New Rory Singer article

So you want to be a star mixed martial arts fighter? Well, it's not that easy. Rory Singer knows that.

Singer earned fame on Spike TV's series "The Ultimate Fighter 3," working his way through the ranks to fight in the Ultimate Fight Championship.

These days, Singer, 32, trains some of the top fighters in the world, including FC light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin and World Extreme Cagefighting up-and-comers Brian Stann and Brian Bowles. Singer, who owns a gym in Athens, Ga., was part of Stann's entourage that visited Sullivan County yesterday.

We asked Singer five questions about the training:

What's the best advice you can offer to someone who wants to become a serious fighter?

"Go to a good gym with a reputable coach that has good boxing and jiujitsu. Be realistic about your goals and training. If you make it through a year, then try getting an amateur fight. Then, after you win, five, six amateur fights, then you can go pro. Maybe, some day, you will fight in the UFC."

So let's be honest: The sport isn't for everyone, right?

"Everyone has the dream of fighting in the UFC. They want to be that guy. But not many can achieve that goal. You have to have some realistic expectations. You might hate it after the first day in the gym or six months later. It's like a guy who never played football in high school or college and wants to play in the NFL. It's not realistic."

What do you think the key to successful training is?

"Like with any other athletic endeavor, it takes stick-to-it-tiveness, which means you have to be in the gym five or six days a week. You need to box, weight train, that's why I think MMA is truly one of the hardest sports on the planet. You have to learn so many different disciplines. It would be like a football player having to learn how to play defensive end, linebacker and quarterback. In MMA, you have to be great in all positions, on your feet, clenching, on the ground. You have to be a dedicated pro athlete, that's what we are."

How satisfying is it to see one of your guys go into the cage and take someone out?

"This is the first time I'm working with Brian (Stann), so it's going to be real satisfying for me and my brother (Adam). We don't just train him, we are his training partner, so it is an integral part. We are getting him prepared to go in there and take a punch or a kick. So it's a great accomplishment to have success."

What's it like working with Forrest Griffin?

"He is an intense dude. I think he has a few marbles loose. Nobody touches his intensity. Forrest is just a little bit out of control. He will work himself into the ground and bury himself deeper if nobody pulls him up and tells him he's being stupid."

Justin Rodriguez