Fight Science



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What is Fight Science?

The most effective coaches seek to accelerate their fighter’s skill acquisition through “fighter-centric” training camps.  In other words, each camp is deliberately aimed at meeting the individual needs of each fighter and fight.  Every athlete presents a unique puzzle for a coach, physically and mentally. Great coaches and trainers understand the best way to optimize a fighter’s abilities is to combine both mental and physical training.  In this highly unique column, Dr. Paulie “Gloves” Gavoni and Dr. W. Alex Edmonds focus on the application of fight science in MMA that is grounded in sports psychology and the behavior sciences.  These articles are intended to enlighten fans while simultaneously providing tips to MMA fighters and coaches for accelerating performance and increasing the likelihood of victory.



An expert in leadership and human performance, Dr. Paul “Paulie Gloves” Gavoni is a highly successful professional striking coach in mixed martial arts. As an athletic leader and former golden gloves heavyweight champion of Florida, Coach Paulie successfully applies the science of human behavior to coach multiple fighters to championship titles at varying levels worldwide. With many successful fighters on his resume, Coach Paulie tailors his approach to fit the needs of specific fighters based on a fighters behavioral, physiological, and psychological characteristics.  Coach Paulie is a writer for Last Word on Sports and is a featured coach in the book, Beast: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams at the Heart of Mixed Martial Art.

With a masters in Social Work, specialist in Educational Leadership, and doctorate in Organizational Leadership, Dr. Paulie has passionately and directly applied behavior technology to improve the individual and group performance of students and staff in a variety of environments.  These include private schools, group homes, secured facilities, day-treatment programs, alternative education facilities, and public schools. Within these settings, Dr. Paulie has been fortunate enough to wear many hats including teacher, counselor, professional developer, case manager, therapist, behavior analyst, project manager, clinical coordinator, leadership coach, and school administrator

Find Paulie’s archived articles here

Alex Edmonds, PhD, BCB, is currently an associate professor of research at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. He graduated from Florida State University and received his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology with a minor in Statistics and Measurement. Over the years, Dr. Edmonds has applied his knowledge of research design, measurement and assessment in both field and laboratory examinations. He has published extensively in a variety of areas such as research design, psychophysiology and sport psychology. Prior to graduate school, he was a strength and conditioning coach working with professional athletes in football, track, and boxing. He then combined his passion for the sports with the field of psychology making it the emphasis of his graduate work. While in graduate school, he conducted his field work with the track and field team at Florida State and started using biofeedback for research and practice during this time. He has utilized biofeedback extensively with various types of athletes for performance enhancement, as well as stress-regulation techniques. Dr. Edmonds is certified through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance in general biofeedback.