What 7 Different UFC Fighters Eat in a Day

by John Hawkins | May 7, 2018 2:46 am

UFC fighters may have the best physiques in all of sports. Granted, we are typically talking about phenomenal athletes who train 4-6 hours per day in a highly competitive sport and have to watch their diets to stay in a weight class, so maybe it’s not a big surprise. As someone who doesn’t look like a UFC fighter, I’ve always been curious about what these UFC fighters are eating. After doing some research, here are excerpts from different articles showing what some of the best of the best in the UFC eat.

1. Cody Garbrandt,[1] former UFC bantamweight champion and current #1 contender

A normal day for me is breakfast, lunch, and dinner with either a smoothie or a bar in-between my training sessions to give me a little bit of energy until my next meal.

How many training sessions are we talking here?

Three. So I usually wake up and have eggs, turkey bacon, some toast, and maybe throw some oatmeal in there. I’ll usually have coffee with MCT oil too and then I go off to the gym to get my first session in. After that first session I come home and usually within an hour window I’ll have something like salmon, tilapia, or chicken. Those six to eight ounces of protein. I’ll do a carb with some brown rice. Some zucchini. Broccoli, asparagus, all that stuff. And of course I’m drinking my water. Over a gallon of water a day. Then I’ll take a couple hours off, do my next training session, go to the chiropractor or whatever.

Do you have a ritual meal for the night before a fight?

Of course. What we eat today, we use tomorrow. So after the weigh-ins I do my rehydration and then I do a dinner of salmon, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Sushi, too. Some rice, some carbs. Some sodium to help hold your food in. I’ve been eating that since probably my second pro fight.

2. Georges St-Pierre,[2] former three-time welterweight champion and former middleweight champion. Considered to be in the running for the greatest UFC fighter ever

– 1 lower carb anytime meal to be eaten whenever you like: 650 calories – 60g protein, 40g carbs, 30g fat

– 1 lower carb anytime meal to be eaten whenever you like: 650 calories – 60g protein, 40g carbs, 30g fat

– 1 high-carb post-exercise meal to be eaten immediately after training (a recipe that can be eaten cold):  700 calories – 60g protein, 100g carbs, 10g fat

2 Daily Super Shakes

GSP made sure to drink shakes every day, to get sufficient protein between meals. Here is his plan:

1 super shake at a time, between meals, mixed with almond milk or water. This was used to wash down 4 fish oil capsules

– 1 scoop milk-based protein powder

– 1 scoop greens supplement

– 1 cup frozen mixed berries (use “mixed” to avoid developing food intolerances from eating too much of a single variety) 282 calories – 18g protein, 25g carbs, 12g fat

…Approximate Total Baseline Intake: 3104 calories – 256g protein (30%), 315 carbs (40%), 99g fat (30%)

Foods mentioned include apricots, asparagus, broccoli, dijon mustard, eggs, edamame beans, honey, lentils, prunes, red cabbage, red onion, steak, tuna, quail eggs, quinoa.

3. Dustin Poirier,[3] #4 ranked lightweight

MEAL PLAN

Breakfast/Snack

  • 2.5 fl. oz low-fat, plain kefir
  • 0.5 oz (medium) banana
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1.5 oz oatmeal

Totals: 119 calories, 18g protein, 63g carbs

Lunch

  • 21.4 oz water
  • 2.5 oz ground turkey breast – no skin
  • 4.5 eggs – egg whites
  • 2.5 cups spinach
  • 9.5 oz pineapple (9.5 oz)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Totals: 475, 42g protein, 27g carbs

Snack 2

  • 21 oz water
  • 2.5 oz low-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grapes
  • 3 Brazil nuts

Totals: 119 calories, 9g protein, 13g carbs

Dinner

  • 21 oz water
  • 5.5 oz tilapia
  • 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2.5 cups collard greens
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Totals: 475 calories, 38g protein, 17g carbs

Snack 3

  • 21 oz water
  • 2.5 oz low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2.5 oz strawberries
  • 3 Brazil nuts

Totals: 119 calories, 10g protein, 31g carbs

Snack 4

  • 21 oz water
  • 2 fl. oz low-fat, plain kefir
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 oz raspberries
  • 1/2 tbsp flaxseed

Totals: 119 calories, 12g protein, 34g carbs

4. TJ Dillashaw,[4] UFC bantamweight champion

Breakfast

Coffee with honey, turmeric, coconut water

A snack bar

Snacks throughout the day

Hard-boiled egg

Trail Mix

“Just trying to eat light but snack throughout the day to get my metabolism going,” he said.

Lunch

Tuna salad wrap from Whole Foods.

