The Houston Rockets definitely won’t be out of shape to start the 2019-20 season after spending a day training at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. The majority of the team showed up to learn some of the basics of MMA fighting from some of the top fighters in the game.
As seen through several videos posted on Twitter and Instagram, the Rockets players were put through their paces in everything from throwing combo punches to putting work in on the heavy bag. James Harden and Russell Westbrook seemed to be partnered up for most of the drills, taking turns holding the heavy bag for each other while the other punched, and trying to outdo each other on the air bike while the rest of their teammates cheered them on.
Teams around the league are always looking to mix up their training regimen from traditional gym workouts, and adding some MMA into the mix definitely changes things up from typical weight lifting programs.
For a team that made one of the biggest moves in the offseason by trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, seeing the Rockets build some chemistry before the season starts is a positive sign with everyone wondering how Westbrook and James Harden will coexist.
There’s also the obligatory joke to be made about the Rockets/Lakers on-court fight that happened last season, as well as the Rockets/Clippers incident at Staples Center involving Houston players trying to break into the Clippers locker room. In fact, this training might just be the Rockets’ way of preparing for any future fights that break out in the season.