Podcast EP7: Sarah Kaufman, Top Female MMA Fighter, Reveals All!


Sarah Kaufman is one of the top fighters in women’s MMA.

And she is officially amazing!

Here’s an in-depth interview and podcast with Sarah.

I grilled her pretty hard (I hate interviews where you don’t actually learn anything about the fighter or about the way they train).

But the information she gave out went way, way beyond what I was expecting.  She revealed:

•    how a top level fighter manages to fit boxing, jiujitsu, kickboxing, wrestling, conditioning and recovery into a training week,

•    how she deals with sore muscles and joints created by her insane training volume,

•    specific drills to train the transitions between ranges,

•    how fight camp is different than regular training

•    the truth behind cutting weight, and how much a weight a fighter gets back between the weigh-in and the fight,

•    a super-cool post-fight ritual that led to an amusing encounter in a hotel hallway,

•    and the one specific thing that separates a champion from an chump.

It’s a great interview, and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it. You can access it in four different ways

  1. Subscribe to the Grapplearts Radio Podcast on iTunes (100% free)
  2. Right click here to download the mp3 file of this interview
  3. Click play on the audio-only youtube video immediately below this list
  4. Read the entire transcript below

Stephan: Hello everybody, this is Stephan Kesting. Today I’m interviewing Sarah Kaufman. Depending who you ask, Sarah is somewhere in the top 5 pound for pound female fighters right now. She is the current Hard Core Fighting Championship Champion, the former Strike Force Champion, and always serves up a very exciting fight, so I’m so glad to be interviewing her.

How are you doing today, Sarah?

Sarah: I’m doing very well. Thanks, Stephan.

Stephan: So just to put things in context, when was your last fight and when is your next fight?

Sarah: Well, since today is May 2nd, my last fight was exactly a month ago. I fought in the AFC in Victoria, British Columbia, which is my hometown, against Megumi Yamashita, who is a veteran of the sport with 15 years experience. And as of right now, I’m not 100% sure when my next fight will be, but I’m hoping it’s going to be June or July.

Stephan: So you’re in the ‘off-season’ right now as much as you can be… Recently Georges St. Pierre was saying that the difference between a martial artist and a fighter is that a fighter only trains when he’s got a fight coming up, whereas a martial artist is training all the time. So, did you train today?

Sarah: Actually, I already trained twice today. I got up this morning and I went out to the sports center, which is out of Camosum College where our National and Olympic athletes train, and I trained with Tyler Goodale doing my weights.

We didn’t do conditioning because I don’t have a fight in the immediate future, so right now, we’re kind of working on speed and power, doing a lot of jumping and throwing, power cleans, bench press with chains, that kind of thing.

And then after that session, I came to Zuma, where I did a Brazilian jiu-jitsu class with some rolling at the end of it.

Stephan: So is that it for the day then?

Sarah: Tonight, I’ll probably be doing either a little bit more jiu-jitsu or I’ll do a stand-up session.

Stephan: Is this a fairly typical day for you?

Sarah: I would say so. On an average day, even on my off-season, I probably still train about twice a day. And then we have lunchtime classes, so I’ll jump into the lunchtime classes. They won’t necessarily all be super hard training sessions, just working on different techniques, especially in between fights, trying to improve in every area that I can.

Stephan: I’m really picking on this one area because I get so many people asking me how fighters, such as yourself, balance all the different things they need to do. Obviously you need to do conditioning, striking, wrestling, jiu-jitsu… and that’s a lot of different things, as opposed to a boxer, say, who only has to do conditioning and boxing.

So, given that for MMA you need to train a lot of different areas, how do you go about prioritizing these different areas and including them all in a week?

Sarah: The hard part is you’re not only training all those different aspects but you’re also putting them all together, which is totally different as well.

So, for me, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings I generally do my strength training, and oftentimes I’ll also do a conditioning session after the strength session, be it hill sprints, or an aerodyne workout…

Stephan: An aerodyne, that’s the bike with the handles?

Sarah: It’s terrible, and yes, it is the bike with the handles. You produce watts and it’s a big fan. And so the harder you peddle, then the more watts you produce, and the higher the resistance is. So, it’s terrible but great (laughing).

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I often do conditioning in the morning. Then often on Mondays and Wednesdays, I’ll do some jiu-jitsu at lunch, and then in the evening I’ll either do some striking or some more jiu-jitsu.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on the day, I’ll sometimes do a conditioning session in the morning and maybe some Thai boxing or boxing at lunch. Then in the evening, I’ll either do some no-gi grappling or some MMA grappling, although we usually save the MMA grappling for closer to a fight-time, just so we’re not getting cut up.

