How MMA Star Bobby Nash Plans to Become the UFC's Fittest and Most Dominant Fighter

Nash is using his savage fighting style and extreme conditioning to take the UFC by storm.

Bobby Nash was born to fight in the UFC.

He has just the right amount of grit, toughness, competitiveness and hard working attitude needed to embrace brutal MMA workouts and go toe to toe with an opponent in the cage.

Although Bobby suffered a tough loss in his UFC debut, he believes he's just getting started and is out to prove that he can become one of the best fighters in MMA with a self-described "savage" and relentless fighting style.

A Blue Collar Guy From Detroit

Bobby grew up in Roseville, Michigan, just a few miles from the notorious 8 Mile neighborhood of Detroit in a typical blue-collar household. His mom stayed at home while his father worked to support the family.

"I look back at my life and realize how amazing my parents were...raising all four kids," he says. "That taught me hard work and discipline. You work for what you want and you work for what you get."

Throughout Bobby's childhood, his father was there supporting him. At the age of 5 when Bobby began wrestling, Mr. Nash was in his son's corner. And he held Bobby to a high standard across the board, but especially when it came to his work ethic.

Looking back, Nash fondly recalls the ultra-competitive home environment he had with his brothers Kevin, Chris and Randy. Like many siblings, sometimes this competitive spirit went too far.

"There were times when me and Kevin fist fought, and my dad would have us take it outside," he recalls. "We'd fight and start crying."

However, their shared memories, experiences and love for competition created an inseparable bond that Bobby believes is a major reason why he was able to become a UFC fighter.

"My brothers are my best friends. I wrestled in college with Kevin and Chris. My brother Randy was in my corner for my first UFC fight and a couple of my other fights," he says. "I always go to them for advice in fighting or in life. My brothers are literally amazing. Without them I don't know where'd I'd be."

"He Just Would Not Break"

Bobby got into his first fight at 11 years old and realized he could handle himself.

"I was at a park and some kid was picking on me. I was just a little kid. I didn't really know I could fight, but I wrestled since I was 5 so I double-legged the kid and took him down," he says. "That's the first time I realized I could fight."

Bobby continued wrestling through middle school and high school. During his freshman and sophomore years, he started beating older opponents who were among the best in the state. His coach then made it a point to have him wrestle the best kid on every team. This strategy paid off as Bobby took home the Michigan state championship during his senior season.

After high school, Bobby wrestled for a year at Lindsey Wilson College before transitioning to Michigan State University. Up until that point he was able to rely on his athleticism and mental toughness, but Big 10 wrestling was a different beast.

"Going into college, I learned the fundamentals on how to really wrestle...the technical aspect of it, the strength and conditioning," he recalls. "Before then I was just a savage who worked hard."

This was noted by Ben Boudro, Bobby's former teammate and owner of Xceleration Fitness (Auburn Hills, Michigan), where Bobby currently trains.

"The one thing I noticed about Bobby is no matter how many times I took him down, no matter how many times I'd push the pace, rub his head into the mat and try to break him, he just would not break and it would frustrate the heck out of me," recalls Boudro.

Transitioning From Wrestling to MMA

UFC Fighter Bobby Nash

Bobby got into MMA by happenstance. He was invited to an amateur fight by a friend and had a successful night.

"I fought some random dude and I smoked him," he recalls with a chuckle.

After several fights, he found that he had a knack for knocking people out and loved getting into the cage.

"To me it's the most primitive, masculine form of battle," he says. "When you're playing basketball or football, you can rely on someone else. For me, I'm fighting another man. It's only me. If I lose then that means he's a better man than me and that's a hard pill to swallow. I want to show I'm the better man."

His wrestling skills gave him a strong ground game and he quickly picked up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, he had to start from scratch with striking. Outside of the handful of fights he got into as a kid, this was outside of his skillset.

"With wrestling, there's one dimension. You just wrestle. With MMA you need to learn how to take shots," he explains. "You need to know how to blend your takedowns with your striking, and your striking with your takedowns. You need to adjust to taking a hit and not being scared to get hit."

Bobby quickly put together an impressive pro record of eight wins and a single loss before he finally got the call from the UFC to fight Li Jingliang, one of China's top MMA fighters. It was a last-minute substitution so he only had three weeks to prepare. Worse, the fight was in Denver so he had the altitude to contend with.

Bobby put up a solid performance against Jingliang and his bout was nominated Fight of the Night, but he ultimately was knocked out in the second round. Here's Bobby's account of the fight:

I went in there in the first round and I was beating the crap out of him. I came out hard in the second round and hit him with a right hand and wobbled him. I was winning the second round. The one thing I regret in that fight...there was about 20 seconds left. I won the first round and was winning the second round. I was tired because I had three weeks notice and the altitude did get to me. I remember my brother yelled 20 seconds left. As soon as he said that, I thought, 'I'm winning the fight, let's coast and get to round 3.' Worst mistake. I wish I pumped out a jab. Five seconds later I get hit with a right hand. I was probably knocked out but didn't go down. He hit me again and I got knocked out. I just wanted to coast into the next round. That was a mistake and I'll never do it again.

Despite the loss, there was a silver lining. Walking out to 20,000 fans in the Pepsi Center was one of the highlights of his life. And now, at 27 years old, Bobby knows the exact approach he needs to take in his upcoming fights: savage and relentless.

"You will definitely be seeing me again. I expect an absolutely spectacular performance from me. I've matured as an athlete and as a person," he says.  "My next fight won't just be fight of the night. It will be performance of the night. I plan on dominating my opponent."

