The Free Roll Review: John Howard & Mike Dolce

MMADieHards.comCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

Written by Cameron Gidari

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John Howard began his mixed martial arts career by submitting four of his first five opponents.

Back then, Howard was strictly a ground fighter, and it took a loss to turn him into the well-rounded fighter that he is today. A guy [from my school] came up to me and said, ‘You’re a good grappler, but what happens when you meet someone that’s as good a grappler as you and you can’t submit them?’” Howard told the Free Roll Radio Program.

That day came in his sixth pro fight, when he met Alexandre Moreno. “He was a brown belt and I was a blue belt, and he, like in 30 seconds, submitted me with an armbar,” Howard said. “I was like, ‘I better work on my striking because if I meet someone like him, I don’t want to go to the ground again.’ I just improved my game to the point where I’d rather strike than go to the ground.”

Howard has improved his striking game to the point where he says he would rather stand and trade with opponents than take the fight to the ground. He credits his school and training partners for his transition.

This well roundedness has served him well, as he has compiled a 12-4 record as a pro, including a 2-0 mark since moving to the UFC.

Howard says he is honored to be fighting for the largest organization in the world. “I’m just proud to be a part of it, it’s a dream come true,” Howard said. “I was just a normal guy watching the UFC on TV, and then one day I thought I could be there, and I tried it, and surprisingly I got there, which is awesome. I’m living the dream right now.”

Also on the show, former contestant from The Ultimate Fighter and nutrition specialist Mike Dolce talked about his diet regiment, the DOLCE diet.

The diet has earned rave reviews from fighters and non-fighters alike, and Dolce explains that a lot of its success has to do with the science and research behind what he recommends.

“Number one is the science behind the nutritional style plan that I’m kind of passing on to these guys,” Dolce said. “They immediately feel the difference in the energy in their body. They can feel the nutrients doing their job But I don’t just go, ‘Here’s the food’ and give it to them. I teach them. I take them to the supermarket and I go to their house. I teach them why they can’t eat this and why they need to be doing that.”

Mixed martial artists are known for having strict diet regiments, but Dolce explains that many fighters are actually doing more harm than good with what they put into their bodies.

“I’ve found the MMA guys to be the worse off in their nutrition for their sport,” Dolce said. “Unfortunately, the demands for MMA are so much higher than the demands for any other sport, so the MMA guys I’ve found relying almost solely on body building science and body building nutrition to fuel their bodies. They were extremely malnourished and their bodies were just breaking down. Their joints, their ligaments, everything was just popping and pinging all over the place, muscle spasms, cramps.”

Dolce recognizes that not everyone is as well informed about proper nutrition as he is. As such, he simplified his diet into an easy to remember slogan.

“Part of my diet program is, if it wasn’t around 200 years ago, you shouldn’t be eating it today,” Dolce said. “When you go to the grocery store, when you go to the restaurant, whatever you’re going to order, whatever you’re going to buy, just this one simple sentence. If it wasn’t around 200 years ago, you should not be eating it today.”