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Blake Griffin is famous for taking hard fouls. The Clippers’ power forward recently trained with MMA fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone to learn skills for all of the physicality he encounters down low as part of a video series with Red Bull called “The Crossover.” “In basketball there’s a lot of pushing, grabbing and shoving going on that nobody else sees,” Griffin said in the video. “That’s why I’m training with MMA fighter Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.”
“The thing that I really kept hearing him say is you don’t want your head to get outside of your hips because then you’re off balance and the same is true with basketball,” Griffin said. “You always want to be in that athletic stance, and if you get pushed off your position, it’s too hard to recover.” Those skills are relevant for Griffin, who always seems to take a beating down low. In 2015, Griffin said: “My entire career everybody says I need to punch somebody.” After Robin Lopez clotheslined Griffin in 2012, Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant weighed in on the conversation, saying he would have responded with force.
Mike Miller, who just recently signed a five-year, $30 million dollar deal to play with the Miami Heat, has been working alongside UFC fighters Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson, and C.B. Dollaway as the group gets ready to open a new state-of-the-art facility in Arizona later this year. The new Miami Heat guard admits that he’s a big fan of MMA, and definitely sees the benefits of working with fighters like those he’s partnered with during the off season.