And then on Friday evening we’ll really mix up the sessions. Sometimes we’ll do grappling, sometimes we’ll do MMA sparring or just boxing sparring; we mix that up

And then – almost always – Saturday morning is our stand-up wrestling day.

Stephan: So how many times a week are you actually sparring? And I guess we have to distinguish between sparring within a specific discipline versus all-out MMA sparring…

Sarah: I don’t do a lot of all-out MMA sparring until closer to my fights, so the majority of our sparring is separated: we’ll either spar the grappling, or stand up wrestling, or boxing, or kickboxing. Then as we get closer to a fight, we’ll start doing boxing with takedowns, or full MMA.

Between fights, we really focus on the disciplines by themselves and the set-ups for your wrestling shots, or getting up off the ground, or throwing punches on the ground, that kind of thing.

Stephan: Okay, let’s say that surprise, surprise, you’ve got a fight 4 or 5 weeks from today.

How would you change your regular routine? What would your average day, or week, of preparation look like when you’re actually in camp?

Sarah: The main thing that changes as we’re coming up to the fight is the intensities of the sessions. So, instead of doing 3-minute sparring rounds, we’re going to jump up to 5 and then 6-minute sparring rounds. And it’s the same thing on the ground: instead of doing just free rolling, we’ll roll for a specific length of time.

So there’s little bit more intensity and focus. Depending on the person I’m fighting, we might focus on getting up off the bottom, or focus on staying on top, or getting to staying on the inside during the boxing and doing lots of combos versus staying on the outside and picking someone apart… The training gets a little bit more specific to adjust to the style of the person I’m fighting.

Also the duration of the sessions changes – a lot of them actually get a little more condensed, for example with pad work, instead of alternating between holding pads for a round and then hitting for a round, we’ll hit for 3 or 4 rounds in a row and then switch off. So the intensity changes substantially when it’s coming up towards the fight time.

Stephan: What’s the ratio of sparring to technical training when you’re in camp?

Sarah: I would say it’s probably 40% to 60% maybe. So we still do a lot of technical work with Adams Zugec during our camps…

Stephan: Just to clarify, Adams Zugec, is your coach, and my friend. He runs Zuma Martial Arts in Victoria…

Sarah: Yes.

Stephan: I just wanted to get that plug in there, very subtly (laughing).

Okay, so with all that increased workload and increased intensity, have you ever over-trained? What are your signs and symptoms of over-training?

Sarah: I could easily over-train because I always feel like I should do more, or could do more, or need to do more, and I really rely on Adam to set the tone of what’s happening in each camp and what I need to do. I’ve had 14 fights now, so I think we’re both getting to know what’s expected of the other person, and also the signs of overtraining for me…

Stephan: What are the signs for you?

Sarah: For example, if I’m feeling really sluggish on Wednesday or Thursday, it could’ve been from a hard Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So then, knowing that I’m going to have hard Friday and Saturday sessions, we might do a lighter session on a Thursday where it’s almost all technical work.

I’m pretty lucky myself, in terms of the injuries: I haven’t really had any, so I don’t have any recurring injuries that flare up or anything like that. But a couple of times, I’ve gotten somewhat rundown, almost cold or flu-like symptoms, where you just feel off.

Forr me, that’s a sign that I need to take a day off and just do lighter workout to get a sweat going and that’s about it.

Adam’s really in tune with that. He’ll look at both myself and all the guys. If they’re walking around a little bit slower, or starting to complain about being really sore, and we’ve just had 3 hard days, then it’s time for a bit of a lighter day, knowing that we’re going to go hard in a couple of days again.

Stephan: So when you’re in harder training, do you do anything extra for recovery? Or do you take any supplements to help you recover? Or do massage therapy? Or Reiki (laughing)?

Sarah: I personally don’t take a lot of supplements myself, but I do a couple different things…

I incorporate ice baths and Epsom salt baths. If my muscles are really sore then often I’ll do an Epsom salt bath. Generally they come in 1 kilogram bags, so I’ll put in about a third of the bag (probably about 2 cups of Epsom salts) and then put the water as hot as I can possibly stand and sweat out a lot of the muscle tightness and soreness.

