detention center in London. Perhaps he offers them a bit of yoga, too?
image credit Gareth A. Davies