Image credit: MMA Canada

Getting punched and kicked in the face doesn’t sound too fun, and one MMA star is using VR to make his fights a little more manageable. UFC fighter Misha Cirkunov is using the technology to simulate things he just can’t do in a gym.

Speaking to outlets including MMAmania during UFC Vancouver workouts, Cirkunov said that VR allows him to simulate elements that are only present in live fights. These include lights and the crowd, and being able to see them in VR can let him feel the pressure he’ll face in a real fight.

Cirkunov added that he is already the top-rated player in the world for a session in Creed: Rise to Glory. Even he is soaked in sweat after completing 30 minutes in the game. However, he did add in his comments that he also uses wrist weights for maximum effectiveness. Still, playing just a few minutes of Creed: Rise to Glory can get your heart pumping. If you’re losing, it can be even more intense as you try to claw your way back.

Credit to: Servios/MGM

Other non-combat boxing games are also available in VR. One of our favorites, BoxVR, is specifically designed for fitness. The game tracks your calories burned and features workout routines for players of all skill levels. This lets it easily find a place in your daily schedule.

Cirkunov is hardly the first athlete to use VR in their preparation, however. The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently using a system built by WIN Reality to let players face MLB pitchers virtually. The system is more effective than simply watching the footage, as they’re able to time their at-bats and more accurately simulate how the pitcher will act in a game. Not everyone is on board yet, but virtual reality is quickly finding a home in traditional athlete’s training routines.