On non-fight weeks:

Breakfast

Oatmeal or eggs and toast

Lunch

Sandwich — his favorite is turkey with cranberry

Snacks

Smoothies, trail mix, fruits, bananas, elk jerky

Dinner

Elk meat. “I’m a big hunter so I harvest all my own meat that I live off of. I got a big elk this last year that will probably last me for the next two years for me and my wife.”

5. Connor McGregor,[5] former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion

Before Breakfast

Drink a large glass of water, black coffee or herbal tea when you wake up first thing. This should be followed by 30 minutes slow jogging, jump rope or stretching.

Breakfast

Eat two poached eggs with a slice of smoked salmon on one or two slices of wholegrain toast, spread with smashed avocado. Serve with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes on the side.

Mid Morning

Add some mixed berries and a small handful of almonds to a small pot of full cream Greek or goats’ yoghurt and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Lunch

A shredded beef salad with new potatoes and as wide a variety of vegetables as possible. Sprinkle with sunflower and pumpkin seeds and extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil. Follow with a few squares of dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa solids) and a piece of fresh fruit.

Mid-Afternoon (pre-training)

Drink a glass of whole milk or a milk alternative.

During training

Drink plenty of water. Infused water is good during strength training for extra nutrients. Alternatively, opt for water with a hypotonic sports drink.

After training

Drink one scoop of whey or pea protein mixed with water, or a glass of milk. Have a piece of fruit.

Evening Meal

Bake a large piece of cod with lemon, herbs and olives. Roast vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Eat with wild or wholegrain rice.

Before Bed

Have a cup of rooibos, peppermint tea or more water.

6. Ronda Rousey, [8]former UFC bantamweight champion

Breakfast

Chia Bowl: 2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, 2 tbsp oats, agave nectar, 1 tbsp almond butter, ¼ cup raisins, and cinnamon.

Coffee: grass-fed butter, raw coconut oil, and stevia. Top with cinnamon.

Lunch

Egg Scramble on Bread: 2 scrambled eggs with red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, avocado, mushrooms, turkey bacon, Ezekiel bread and grass-fed butter.

Dinner

Turkey Chili: 6 oz ground turkey, red and green bell peppers, avocado, hemp seeds, ¼ cup beans, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper.

Dessert

Greek Yogurt Bowl: Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and agave.

7. John Jones,[9] former UFC lightweight champion

According to Play it on Point, this is a diet example for Johnny ‘Bones’ Jones. He mentions the use of black rice in his interview, and other ingredients on occasion of course, not listed below.

Breakfast: 2.5 fl. oz low-fat, plain kefir 0.5 oz (medium) banana 1/2 tbsp peanut butter 1.5 oz oatmeal

Lunch: 21.4 oz water 2.5 oz ground turkey breast – no skin 4.5 eggs – egg whites 2.5 cups spinach 9.5 oz pineapple (9.5 oz) 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Snack Meal : 21 oz water 2.5 oz low-fat, plain Greek yogurt 1/2 cup grapes 3 Brazil nuts

Dinner: 21 oz water 5.5 oz tilapia 1/2 medium lemon 2.5 cups collard greens 2 medium tomatoes 1/2 tbsp olive oil

In one quick video for MMA TV in November of 2015, John sat down to eat a “5x, in 2 weeks meal” of, oatmeal, whole grain toast, potatoes, blue berries, an omelet, and 2 grilled chicken breasts from the Albuquerque restaurant Flying Star. Interesting to me that three starch foods are eaten together.

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Endnotes:
  1. Cody Garbrandt,: https://www.gq.com/story/real-life-diet-of-ufc-bantamweight-cody-garbrandt
  2. Georges St-Pierre,: https://tim.blog/2013/01/27/eating-with-ufc-champion-georges-st-pierre-the-diet-he-used-to-transform-himself-2/
  3. Dustin Poirier,: https://www.muscleandfitness.com/athletes-celebrities/get-shredded-lightweight-fighting-meal-plan
  4. TJ Dillashaw,: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/01/tj-dillashaw-food-diary
  5. Connor McGregor,: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/nutrition/diet/conor-mcgregors-ufc-diet-eat-like-champion/
  6. 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know

    : https://www.amazon.com/Things-Young-Adults-Should-Know-ebook/dp/B06XY87BF4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497732830&sr=8-1&keywords=101+things+all+young+adults+should+know
  7. Buy Now: https://www.amazon.com/Things-Young-Adults-Should-Know-ebook/dp/B06XY87BF4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497732830&sr=8-1&keywords=101+things+all+young+adults+should+know
  8.  Ronda Rousey, : http://superherojacked.com/2017/03/07/ronda-rousey-workout/
  9. John Jones,: https://nutritionaldiversity.com/ultimate-mma-diet/
  10. [Image]: https://rightwingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/ronda-rousey-blue.jpg

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