Josh Hill takes martial arts classes to prepare for return to UFC

“In general I think we struggle because we’re kind of lazy about reading everything that’s been published about the sport, and the way we think about this sport and why we’re doing it and what we want to achieve as a fighter is very different from what everybody else thinks.”

Josh Hill isn’t just the world’s “quickest bantamweight” (between 135 and 135.5 pounds) — he’s also the only entrant in the upcoming sport of mixed martial arts mixed martial arts, or MMA, who’s taking classes at George Washington University.

It’s a smart move for him. There’s a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under his belt (sitting under “brute cardio”), and he plays the sport competitively for Team Canada, so studying the competition just makes sense.

“I’m always wanting to better myself, so I was curious to see what the game was all about, so I started to learn,” he said. “From studying it, I’ve figured out that it’s more discipline then it is anything else. If I’m not willing to work as hard as my opponent, he’s going to beat me every time.”

He doesn’t expect a quick transformation, either.

“The psychology aspect is really crucial, so I’m taking classes on that to learn more about the psychology aspects of the sport and how to be successful when working with my team,” he said. “A lot of it is about being able to read the world, where your opponent is coming from and how they’re going to approach you. … You have to be able to read the details in the game. You can talk yourself out of a fight with a bad head.

“To stay in the game you have to take studying seriously, so that’s why I chose to come to GWU to learn about how the game is played. It’s so technical. You can’t just talk yourself into it. If I do that, I’m never going to win a fight.”

Hill is set to make his return to the UFC on Aug. 25, in Montreal. He’s competed in the United States for Team Canada since the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which he fought on.

“It’s a really good team,” he said. “I’ve got some very supportive teammates and the coaches who helped me along the way have also helped me. It’s been really, really exciting, and I’m very excited to be back in the UFC.”

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