Craig Inaba feels that canned oxygen is the future. It’s something he thinks will only benefit the world of mixed martial arts.
The owner and president of Oxygen4Energy saw his product come under a bit of scrutiny after a pair of fighters – KJ Noons and "King Mo" Muhammed Lawal – were seen inhaling from the canned cylinders at Strikeforce Houston.
Inaba feels the use of the cans will not only help the sport but make it more exciting.
“I think all athletes should use it in MMA and here’s my stance on it, if you allow subliminal oxygen for both fighters in between rounds they’re going to be fresher and the fights are going to be more exciting,” Inaba said. “There are no harmful effects to it. There are no downsides to it. It makes the sport more excited.”
When inhaled, the pure oxygen will help create energy for your muscles. It helps avoid lactic acid build up and increases your stamina. Though some may say it creates an unfair advantage one could point to Lawal, who took the product and lost to Rafael Cavalcante.
“Oxygen is not going to affect a skill level,” said Inaba, who thinks someone like Shane Carwin could have benefited with it in the Brock Lesnar fight at UFC 116. “It refreshes them. It helps them control lactic acid, that’s the biggest thing. For example, the Shane Carwin fight. He just blew himself out. He went into mass lactic acid production because he just went for it in the first round. And his body as done and couldn’t recover.
“It could’ve helped him. He could’ve been able to recover in the second round. I don’t know if it would’ve changed the outcome of the fight but I don’t think he would’ve been submitted in the second round if he had something like this in his corner. He wouldn’t have been so fatigued.”
Though Noons and Lawal were the first MMA fighters to use the cans on a national level, they’re not the first in the sport to try to the product. The company sponsors UFC welterweight and “Ultimate Fighter 9” winner James Wilks as well as Wand Fight Team member Sidney Silva. Wilks, Inaba says, uses the product for recovery purposes after his workouts.
When both Noons and Lawal brought the Oxygen4Energy cans to the Toyota Center that day they went through the rounds before getting the relatively unknown product cleared. It was brought to the Texas Athletic Commission, who had nothing in the rules against it, and then to the ringside doctors. It was also passed by referee Big John McCarthy, who again double checked with t doctors.
The portable canned oxygen, which was cleared from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance list as of this year, sponsors over two dozen athletes from multiple sports.
“Our product appeals to every kind of athlete,” Inaba said. “If fatigue is an issue in your sport, if explosiveness is an issue, if recovery is an issue, then our oxygen is going to be beneficial no matter what kind of sport you’re in.
“It’ll be interesting to see how each sport handles it. The NFL allows each player to use oxygen on the sidelines no problem, one of the biggest sport organizations in the world.”
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