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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Video: Hibbert's MMA Work Paying Off

The Pacers have got some pretty big wins of late with increased minutes and production from center Roy Hibbert. Hibbert is averaging 30.3mpg through 16 games, up from his career average of 21.1.

Big Roy tells Sam Amick at Fanhouse what he found out and did to increase his minutes:

After last season, Hibbert had his lungs tested in an eight-hour process at an Indianapolis-area hospital in which he breathed into a machine to get a reading on his windbags. When it was deemed what Hibbert called "athlete-induced asthma," the prescription for an inhaler quickly followed and Hibbert was on his way to an unexpected rebirth.

Suddenly, the breaths came easier, the frame felt lighter, and Hibbert went to work shedding weight so as to take full advantage of his new physical circumstance. He accepted an invitation from a team trainer and joined the world of Mixed Martial Arts fighting in the pursuit of peak condition.

The new-and-(most) improved Hibbert has gone from 278 pounds to 255 while seeing his body fat decrease from 14 percent to eight percent.

"Those (MMA) guys, I feel like, are the best conditioned athletes, so three days a week, I did punching, knees, everything you see those guys do on (the Ultimate Fighting Championships), I was doing that," Hibbert said. "It got me in tip-top shape. I'd go to Fortville, Ind., drive like 40 minutes after my (basketball) workouts (in the summer) and trained there."

MMA made it's way onto the NFL scene and now Roy Hibbert's experience may garner it more attention from others around the association. Not only are Hibbert's minutes up but his numbers are up across the board.