From great mma newsletter FIGHTLIKEACHAMPION.COM
FightLikeAChampion: How do you develop mental strength to perform
your best?

Conor Heun: I developed my mental toughness growing up with my
father. He was a wrestling coach and I always really looked up to
him. He taught me to always try and out work everyone. It didn’t
matter what the task was, I was taught to always push my self
farther and harder than I thought possible. If I was told to go out
for firewood, I would always try to impress him with how many logs I
could carry back to the house in one load. Or if it was doing chin
ups, I would always strive to do one more than I had the day before.
In practice when everyone did 20 push ups I did 21. At first it was
because I knew he was watching and I wanted to impress him, but it
eventually just became a habit. In workouts we would do what we
called adversity training. For example we would be doing
situations in practice and he would say that I was down by a point.
I would get the escape to tie it and then the takedown to win before
the time would run out. I would think the match was over but then
he would say something like, “Oh, no! There’s some confusion at the
table and it looks like the Russian judge is indicating the takedown
came after the whistle. We are in sudden death overtime.” Then I
would have to start on my feet with a fresh opponent and I would
have to wrestle 30 second matches with fresh guys until I got the
takedown. He taught me to always prepare for the worst and to
make sure your training is tougher than your competition.

FightLikeAChampion: How do you remain motivated?

Conor Heun: I am motivated by an internal angst and uneasiness
that doesn’t allow me to remain satisfied with anything. I need a
constant challenge or I become bored. I fear mediocrity and am
unhappy unless I am being challenged. Because of these feelings it
is easy to remain motivated. The idea that someone else thinks they
can beat me eats at me and drives me to prove them wrong. As long
as I feel that there is a good chance my opponent will beat me, I am
extremely motivated by my own fears and self doubt. I train hard to
be sure that I am outworking my opponent and to give my self the
confidence to stand in the cage and face my fears. I remember being
almost paralyzed by fear when I knew that there was a bully waiting
to fight me after school. I was so scared before hand but
felt so good and such a sense of accomplishment after I choked the
asshole out that I vowed I would never allow my fears to dictate my
behavior. Looking at my profession, I guess that’s more than a
little ironic.

FightLikeAChampion: How do you build your strategy prior to your
fights and adjust during your fights?

Conor Heun: I watch tape with my trainer and look for weaknesses
in my opponent but mainly I just rely on my strengths and ability to
push the pace and bring the fight where I want it. I don’t adjust
much in the cage I just push forward and force my opponent to deal
with my game.

QUICK HITS w/ Conor Heun

5 favorite fighters to watch Why? Wanderlie Silva, Anderson
Silva, Fedor, Shinya Aoki, Uriah Faber

Favorite products that you use (food, supplements, equipment,
clothing, etc.) AstroGlide

Favorite songs to train to: House music and anything by Eminem

Most common trainin