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Larry Fitzgerald benefits from MMA training, but he’ll never fight

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Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is one of the many NFL players who says he has benefited from training in mixed martial arts. But Cardinals fans need not fear Fitzgerald suffering an injury by stepping into the cage himself.

Fitzgerald told Loretta Hunt of SI.com that he considers MMA the toughest sport there is, and that working out with MMA trainers and fighters has been a big part of getting himself into peak physical conditioning.

It’s awesome cross-training for me, a great high-intensity workout,” Fitzgerald said. “I can implement it into some of my offseason training to change it up. I do some of the hand work, foot quickness, ladder drills, some of the in-ring work to make me quicker and more explosive with my feet and in the hand battles I have to get into on the line of scrimmage. The cardiovascular conditioning and core work is just fantastic. I don’t do much of the sparring with guys hitting me, but I do shadowboxing and legwork like that, so I’m always left hurting when I leave the ring.”

Fitzgerald also regularly attends Ultimate Fighting Championship fights, but he said that spending a little time in the gym with former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir made him realize that he would never actually fight in the Octagon, or even engage in full-contact sparring with professional fighters.

“No. It’s one of those things I admire from a distance,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ve watched Frank Mir break down grown men with leg kicks and thought that’s probably not where I should be. I’ll stick to my side of the cage.”

As Fitzgerald struggles through a frustrating season as a great receiver on a team with three bad quarterbacks, it’s probably good news for Ryan Lindley, John Skelton and Kevin Kolb that Fitzgerald is not a fighter.

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13 Responses to “Larry Fitzgerald benefits from MMA training, but he’ll never fight”
  1. dioalice says: Dec 19, 2012 6:36 PM

    If the Cardinals could get a decent QB with half of Fitz’ ability and commitment, Arizona could be a playoff team. That said, free agency probably can’t fix their QB situation (upgrade, yes; fix, no).

  2. dabearsk says: Dec 19, 2012 6:45 PM

    Like Clint Eastwood says…” A man has got to know his limitations” love to watch and got a lot of respect for the training mma fighters do..but I’m with Larry ill stay on his side of the cage too…

  3. chesslungo says: Dec 19, 2012 7:00 PM

    Wisenhunt needs to be fired. Hoyer should finish, he played ok for NE

  4. seahawks4alltime says: Dec 19, 2012 7:04 PM

    Any team would be lucky to have Fitz on their team. Personally I would love to see Larry catch on in Seattle. But I think Arizona will pay to keep him, and they’ll need to draft a young QB and hire a vet just to fling him the ball.

  5. kappy32 says: Dec 19, 2012 7:35 PM

    Most overrated player in football. Great players make those around you better & he doesn’t. Randy Moss made Dante Culpepper look great when he was with him; Michael Irvin made Jason Garrett look good. It doesn’t matter who the QB is in Arizona, Fitz doesn’t make that player better. Fitz needs a good to great QB throwing him the ball for him to be great – that is NOT a great player. I know I’m in the minority here & I know I will get a lot of thumbs down for this, but it doesn’t matter. You can’t blame everything on the QB, especially when you’re paying a guy $100 million to be a superstar & produce. 

  6. jrfrom508 says: Dec 19, 2012 7:53 PM

    Okay Kappy32, whatever you say bruh! Haha. I’d still LOVE to see him playing for my team. Just imagine Tom Brady tossing darts his way? Unstoppable.

  7. dioalice says: Dec 19, 2012 8:07 PM

    kappy32, you were correct in only one thing; you did get a lot of thumbs down (deservedly so).

    Have you SEEN John Skelton or Ryan Lindley “play” the QB position this year for the Cardinals? Clearly not, or you wouldn’t have written what you did.

    Fitz can’t catch balls that bounce to him or are three feet over his extended fingers… Put him on a team with a QB that can place a football where it is intended and he’s a Pro Bowler. Period.

  8. fordmandalay says: Dec 19, 2012 8:08 PM

    With those QBs, Fitzgerald could train by eating a diet of donuts and playing videogames and there wouldn’t be any difference.

  9. djjackson81 says: Dec 19, 2012 8:37 PM

    Lets not forget Fitz chose to re up with the Cards. Yes it isn’t all the QB’S fault it starts on the line of Scrimmage but Skelton,Lindley are not made to be starting in this league and wouldn’t be on any other team. If the Cards address the O line first round and with the next two picks go QB and or Running back. Wells is done, Hoyer should be given the rains these last to games to see what he has got to give. Let not forget if Alex Smith becomes available there is motivation from Smith to come to the Cards to stick it to the team that did him wrong. On the Cardinals side it oddviously is a need. Hoyer could battle for the Starting job 2013 worst case he would be a decent back up. Recap draft early on the Oline cause its a deep draft this year on Tackles. Then QB/or running back of good health.

  10. djjackson81 says: Dec 19, 2012 8:42 PM

    First Wiz needs to be forced to fire Offensive coaches, or Wiz gets axed Horton gets th HC job.
    Then Draft Oline tackle
    Then draft QB or running back.
    I would like to see Az draft Patrick Petersons good friend CB the honey badger later fourth or fith round.

  11. e23r0 says: Dec 19, 2012 9:06 PM

    The best getting better.

  12. profootballwalk says: Dec 19, 2012 9:52 PM

    A featherweight MMA fighter would kill Fitz in about ten seconds. And I’m not even talking about world class fighters. A guy from your local gym would kill him. He knows, and it has nothing to do with Frank Mir.

  13. joewilliesshnoz says: Dec 19, 2012 10:13 PM

    THE best player at his position . Nothing else needs to be said !

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