Bobby's next UFC fight is July 16 in Glasgow, Scotland against Danny Roberts.

Bobby's MMA Workout

Bobby enlisted the help of Boudro to prepare for this fight, who put him through a grueling workout that would make most nauseous just watching.

"My number one goal is to become the most fit I can possibly be," he says. "Conditioning is huge, especially with fighting. You need the technique, but if you don't have conditioning you can throw your technique away."

This total-body routine was intense with little rest periods to build the conditioning Bobby needs for a fight while also improving his strength and power. Many of the exercises also put Bobby in difficult positions to challenge his core so that he has the stability to manhandle his opponents.

Ladder Dynamic Warm-Up

bobby nash

Perform each of the following speed ladder drills one after the other, resting only as needed. Repeat for two total sets.

  • Ickey Shuffle With Stick
  • Run-in-Place to Lateral Jump
  • Skater Jumps - Quick and Height
  • Ladder Bear Crawl
  • Ickey Shuffle With Catch

Mobility Series

Wall Banded Shoulder Flexion

bobby nash

  • Wrap a lightweight band around your wrists
  • Keep your arms straight and your back flat as you raise your hands overhead
  • 1x8

World's Greatest Stretch

bobby nash

  • Keep your back flat and core tight
  • Swing your arm overhead to rotate your upper back
  • 1x8 each side

Bench Lat Stretch

bobby nash

  • Hold a PVC pipe with a shoulder-width grip and place your elbows on a bench
  • Sit your hips back to your heels without arching your lower back
  • Drive your chest toward the ground
  • 1x5

Wall Internal/External Rotation

bobby nash

  • Position one foot on a wall and cross your other leg over your thigh.
  • Lightly push the knee of your crossed leg away from you and then lightly pull the knee of your leg on the wall toward your midline.
  • 1x5 each side

Med Ball Slams and Throws

Med Ball Rotational Slams and Throws

bobby nash

  • Rotate the ball overhead and slam it on the ground
  • Catch the ball off the bounce
  • Drive your hips toward the ball to throw the ball
  • 3x3

Med Ball Split Stance Recoil Throws

bobby nash

  • Assume a split stance
  • Catch the ball and rotate your torso without losing your balance
  • Explosively throw the ball to your partner
  • 3x3 each side

Trap Bar Deadlift and Bands

Perform the following exercises in a superset.

Banded Trap Bar Deadlift

bobby nash

  • Attach a resistance band to a trap bar and stand on it
  • Keep your back flat and core tight
  • Explode through your hips to stand up
  • 5x5

Banded Plank 3-Way Touch

bobby nash

  • Place a mini-band around your wrist
  • Keep your core tight and torso square to the ground
  • Touch the ground to the front, to the side and behind your starting hand position
  • 5x5 each side

Kettlebell Reverse Lunge and Towel Pull-Ups

Perform the following exercises in a superset.

Towel Pull-Ups

bobby nash

  • Wrap two towels around a pull-up bar
  • Grasp the towels and perform pull-ups
  • 2xMax

Kettlebell Split Squat

bobby nash

  • Hold the kettlebell at your shoulder in the rack position or overhead
  • Keep your core tight and your back flat
  • Lower until the thigh of your front leg is parallel to the ground
  • 2x8 each side

Iso Arnold Press and Single-Leg RDL to Row

Perform the following exercises in a superset.

Iso Arnold Press

bobby nash

  • Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level
  • Punch your arms up to press the dumbbells overhead
  • Keep your core tight and your back flat
  • 3x5 each side

Single-Leg RDL to Row

bobby nash

  • Keeping your core tight and back flat, stand on one leg and hinge at your hips
  • Row both dumbbells in the bottom position
  • Drive your hips forward to stand up
  • 3x5 each side

Sparring and Wrestling Practice

bobby nash

Bobby then went through about 30 minutes of sparring and wrestling practice. From the sidelines, this looked horribly difficult. Both Bobby and his wrestler partner John Papp were absolutely gassed, but they kept going. Afterwards they both commented that wrestling is by far the best for conditioning.

Conditioning Finisher

After all of this, Bobby finished his training session with a brutal conditioning circuit that was designed to test his mental toughness.

Station 1: Overhead Med Ball Throw to Sprint

bobby nash

  • Throw the med ball overhead, sprint to it and repeat
  • 1x20 sec.

Station 2: Banded Rear-Foot-Elevated Split-Squat

bobby nash

  • Keep your chest up and knee behind your toes
  • 1x20 sec. each leg

Station 3: Farmer's Walk

bobby nash

  • Walk slowly with your core tight and shoulders back
  • 1x10 sec. forward and backward

Station 4: Single-Leg Rope Waves

bobby nash

  • Stand on one leg and swing the ropes to create waves with the ropes
  • Switch legs on your partner's command
  • 1x20 sec.

Station 5: Wrestler's Stance, Sprawl and Push

bobby nash

  • Assume a wrestler's stance with active feet
  • Sprawl onto the ground or push the sled on your partner's cue
  • 1x20 sec.

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Topics: MMA | SQUAT | WRESTLING | STRETCHING | PLANK | MEDICINE BALL EXERCISES | KETTLEBELL EXERCISES | RDL | LADDER DRILLS | BATTLE ROPES | RESISTANCE BANDS | TRAP BAR DEADLIFT | PULL-UPS | MOBILITY WORK | BOBBY NASH