PODCAST RECAP – Steve Austin interviews UFC’s Sam Alvey who talks about Bisping-Henderson, Jon Jones, MMA training process, more

By Rob Gladding, MMATorch contributor

The Steve Austin Show
Guest: MMA Fighter Sam Alvey
Release date: November 29, 2016
Recap by Rob Gladding, Torch contributor

Top Newsworthy Items

– Alvey discusses his participation on a recent episode of the Broken Skull Challenge

– Alvey talks about his recent fight with Alex Nicholson and training for the Mexico City altitude

– Alvey describes his general MMA training regime and cutting weight

– Alvey gives his thoughts on UFC 205

Subjects Covered (w/time stamps)

0:00 – Sponsors ad

1:27 – Introduction

14:58 – Sponsors ad

17:05 – Interview with Sam Alvey – BSC Participation

32.02 – Sponsors ad

33:21 – BSC Training/preparation/Strategy

45:40 – Sponsors ad

47:40 – Fighting Alex Nicholson in Mexico City

51:31 – Training for MMA

57:07 – Cutting weight

58:57 – Henderson v Bisping

1:01:38 – UFC 205

01:10:14 – What’s next/Henderson/John Jones

01:15:08 – Interview ends/Conclusion/Plugs

01:20:05 – Show ends

Show Highlights

Introduction: Austin is Joined by Ted Fowler. They discuss feeling rough and hungover after a heavy night of drinking. Austin tells a story about Hershey the Wonder Dog encountering a skunk and narrowly avoiding getting sprayed on a hunt. Austin and Fowler talk about hunting for a few minutes.

Interview with Sam Alvey – Broken Skull Challenge participation: Sam watched the BSC before he participated and was a fan. He said that when the show that he appeared on aired he threw a party and everyone was cheering him until he failed to climb a rope.

Austin recalls when he first met Alvey on the BSC and Alvey asked him what was wrong with his elbow because of the fluid retention Austin recently had surgery for. Alvey said it looked like there was a softball in Austin’s elbow.

When Alvey was applying to be a contestant on the BSC he was dehydrated and hungry from training to fight Eric Spicely, so he didn’t put a great deal of effort into his application and just answered every question with variations of “I fight in the UFC” so he wasn’t expecting a response.

The show was recorded 2 days after his fight with Kevin Casey and he was competing in the BSC with a broken foot and dislocated thumb that he’d sustained during the fight. He also added that he got hemorrhoids for the first time in his life shortly before taping the show and joked about that.

He compared the casting processes of BSC and Ultimate Fighter and said the process for BSC was very different and involved a lot of Skype interviews. The recording process was a long, hot, dirty day but it was cool to hang out and perform. He was about 20 pounds lighter than he was expecting to be because it was so soon after a fight so he was conscious that he was going to be small in comparison to the other contestants and was sizing everyone up as a result.

He said the challenge which he was most hoping to avoid was the trench run because he didn’t want to get wet. The first challenge was the rip off and he felt that it was made for him and he had an advantage over the other participants. There was a contestant with a judo background, which he thought would give them an advantage but he thinks that they used the wrong strategy and that’s why they lost.

After seeing the first 2 contestants struggle and possibly get hurt doing the trucked up challenge he decided to start a little slower with it and go “balls to the wall” once he was settled. He thought Austin was exaggerating about the crates in the pit challenge weighing 600 pounds, but they were every bit as heavy as that. He said he was bragging to his jui jitsu coach about the fighting strategy he used on the show when he got home. He said he enters all competition expecting to win and expected to win BSC so he was disappointed that he failed to climb a rope. He joked about the sun being harder on him during the day because he’s ginger.

BSC Training/preparation/Strategy: Alvey said his preparation for the BSC was just to eat a big dinner before going to bed and getting a lot of rest because he had previously been training hard for his recent fight. When he heard the current BSC champion’s time he didn’t think he would be able to match it and his strategy changed to just completing the course and not embarrassing himself by failing early.