And then, after that 20 minute Epsom Salts bath, I’ll do a nice long stretch to really make sure that the muscles aren’t getting too tight. I often do that on a Wednesday, right in the middle of my Monday to Saturday training regime. And then on a Saturday – which is pretty much the end of the week for me – I often do an ice bath…

Stephan: Hard core! (interrupting)

Sarah: Yeah! I use cold tap water, throw in a tray of ice cubes and sit in there for about 15 minutes. I find that this really helps with muscle and joint inflammation, and getting the body awake again after such a long week.

Stephan: Just out of interest, how many hours a night do you sleep?

Sarah: I probably don’t sleep enough. I’ve never been a really good sleeper, so I would say I probably sleep somewhere between 4 to 7 hours a night, usually it’s 4 to 5½ hours….

Stephan: Oh my God, you’re one of those people! Do you find that that works for you?

Sarah: For me it does. I generally get run down, and I just don’t sleep very well. So if I feel really tired and go to bed at 10 pm or 11pm then I’m up by 3 in the morning. So I usually just stay up until at least midnight, if not 1 or 2 am, then go to bed and get up somewhere between 6:30 am and 8 am at the latest.

Stephan: Well, I guess you’re genetically blessed to be able to get by on that little sleep. I know if I did that – and I’m not training anywhere near as hard as you – then I’d just completely fall apart.

So, before anybody listening to this podcast gets any silly ideas, this is genetic variability at work here!!!

Sarah: I know other fighters who try and get 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night, especially during fight camp. Sleep is good for recovery with your muscles just having that time to relax and recoup.

I actually try to make sure that I eat some protein right before I go to bed, either a chicken breast, or some cottage cheese, or even a protein shake. Just to help with recovery as well.

Stephan: Well that leads us very nicely to the next question, which is aboupt nutrition.

Now that you’ve admitted that you sleep a relatively short amount of time, you’re probably going to tell us that you eat Big Macs and French Fries everyday… (laughing).

Sarah: No, for the most part, I eat my fight diet all the time. I’m a pretty picky eater, so I don’t really like stray too far and have too many flavors on my food.

So, on an average day, and when I’ve got a fight coming up, in the morning I’ll eat eggs and egg whites with oatmeal. or I’ll have a protein shake with greens and berry powder in it.

Then I’ll have a similar meal after my first work out, whether it’s a protein bar or a protein shake, usually with an apple or some sort of fruit.

Then for lunch and dinner, I pretty much have the same thing most of the time, namely a chicken breast and vegetables, for example a spinach salad with broccoli, cucumbers, peppers and that kind of thing on it. I usually don’t use much dressing.

And for dinner, I’ll have pretty much the same thing. So there, that’s my standard eating plan, almost all the time.

Stephan: Do you count calories?

Sarah: I don’t. I walk around at 153 to 155 lbs in between fights, and then I fight at 135 pounds.

During my fight camp I get down to about 146, 147, or 148 lbs. That’s just from the extra workouts, so I don’t really have to limit what I’m eating. I just make sure that I’m not having any treats, any sweets, and just eat really clean.

I cut 6 or 7 pounds of actual weight in fight camp to get to the point where I then cut about 12 pounds of water.

Stephan: So then how much of that 12 to 18 pounds do you get back by fight night?

Sarah: At the weigh-in I’m usually at 135 lbs, and then by fight night, I’m usually about 149 to 151 lbs.

Stephan: Can you give us some tips on how to put that weight back on after your weight type?

Sarah: Everyone does something a little bit different. Some people really like to do an IV, where essentially, you’re getting the nutrients and the electrolytes straight back into your blood system.

I have never done an IV, so I just don’t bother. As soon as I weigh in, I’ll drink Pedialyte. And then I’ll make a protein shake that’s similar to my morning shake: I do 2 scoops of vanilla protein, a scoop of berry powder, a scoop of greens, a scoop of maltodextrin and another scoop of dextrose, just for the extra sugars.

So first I’ll drink those. I’ll also have some water as well. Then throughout the next day, I’ll be drinking water, another Pedialyte, and some Powerade or Gatorade, to get the sugars, electrolytes and the carbs to replenish my body.

And I pretty much eat normally. We’ll go for dinner and I’ll usually try and have a good meal of chicken and vegetables, maybe some potatoes for a little bit of extra starch or maybe a little bit of pasta. And then I always get garlic bread with cheese.

Stephan: That’s your kryptonite?

Sarah: It is!

