Grassroots Grappler Unplugged: Fabricio Itte

On this episode of Grassroots Grappler Unplugged we’re running it back to October 2018 when our resident exercise scientist, Abel, caught up with wrestling instructor and MMA coach Fabricio Itte.

Fab had just come home from Las Vegas after being involved with the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 28. He dropped in for a quick chat about what goes into training UFC Middleweight champion Robert Whitakker.

You can also listen to GGU at: Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – TuneIniheartradio


00:45 Getting to know Fabricio Itte
01:34 What it takes to train a champion
03:15 You don’t have the opportunity to do this again
05:25 Lessons from the Wonderboy fight
07:02 What motivates Fab as a sports coach


Fab:   00:00 I think what it takes to train someone like rob, I think it’s everyone understanding that they have to play their position. Understanding what your position is, not overlapping, working hard all the time. That’s very, very important.

Fab:  00:11  None of that sounds sexy, but that’s the truth.

Sereima:  00:17  You are listening to grassroots scrap law unplugged. My name is Sereima and today we’re running it back to October, 2018 on this episode, our resident exercise scientist able caught up with wrestling instructor and MMA coach Fabricio Itte. Fab had just come home from Vegas after being involved with the filming of the ultimate fighter 28 and he dropped in for a quick chat about what goes into training. UFC middleweight champion Robert Whitaker.

Fab:  00:46 Good. Yeah, we’re good to go. Just waiting for the fish. I’m going to text him and he’s just waiting for it. Let’s do it guys. This is Mr for ETL. I’ve been trying to catch up with this gentleman for about two years. It gives a little bit of a background what you did for a living. I uh, teach some classes at Gracie Jujitsu spring grange with Alex Priuses. There, he runs the show, they’re very, very good Jujitsu, go and also help out with rubs coaching Robert Whitaker, the current champion, you know, due to a few other bits and pieces. So that’s more or less what I do. So for those of you guys, um, it do not fill it in May and you know, and I hear robotic grease rubs, you’ve seen middleweight champion, so that’s at 185 pounds or at the 84.9 kilos rubs. Currently the defending champion, undisputed defending champion of the world.

Fab:  01:34 What’s it take to train a champion? I’m not really the one to answer that because there’s been a lot of people that have been instrumental in Robb success say in the last five years. I’m lucky to be part of a really good team and really, really smart people that know what they’re doing. So for example, all the grappling stuff you see is that Alex Pride is puts all of that together. We get different partners in everything. He’s the one that puts all of those people together from a grappling perspective. There’s Justin Lane, who’s the exos physiologists that looks after rob. He’s out at live athletic it. Adam Miranda, Justin Fitzgerald. He’s based out of Austin, strong boxing in southwest Sydney Minto, like he’s had heaps of other coaches in the past. Right. So he’s had Henry, he’s trained with Lupus duty. He trained a little bit at TPG gym when Alex and trek over there and another Jujitsu coach, a Hugo Hugo Nunez that was here with us for a while.

Fab:  02:27  Who’s world-class [inaudible]. He trained karate from when he was seven years old. So the amount of credit that our can take for that is very, very small. I think what it takes to train someone like rob, I think it’s everyone understanding that they have to play their position. Understanding what your position is, not overlapping, working hard all the time. That’s very, very important. None of that sounds sexy, but that’s the truth. And at that level, the gaps start to become so tiny. Like in the last fight, Ramiro and rob went down five round split decision at that level. There is no margin for error. You got to be on all the time. You don’t clock in and clock out. You don’t get to go, oh, it’s Sunday morning. We not going to work today because it doesn’t work that way. The program for the elite guys is seven days a week because you don’t half do stuff.

Fab:  03:15 You don’t have the opportunity to do this again. We’re only, he wants now Rob’s reaching his peak and people are, oh, I don’t know. They put so much expectations. They don’t understand. There’s like 10 guys coming up that are coming into their peak too. So if that one for one second, you stop and you’re like, oh look at this. This is awesome. The next guy’s there. There’s so many good guys coming up in that division per Rob’s always training and he’s always ready. The only thing is sometimes he’s fighting these guys like Ramiro or any of these top guys and of course the fighter top guys. So I don’t know. People expect him to go into those fights and come out unscathed. That’s not the case, you know? So he needs time to heal. You don’t take shots to the brain like that. Break your hand in a fight.

