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By now, everyone is familiar with the story that Clay Matthews III was too young in high school. So much so that his own father did not play it due to his small stature. What some people may not know is that Clay has added mixed martial arts to his workout routine. Could mixed martial arts be the key to his success?

Clay’s incredible physique is proof of his dedication in the weight room. While at USC, he was considered the most intense player in the weight room. Gaining 80 pounds is no easy task! He was able to transform his 165-pound, 6-foot-1 frame into the 255-pound linebacker he is today. He was so dedicated to the game and his own personal improvement that he said he basically had no social life.

Clay III is always looking for ways to improve, whether it’s watching movies or listening to advice from his famous soccer family, and he recently added MMA or mixed martial arts to his off-season training. He was skeptical at first thinking it wouldn’t relate to football, but in an interview while at MMAthletics he said, “…everything we do here somehow ties into what we do on the football field.” . The benefits of mixed martial arts are not just mental toughness, but a completely different type of training than most ballplayers are accused of. Using body-to-body work instead of traditional weight training, leverage, balance, knees, and hips are worked in a whole new way for most players. Many soccer players who are just getting into MMA believe that it gives them an advantage on the field. The Atlanta Falcons must agree, they were the first team in the NFL to offer MMA training to their players. Clay III said that he could feel his body transforming while practicing mixed martial arts and I’m sure other players will also see Clay’s improvements and want to try it too.

Clay Matthews III is an outstanding example of hard work and sheer dedication. From small contender to force to be reckoned with, he’s finally solidifying himself and could conceivably be named Defensive Player of the Year. It is certainly a fan favorite in Green Bay with Packers fans! See this famous Packer here

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