The dome was one of the harder obstacles but once he had gotten the hang of it, it got easier. A lot of the stuff was making his broken foot hurt and he had to ignore the pain. He was annoyed when he missed one of the landings on the course and thought “I hope that looked cool at least” but got it a little faster on the second try.

He felt fine doing the monkey bars during the lightning bolt challenge due to having a great grip strength from pull ups. He said that it was so hot, going into the water for the deep freeze challenge was actually quite refreshing, but because he was wet afterwards everything was sticking to his shoes and thought that played a big part in him failing to climb the rope during the rope burn challenge.

He started to tire by the time he reached the rope burn challenge and was just trying to hang in there because he knew it was getting filmed. He said that in hindsight, kicking his wet shoes off would have helped, but he just couldn’t get up there and he knew it wasn’t going to happen.

In summary it was a great time and fun to see how his sport translates into other athletic endeavors and having done it he would like to do more. Competing through injuries is part of what he does every day and now he’s concentrating on healing.

Fighting Alex Nicholson in Mexico City: The talk switched to MMA. Alvey said his fight against Alex Nicholson was supposed to be in Manilla, but that whole card got scrapped and the fight got moved to Mexico City about 3 weeks ago. He won the fight and he’s on a 3 fight winning streak. During the fight the elevation got to him because the altitude in Mexico City is significantly higher than Denver, but it was a good fight and he got his hand raised again.

He wasn’t able to go up there to acclimate his body beforehand, but he went up to Denver which is a higher altitude to find out how uncomfortable he was likely to be during the fight which helped a little bit. Austin noted that before Fabricio Werdum fought Cain Velasquez in Mexico City, Werdum went 2 months early to acclimate his body, whereas Velasquez only went a couple of weeks early. He said the extra time acclimating seemed to make a big difference for Werdum and maybe if they’d been fighting at sea level it would have turned out differently because Velasquez didn’t seem as dangerous as usual.

Alvey said that there’s a whole science behind altitude training and you need to be there for 90-120 days for your body to acclimate, but 2 weeks there won’t make very much difference. He said with the location of his fight changing at short notice he didn’t have time to plan for acclimating his body and just had to prepare for fighting in uncomfortable conditions. He did some altitude mask training which simulates altitude but doesn’t change the way your body absorbs oxygen. His trainers said the best way to prepare was to just make yourself as miserable as you can in the lead up to the fight.

Training for MMA: Alvey says that sparring is the best form of training but he loves doing circuit training and simulating the cardio level required for a fight as best he can. If it’s a strong upper body opponent he’ll do more upper body cardio, if it’s an opponent who kicks a lot he’ll do a lot more kicking drills. He says he doesn’t do much burpee training because he’s constantly sore so the motion of it makes it hard for him to do in training.

He says that something he didn’t know until recently is that over training is a physical thing and not a mental thing and his strength and conditioning coaches make sure that he doesn’t over train. He has a lot of input into his MMA training and every time a part of his body is hurt he’ll focus on using another part of his body instead.

He trains between 4-8 hours a day. He does 4 hours a week of strength and conditioning training depending on where he is up to in the camp. The trainers have his regime down to a science and know exactly what he’s supposed to be doing, when he’s supposed to be doing it and how much of it he should be doing and the guys from Dynamic Fitness organize everything for him. For the MMA coaching he uses his boxing, jiu jitsu and muay thai coaches more and they organize it for him. He says that you’re training to be perfect for 15 minutes in the octagon and outside of that 15 minutes you feel terrible.

He weighs 210-211 pounds at the moment. To fuel workouts he’s eating between 2000-2500 calories a day depending on how intense the training session is on that particular day. He always has to balance losing weight and being able to function, so if he feels like he needs more energy he’ll contact his nutritionist, George Lockhart, to find out what he needs to eat.

Cutting weight: They discuss how agonizing the process of cutting weight is and Alvey jokes that he’ll fight for free but you have to pay him to cut weight. The final week where you’re eating just enough to function is terrible. He also has 20 minute baths as hot as he can physically stand rather than going in the sauna and keeps doing that until he makes weight.

