How Mixed Martial Arts Helped Shaquille O'Neal Become NBA Champion?

By: Anannya Mitra Image credit: NBA and Twitter

Shaquille O'Neal owes his success in the championship to his practice of mixed martial arts and asserted that when he initially started playing NBA, it was akin to wrestling.

He has repeatedly noticed that whenever he had practiced martial arts, he'd earn championship titles each time, but whenever he didn't, he'd lose. Based on this, he referred to himself as a “creature of habit”.

He claimed that MMA mandates the most rigorous training for all of the muscles, and one can't be resting even for a while since the opponent would be hitting them once they let loose. 

Shaq reminisces practicing martial arts with friend Jon Burke from Orlando, while he was still playing basketball side by side. He also admitted to be in the “best shape of his life” back in 2000s.

Because of his tall and broad stature, Shaq was always told to “pick on his own size”. So once, he expressed his wish to challenge South Korean player Hong-man Choi in an MMA round in 2010.

He also claimed that he tried reaching out to his friend for organising a match-up between the two of them, but unfortunately, she didn't.

Given his larger-than-life structure, it is quite impressive to see Shaquille O'Neal being such a great MMA practitioner. Apart from his strength, Shaq's commitment to always being in shape is what sets him apart.

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