Stephan: Oh well, everyone needs a weakness or an indulgence…

Now recently I was talking with Adam, your primary coach, and he talked about the kind of weight you’re using in the gym. So why don’t you tell us exactly what your ‘numbers’ are?

The reason why I want specific numbers is because everybody enjoys comparing themselves to pro-athletes. And so can you tell us what you’re bench-pressing, or what you’re squatting, or how much wattage you can produce on the aerodyne bike and for how long?

Sarah: I think it kind of depends on the day and the different things that we’re doing…

Stephan: Oh, just go with the best numbers then!

Sarah: (laughing) At one point, when I was doing back squats with around 3 plates (315 lbs), but those were just to the point where my thighs were parallel to the ground, and not below parallel. And when I was doing my squats low, below parallel, I think I was doing about about 100 kilos maybe…

Stephan: That’s about 220 pounds….

Sarah: Yeah, maybe up to 250 pounds maybe?

Stephan: At first thing I wanted to say ‘that is strong for a girl,’ but I’ve got to revise that now. That’s strong for anybody! There’s not a lot of guys who are out there squatting 3 plates a side down to parallel; that’s really unusual to see in the gym. So, have you always had that kind of leg and back strength or is that something that you’ve had to develop?

Sarah: Well, I’d like to say that I carry a larger bottom half (laughing), so I’ve always had quite a large butt, and I’ve always had stronger legs, I suppose, even when I was growing up. But it’s definitely something that we’ve been working on with my trainer, Tyler Goodale, who does my strength and conditioning.

Because I put on muscle fast, and I obviously have to make a weight category, we’ve been focusing a little bit more on using heavier weights to gain more explosiveness and speed, as opposed to put on size and strength in that traditional sense.

So lately we’ve been doing a lot of kind of supersets. For example, we’ve been doing a lot of trap bar deadlifts in which you stand inside the bar that’s kind of like a hexagon and you do a deadlift standing up with it. We do a big circuit, for example, of trap bar deadlifts with chains, to just regular trap bar deadlifts, to hang snatches, to box jumps. So going from heavier to lighter in order to really work on explosiveness.

We’ve been doing a lot of sets like with the upper body as well. And I think it’s really been beneficial, increasing my strength and explosiveness without necessarily putting on that size.

Stephan: Okay, so what you’re doing is starting with the heavy lifts and then going on to do explosive exercises for roughly the same body part immediately afterwards…

Sarah: Exactly!

Stephan: What about running? Do you do long, slow runs or are you all about sprinting?

Sarah: For the most part I pretty much just do sprints, especially for the conditioning. That’s because the slow endurance runs really are the opposite of everything we’re going for in an MMA context. We’re getting ready for relatively short, 5 minute sessions where you’re exploding throughout that 5 minutes, but then you’re done. You need to be able to do that 5 minutes fast. So the majority of my training sessions involving running would be inclined sprinting, or hill sprints, or flat sprints.

But then, just for weight maintenance, I’ll do a jog just to get everything warm and loose and get a light sweat going. But I wouldn’t really run for more than 25 or 30 minutes tops. I do this even though my trainer, Tyler, does not like this, but Adam, my coach, doesn’t mind it. I might do it on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Stephan: What would be a standard sprint protocol, say on a treadmill?

Sarah: One of the worst ones we do on an incline that’s somewhere between 8 and 10 percent, and somewhere between 8 to 10 miles per hour. We’ll do 20-seconds of sprinting, 10 seconds of rest, doing 10 sets of that which is 5 minutes.

Then we rest for 3 minutes, except as the fight get closer, we only get a 1 minute break.

Then we do 15 seconds sprinting and15 seconds resting on the side for 10 sets. Then we take another break.

And then we do either another set of 15 second sprints, or a set of 10 seconds on, 20 seconds off.

It all depends on how many rounds of 5 minutes that we’re going to be doing.

Stephan: So you’re starting out with a standard Tabata interval timing, namely the 20 seconds on with 10 seconds rest and then gradually increasing the rest…

Sarah: Exactly. Going from a work to rest ratio of 2 to 1, to a work to rest ratio of 1 to 1, to a work to rest ratio of 1 to 2.

Stephan: Okay. This might be a dumb question, but have you ever gotten really tired in a fight?

Sarah: No. I’ve been somewhat tired but I would never say I’ve been exhausted in a fight. Ever.

I think that’s important because you don’t want to be at that point where I think I’m going to die and they’re still going. So I think I’ve always been in better condition than my opponents.

Stephan: That must be nice to know.