Fab:  03:58  Man, what are the injuries or what are the injuries that he came out of reverify. He broke his thumb, but to put in perspective, even when they were talking about that fight, him and Ramiro and he, people that really don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re saying, oh Ramiro did all this damage and rob didn’t do anything. You just kicked him in the legs a few times. Like obviously you’re watching a different fucking fight cause Ramiro look like a alien. By the end of the first round. Rob didn’t just kick him in the legs a few times for America’s a monster headshot, those head shots. How do we absorb those and just totally fine. Robert Ramirez, like he looked on once, they like, I’ve never seen it. It would have been like, oh, I’ll never seen, I’ll be honest with you, I never seen anyone, not even Ramiro himself take shots the way he took them.

Fab:  04:42  Again, the only other time I saw him look like that was against Rockhold, but in the first fight he looked different. Maybe it was just the way you fought. Maybe it was a training camp that he had or no, I think Ramiro’s is a monster. He’s just a fucking monster. He’s got so much power and he’s ability to take shots. I’ve never seen anyone take shots of the way he took him and rob broke his hand in that fight. But in any of those fights that you take shots to the head, you got to understand you need time to heal and recover from that as well. As long as rob is healthy, he’s always ready to go. Wonderboy, what lessons did rob learn from that loss? Since then, he’s been unstoppable. I can’t speak for him. He lost two fights in a row. Court, McGee and Stephen Thompson.

Fab:  05:25  There’s no shame in losing t there’s one of those guys. I think the first one, the most important one that he learned, because to me, when I saw him flat one, the boy that was a fighter, I thought, God, this God could be a champion. He’s very green. When he fought Wonderboy and at the time rob fought him when Wonderboy was kind of peak as well, like he was just coming off the kickboxing and robbing him, matched up really, really well for each other to make an exciting fight. And they did. And Rob was a kid coming through Wonderboy according world, but there was some interchange there and at that particular time in his career, nobody had really worked Wonderboy out like that in the standup department. I think he understood all the stuff that’s outside of fighting. And the best thing is when you understand that when an a boxer said this a while ago, I can’t remember his name right now, he’s the guy that the beat shove his junior.

Fab:   06:17  He said, when I won more fight, I had a thousand miscalls when I lost my title, I had formed me schools in three were from my mum. It was that kind of thing as well that rob said like he went from, he was like the Wonderboy x, he’s upon of Australia coming up and Dah, Dah, Dah. And everybody was ringing him. Everybody was talking to him and then he lost the one the boy and he has to be the next day and he said in this to me verbatim, zero of you see on our podcast, great crunch TV or just giving myself a plug. He spoke about that and he said that he has the next day people weren’t even returning his calls. That was a very valuable lesson for him and that put things in really good perspective and how quickly it can be taken away is pretty fortunate I guess to have this current team that he’s got.

Fab: 07:02 What motivates you as a, as a sports coach cause yeah, you’re trying to war champion but you’re also training a whole bunch of other up and rising champions is Philly tip food. He’s got to build, he’s got the eternal women may build and the superfly bull 185 pounds, you’ll see him in the UFC very soon. I think Jacob Malkin as far as the asking me what, how do I find motivation? I was talking to Justin Lang about this and motivation and discipline. I don’t know about that because you might see someone running and go, how does he find the motivation and how did it was really so disciplined, but he might just be motivated cause he likes running. I like what I do. Do I lose motivation sometimes? Yeah, of course. Sometimes he like, I don’t want to get out of bed or whatever. I don’t want to do, but it’s very short lived. I love what I do. The one shortcoming of that mentality in how I am is that I have to make sure that I check myself and have time off. The way that I am is if I don’t consciously turn myself off. Yeah, I’ll just keep going. And that leads down the route of the inner burnout. Other relationships may suffer. That part’s hard. But other than that, it’s good fed. Thanks for coming. Thank you very much.