The sharp upturn in evolution of the sport of mixed martial arts has been acutely apparent for all involved in the past few years. We’ve now reached the first generation of athletes who’ve trained in MMA all of their lives; not transitioned across from a single discipline. This has seen a distinct rise in the ability levels of competitors, with the days of the slobber knockers seemingly coming to an end.

As a result of this, ancillary industries are growing up around the sport, to complement and enhance performance. All athletes know, that extra 1% could be the difference between becoming a world champion and becoming an also-ran.

An increasing number of those involved in these industries are young professionals, who’s innovative approaches are giving athletes that competitive edge, two of whom I’ve spoken to today; Yiannis Fleming and Matty Murphy, the respective owners of Mr Sport and Feel Supreme. Both are experts in the field of nutrition, coming to the same end result following slightly different, yet complimentary paths.

Liverpudlian Murphy is a qualified ‘Naturopathic Nutritionist’. “In its simplified form is the science of using natural foods as medicine”, he explained. “The advice of a naturopath is especially useful for those suffering from digestive issues, those looking for relief from stress and anxiety, those who suffer from lethargy and mood swings and those who just want a cleaner diet and lifestyle”.

“Feel Supreme came about from boredom of a job I used to work. I was travelling around 3 hours per day to a job I had no passion for. As a father, this just wasn’t the lifestyle for me. I realised that positive change doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen. So rather than chase a wage, I decided to chase something that made me happy, something I was passionate about. So, I started studying again; working towards my qualifications in naturopathic nutrition. This was the birth of Feel Supreme, purely a social media page offering out information which I was being taught as I was being taught. We’ve now evolved into offering a range of just under 70 products, including CBD oil, natural supplements, Nutritional Deficiency testing and a few BIG projects that I’ll be excited to announce over the next few months”.

Fleming’s path was a bit more linear, “I come from a sport science background. I started coaching tennis & gym training when I was 14. Since then it’s been my chosen career path/passion. I studied in further education to get a degree (BSc Hons. in Sport Coaching & Development). From there I completed a specialist Masters (MSc) in Athletic Development & Peak Performance. This is where I found a passion for nutrition. It just seemed to ‘click’ for me. Since then, I was invited to complete a further qualification online with Stanford University, cementing my work in human nutrition”.

“I started Mr. Sport in my final year of Uni. I wasn’t sure what to do afterwards. There wasn’t a lot of opportunities and I didn’t want to be a PE teacher. So, I started my own nutrition coaching company. The industry was a mess at the time with fat loss pills & low-calorie diets. I was also interested in digital/social media marketing; so I started working towards building my own platforms. From there I began working with more and more people. More athletes and actually a couple of celebrities. It all happened really quickly”.

Their respective paths into the MMA community were similar. Yiannis taking up BJJ and Muay Thai in his second year at university, Matty dabbling in BJJ, throughout the years, mainly for fitness purposes. Both saw an opportunity to bring their passion into a sport which was woefully behind the times when compared to its rivals. “I think that MMA is still suffering a hangover from the days of “eat what you want and train like a beast!”. Murphy said. “I like to this that we are both bringing a clean, fresh approach to the MMA community”. “There’s a simple science to what we do at Mr Sport”, Fleming continued. “We simply help fighters get their eating habits in check. Most of nutrition is portion control and identifying deficiencies, using tests like the one in Matty’s ‘Optimisation Programme’, or my own questionnaire. I try to make sure all of the fighters I work with have bespoke portions specific to their requirements. I also work closely with them to make the process easier. There is a degree of coaching involved in this too. We don’t just tell them what to do and leave them to it, that simply wouldn’t work. Advice can be confusing, especially some of the rubbish you see online, it’s very easy to be misled. I work with fighters throughout their journey, from the start of the camp through to the final weight cut and refuel before their bouts. It’s a lot of science mixed in with cooking!”.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and these two young men have a who’s-who of martial arts alumni who work exclusively with them, including the likes of Luke Barnatt, Alan Philpott, Fabian Edwards, Tim Barnett, Molly McCann, Liam Harrison and celebrity-turned-fighter Aaron Chalmers. I’ll leave you with their respective mission statements, which show the measure of the men involved and their desire for the betterment of our sport.

Feel Supreme:

To honestly and ethically source and supply quality products, free of chemicals or animal extracts.

Mr Sport:

To help individuals of all walks of life improve their eating habits. To provide the world with honest, evidence-based health & fitness advice. To assist in improving athletic performance.  

If you are interested in learning more about what these two companies can do for you, visit:

www.mrsport.org

www.feelsupreme.co.uk