He fights at 185 pounds. He doesn’t think that cutting weight takes anything out of him and the only time he’s ever felt depleted was when he was on Ultimate Fighter and UFC asked if he could get to 170, but he’s used to the process and knows how his body works so he always feels good going into the cage.

Henderson vs. Bisping: He says that his close friend Henderson was disappointed with the result. Everyone told Henderson that he’s done more in this sport than Bisping or anyone else could ever wish to do, and he knows it so he was trying not to take it too hard, but he was very disappointed in how he thought the fight went and how 2 of the judges felt the fight went.

Austin said Henderson gassed trying to finish Bisping and should’ve been more patient. Alvey agreed in hindsight, but in that moment he was one punch away from finishing the fight and if he’d landed any of those punches cleanly, Bisping might still be asleep, so it’s the chance you have to take and sometimes it doesn’t pay off but everyone thought it would because that’s the way it went in the first fight they had.

Alvey says that when he fights he is relaxed and calm, but when he’s watching his friends fight he’s sitting on pins and needles and bobbing and weaving along with the fight. He finds it much more fun to watch his friends fight than himself.

UFC 205: He thinks it was one of the greatest events he’s ever seen. He thought Alvarez had the skill set to beat McGregor and all he had to do was not circle towards McGregor’s strong side and box him, but as soon as the bell rang that’s exactly what he did. He got blasted then got up and did the same thing and got blasted again. He loves the way McGregor runs his mouth but he’s not a big fan of his fighting style and he wanted Alvarez to win but he just did everything wrong. McGregor looked bigger and had the range on Alverez and that’s why he should not have engaged in a boxing match with him. He said it wasn’t Alvarez’s game plan, but he knows as well as anyone that as soon as the bell rings that the best laid plans can sometimes go out of the window. McGregor has gotten really good at getting into people’s heads, it’s the reason he beat Aldo, and Alvey speculates that it might have been the case with Alvarez too.

Weidman v Romero was the fight he was most looking forward to on the card. It was a good fight with a great finish. Round 1 probably went to Weidman, round 2 to Romero and to finish with a surprise flying knee was cool.

He says that he doesn’t think that Miesha Tate is going to stay retired after her fight against Raquel Pennington and he thinks she’ll be back in the cage by July because she won’t want a loss like that to be her final fight.

Alvey says he was at the event where Bisping beat Rockhold for the title and on paper Rockhold should have won. He’d beaten Bisping a year earlier and made it look easy, but he had a feeling in his stomach all day that Bisping was going to win. Rockhold took him lightly and he shouldn’t have because now he’s at least 2 or 3 fights away from holding a title again.

He says that he hopes Nunez wins against Rousey at UFC 207 but he doesn’t think that she will. He thinks that she’ll do what everyone but Holly Holm has done against Rousey which is blitz in and get taken down and caught in the arm bar. If she follows a good game plan and hits hard she’ll be fine, but he just doesn’t think that she will. Holm maintained a game plan perfectly because she’s had so many fights, but with a lot of the female division a big record is 10 fights, and that’s not very many.

What’s next/Henderson/John Jones: Alvey says he likes to keep busy so he’s hoping to fight soon and he’s keeping himself light so he can fight on short notice if necessary. He’s had 4 fights in 4 months and has been dieting none stop for 7-8 months so he has been relaxing and eating junk food over the last couple of weeks but intends to get strict with his diet again starting now.

Austin suggested a 3 way podcast with him, Alvey and Henderson which Alvey agreed to. He says that Henderson is a hunting enthusiast and he’s just got back from a hunt but is now in training for his jui jitsu fight against John Jones at the Submission Underground event in December. With Jones being suspended for 6 months all he’s allowed to do is jui jitsu

He says that Jones is a cheater. He likes to watch him fight but if he’s stuck in jui jitsu for the rest of his life that would be fine with him. He agrees with Austin that it’s a waste of talent and hopes that someone sets him straight because he’s a fun fighter to watch but outside of the cage he has a lot of problems.

Score and review

Score (7): There was a lot of insight into training for fights and Alvey’s take on a few UFC-related happenings which was interesting and well worth a listen.   

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.