Sarah: For me, especially, it is, because I’ve had training camps where I’ve had days that I go to Adam and say “I shouldn’t fight! We’re one week out from the fight and my my conditioning is terrible!”

And then Adam is like “you’re an idiot!”

And then the next day, I’ll do a fairly intense conditioning session, and then, an hour later, a stand up wrestling session with a new guy every 3 minutes for a 6-minute round, and the guys are gasping and I’m not.

There’s just always certain days in training camp, where even if you have that conditioning – maybe you’re over-tired or it’s just a bad day – you feel like your conditioning isn’t good. But then when you have those hard sessions and you realize “oh, I actually do have good conditioning” – this is very reassuring mentally.

Stephan: I think people are beginning to get the idea that if you’re going to fight MMA, you can’t just be a pure striker, or a pure wrestler, or a pure jiu-jitsu player.

You mentioned earlier that you trained the transitions between these disciplines. Can you give us some examples of drills or techniques that transition between striking and grappling, between grappling and wrestling, and between wrestling and striking?

Sarah: Some examples would be just working your entries into wrestling off of someone who is jabbing at you. So we’ll do sets where I jab, they jab back, and then I drop under that jab to go for my wrestling shot.

Other examples would be using an up and down motion in your striking. Maybe you jab high and then throw a cross low to the body. What you’re doing here is getting them going up and down. So then you come back to their head, their body comes up, and then you drop down low for a shot.

Here you’re forcing them to do one thing and then you’re countering to do another. You can even do the same thing working on catching leg kicks to set up your shot. And using your knees as someone else is shooting in, and striking off of someone else’s shooting is another example.

On the ground, we have a lot of different drill that Adam and other people have come up with to use punching to pass the guard. So, you’re punching from inside the guard, then standing up, breaking their guard open, getting them confused by hitting them, peppering them with shots, and then passing to kneemount or mount and striking from there as well.

I think when I first started in the sport of mixed martial arts, striking was my stronger suit, wrestling I wasn’t great at, and grappling I was okay at.

And then those areas started get better, but the transitions weren’t quite there. And I still feel like I’m working on them, but I definitely feel like the transitions are the most important part now for me and my game in order to take everything and put it together.

Stephan: So what got you into MMA in the first place?

Sarah: I started out doing the Thai boxing with Adam, really as just a different form of exercise. I had danced my whole life and this was now at the other end of the spectrum. I got to be a little bit physical and hit things, and then it really was really exhilarating and a lot of fun and then I couldn’t stop.

So I wanted to get better at the Thai boxing, and then I saw people doing the grappling and that looked like fun. So I tried doing that and I was terrible at it at first. So then I needed to get better at that.

I’m a competitive person, so I wanted to put it to use. I started doing some smaller tournaments over in Vancouver. And one of the girls, Liz Posener, that I had competed against in some of the tournaments, was looking to do her second MMA fight. They were looking for an opponent and she told the promoter that I might be interested…

Adam presented it to me, I said yes. I think I was his first student fighting in an MMA fight and that was my first fight. So, we’ve definitely both grown in the sport together and I kind of couldn’t stop.

Stephan: So, maybe another stupid question, were you afraid with the first time you stepped into an MMA fight?

Sarah: For me, in my first fight, I was most nervous about losing and I also didn’t know what to expect. I’d done the tournaments with the Thai boxing, and had done pretty well in the kickboxing, and I had done the tournaments with the grappling, and really well at that, but I had never really fully put it together and I really didn’t know what to expect.

So at the MMA fight I came out first and Liz came out second. and I actually found myself kind of like grooving a bit to the music and just smiling and kind of joking with Adam at how intense she was before the fight and I just wasn’t.

From that point, I think I realized that I put in hard work and that I could win a fight. There’s always going to be a nervousness of “I want to win and I don’t want to lose and I want to perform well.” But at the same time, I’ve put in the training, I trust my coach entirely and I think that’s really the important part. That’s what allows me to not be too nervous: trusting in the coach and my training and my training partners.

Stephan: So I’ve got two related questions for you. The first is what advice would you have for somebody who wants to get started in MMA? And the second question is what advice would you have for a woman who wants to get started training in any combat sport, not necessarily with the goal of competing, but just for fitness and self-defense and self-confidence?

Sarah: In response to both those questions, the most important thing is finding somewhere where you’re happy training and comfortable training.

