Nutritionist Tyler Minton reveals the pandemic challenges that lay ahead for fighters
For the average Joe, keeping a healthy diet during quarantine presents its challenges, but they’re the same problems professional fighters face, too.
Tyler Minton, a former mixed martial artist and current nutritionist for numerous MMA fighters including Daniel Cormier and Max Holloway, is aware he’s going to have to play clean-up when fighters come calling for his services at the end of the coronavirus shutdown, because fighters fall into the same sort of eating traps we all do.
“I definitely think it’s going to be a lot harder for a lot of fighters getting back into this,” Minton said in a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “If they haven’t been really diligent with their nutrition and training as much as they can, they’re going to have a lot of issues. If everything goes the way it’s supposed to be, they’re going to start putting on fights really often back-to-back – especially if they haven’t got paid in a while. They’re going to try to jump onto every card they can.
“If they’ve been spending this entire time eating whatever they could and blowing up, it’s going to be a really difficult time for them. Again, the ones that have been focusing this time on their nutrition and fixing those limiting factors are going to benefit from it.”
With so many UFC athletes picking up short-notice fights, things could become even more hectic for Minton, whose life is already hectic enough with a baby on the way. When the time comes and an athlete needs him onsite, however, Minton will return to his usual fight week responsibilities.
“I’m ready as soon as my fighters need it,” he said. “If I have a fighter that needs me there, I’m going to go ahead and do it, just for the pure fact they’re following the plans and doing what they can, but the support that I can give in person is exponentially better than I can without being there.”
One positive note about living in 2020 is that technology can, in many cases, supplement in-person human interaction. While he’d prefer to be onsite with his fighters, Minton said remote nutrition management is something that is viable until his presence is allowed or requested.
“I’m not on location like I would like to be,” Minton said. “I obviously can’t work the UFC cards. One thing I do that separates me from a lot of other people is that I don’t really only have a fight week relationship with my athletes. Most of these people are hearing from me every day. At the worst, they’re hearing from me weekly.
“They’re following their plans, still. I’m checking in on them and keeping them motivated. I’m making sure they’re where they need to be. A lot of them are just using this as a time to grow.”