By Caoilte de Barra
Earlier this month, the United States national team made the trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, to train at the UFC Performance Institute.
Twenty athletes from the junior and senior setup, along with the coaching team trained in the state-of-the-art training facility for two days as they continued their preparations for the 2022 World Championships. The trip to the UFC PI was set up with the help of the federation’s head of selection committee and UFC vice president of athlete development Forest Griffin.
For the two days, a training plan was put together by head coach and UFC legend Joe Stevenson, where each coach was assigned different blocks to teach sessions.
2022 Pan American gold medalists Adrian Ledezma, Jonathan Powell, Shane Collins, Lester Batres Jr. and Anthony Orozco were among the athletes that travelled to Las Vegas. Youth World champions Abigail Alvarez and Rashad Satterwhite also joined the squad after graduating from the youth ranks.
The trip will be the last squad session the nation will do before the World Championships. Following the trip. USFL Director Jim Nightingale commented:
“It was a great opportunity. The fighters just took to it. They were grateful. They worked hard the whole time. They listened to their coaches. As we look back on it, we feel like it was a tremendous success that we need to try to replicate in the future. People sometimes forget that even in an individual sport like MMA, having a team is still valuable. If you have somebody that you can bounce ideas off of or just knowing that your teammates are behind you, that sort of team feeling is always valuable, even in an individual sport. And I think we did a good job towards building that.”