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Atlanta Falcons Get on Board With MMA

The Atlanta Falcons are on board with mixed martial arts.

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports that the Falcons have begun a team-sponsored MMA training program for their players, run by MMAthletics, a company formed by Randy Couture and Fox Sports reporter Jay Glazer.

"We're always looking for new and progressive ideas as far as training and offering our team supplements to the athletic performance model we have in place here," Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "This was something we were comfortable with as far as conditioning but even more importantly the idea of having MMA help the players with their leverage, hand quickness, and things that could help them within the trenches taking on blocks and battling inside."

Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton said MMA is useful not only for strength and conditioning, but because some of the same techniques that are used in the cage can be used on the football field.

"You get some great conditioning out of it," Lofton said. "Plus, there's a lot of carryover to what we do on the field. We do some Muay Thai (for core-muscle and hip development), wrestling, working on our hands and getting guys off you. We work on body leverage, too, which is important. Whoever is the lowest man controls the other man."

Mixed martial arts has a long way to go before its as accepted in society as football, but it's nice to see that Dimitroff is one football man who gets MMA.

"MMA for a lot of people has an element of being barbaric," Dimitroff said. "It's not 100 percent 'lose your mind' and do whatever you can to get that person down. These are calculated moves and assessments as far as approaching and defeating the individual in front of you."