I see a lot of people who will go to a gym because they hear of a name or they hear that they have really tough people and they’re really good. But then they get there and it’s not their vibe. Maybe they want a gym that has aggressive people, or maybe they want a gym that’s a little bit more laid back and has a little bit more of a family community.

For me, the important thing in getting involved in training, is finding that gym that works for you, and a coach who works for you.

We’re pretty lucky at Zuma. We really have a big family, a big community, a big team. You guys are kind of the same way at your gym

You know Adam and I know Adam. He is very a sensitive guy who knows a lot of things and he can’t be around negative people, and so he has brought up together a really positive training team. This allows you to try things in training where you’re not worried about getting hurt, you’re not worried about getting knocked out because someone has a beef with you. You’re trying things in order to improve, and as a team you’re trying to improve. So people who want to get into fighting need to find that team that works for them.

And before you even think about fighting, start training. And train to get good at training, before you think about stepping in the cage because you could have the best jiu-jitsu in the world, and get punched in the face and all your skills are gone. So if people who are really skilled have that problem, then people who don’t have as much skill – who just want to get in there and fight to be tough – can end up getting hurt.

So I say to those people, train first, and if fighting comes about, great, if that’s something you want to do.

And for the ladies, just find a positive training atmosphere. Whether it’s a female or a male coach, find someone who inspires you to want to learn, to want to train and have a good time with your training. I don’t think you can take it too seriously, especially right at the beginning. If I had taken myself seriously and thought about fighting right away, I would’ve been so discouraged based on how terrible I was.

So anyone can get good. It’s just a matter of putting that time in!

Stephan: With MMA getting a little bit more popular, people are getting a little bit less weirded out by the idea of rolling around on the ground with people who are wearing spandex. But, I would imagine, that the “ick” factor of groundfighting would be amplified for most women, especially if they don’t have experience of previous combat and contact sports.

So do you have any words of advice for dealing with the whole contact thing from a female perspective?

Sarah: I think a lot of females, especially if they haven’t done a lot of grappling or jiu-jitsu before, might have an issue going into a class that has a majority of males because they’re not kind of comfortable in those positions. It is awkward. You’re not used to being in these positions doing a sport.

And so, if you can find a gym that has females there, then that’s definitely a very big support system that helps break through that comfort barrier. But I think you also really have to look at the sport for what it is and try and take your mind off it.

I’m not a close contact person. I don’t like being hugged. I don’t like people being in my personal bubble. Yet, when I’m grappling, I don’t have that issue. And it’s probably based on the fact that I have a goal in mind. And that’s to use technique, and strength, and their momentum, and their weight distribution to do different things.

You really have to kind of open your mind to that: so that you[re thinking “this is technique, this isn’t people in my personal space,” which, at first, can be definitely hard.

Stephan: My last question to you is this. In your time around the sport, I’m sure you’ve watched other fighters come and go, and people who say they want to fight starting to train hard, fighting once or twice and then fading away. So what separates the champions, the best of the best, from the people who don’t quite make it?

Sarah: The main thing that stops a lot of people from being a champion is work ethic. You have to want to work, and you have to want to work through the days where you don’t want to work. You have to know to push through those.

A lot of people have trouble with that self-motivation, or they want to just come easy. They want the notoriety of having done well, and the fame of having been on a worldwide stage with people recognizing them, but they don’t want to put in that time.

It’s the people who, after a fight, whether they win or lose, are back in the gym two days later, either training, or even just to work on their technique, or just to hang out with their team. I think that really separates the people who do well from the people who maybe fight once and disappear. It’s putting in that work and knowing that after a fight, you have to get back in that gym and do it all over again, and try and get better.

Stephan: I heard a great story about you. I think it was one of your early MMA fights where the other girl went out partying after the fight and you went to bed. Then the 2 of you passed each other in the hallway, you going out for a run the morning after your fight and her coming in from the bars and the night clubs. Is there any truth to that rumor?

Sarah: Yes, after every single fight that I’ve fought, I’ve gone for a run the very next morning. We’ve had fights where we’ve had to leave the hotel at 6 in the morning and I’ve gotten up at 4 am to get that run in. Regardless of whether I won the fight or lost the fight, it really helps me keep the focus on the fact that I still wasn’t perfect and I have to get better. And so I’ve gone for a run after every single fight.

Stephan: Wow. That’s an amazing ritual, amazing habit!

Awesome. Well thank you very much for talking to me today. I think it was a really interesting bunch of information you gave us.

Sarah: Yeah. I had a great time as well, thanks Stephan!

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