Mike Dolce

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Mike Dolce
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1976-04-15) April 15, 1976 (age 42)
Belmar, New Jersey, United States
Spouse(s) Brandy Dolce

Mike Dolce (born April 15, 1976) is an American trainer, strength and conditioning coach, weight-cut coach, author, nutrition and fitness expert, and motivational speaker. He is a former mixed martial artist.

Dolce is best known for managing the weight cuts of UFC athletes such as Johny Hendricks, Ronda Rousey and Thiago Alves. He was voted as the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 World MMA Trainer of the Year.

Early life[edit]

Mike Dolce was born and raised in Belmar, New Jersey, the son of James Vincent Dolce (who worked with animals), and Joanne Cobb. At age 8 he had an obsession with muscle building and strength training which led him to become a wrestler and powerlifter in high school.[1]

By the age of 13, Dolce was wrestling competitively, and cutting weight in an attempt to earn a college scholarship. In 1993, when he was 17 years old, Dolce opened his own personal training business, which he still promotes via shadow accounts through MMA-based forums.

Professional fighting career[edit]

Dolce started training as a wrestler in 1990. In 1999, Dolce began practicing mixed martial arts (MMA).[citation needed]

As a professional MMA fighter, he fought at welterweight for the Portland Wolfpack of the International Fight League (IFL) and set the record for fastest knockout in IFL history.[2] He won his first three professional MMA bouts.[3]

Dolce made it onto season 7 of reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter but was eliminated in the first round.[4]

Professional coaching career[edit]

In 2004, Dolce was hired as the head strength and conditioning coach by Team Quest in Portland, Oregon, working with Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Nate Quarry, and Chael Sonnen.

Dolce’s methods as a weight-cut coach were highlighted in 2010, after successfully managing the 45-pound weight cut for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.[5] In another successful weight-cut, Dolce helped Duane Ludwig.[6] He also led Ronda Rousey through her weight cut for her championship fight against Miesha Tate.

Since then, Dolce has been the weight-cut coach to many UFC athletes such as Johny Hendricks, Ronda Rousey, Gilbert Melendez, Vitor Belfort, Thiago Alves, Chael Sonnen, Mirsad Bektic, Nik Lentz, Duane Ludwig, Michael Bisping, Antonio Silva and Jake Ellenberger, helping them shed significant pounds before their fights.

In 2007, Dolce published The Dolce Diet: 3 Weeks to Shredded. He then published The Dolce Diet: Living Lean in 2010 and The Dolce Diet: Living Lean Cookbook in 2011.

Dolce also records weekly fitness and nutrition podcasts, videos and gives over 30 motivational talks to the U.S. military every year.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Dolce boasts one of the fastest knockouts in International Fight League (IFL) history.[7]

He was voted the 2013, 2014 and 2015 World MMA Trainer of the Year, an award given to the leading and most influential strength and conditioning expert, sports psychology mentor or nutrition advisor in MMA.[8] In 2014, Dolce was inducted into the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame for his contributions in the area of health and nutrition.[9]

His career highlight as a coach so far has been successfully managing the 45-pound weight cut for Quinton Jackson in 2010.


In 2014, Dolce coached BJ Penn for his third fight with Frankie Edgar. Penn lost the fight via TKO, and said afterwards he would "never hire Dolce again for anything". Dolce responded to the criticism and cited stress and pressure as reasons for Penn's loss.[10][11]

George Lockhart, nutritionist to Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and other UFC champions, claimed in 2014 that he had never seen any real science from Dolce, and pointed to the fact that four athletes coached by Dolce had been caught using performance-enhancing drugs.[12]

UFC commentator, Joe Rogan, refuted these claims in episode 579 of his top rated podcast, stating, "no Dolce athlete... ever tested positive for any banned substances, while working with Dolce."[13]

A follow up interview with Mike Dolce showed that he had turned down a business proposal by Lockhart in which Dolce would have nothing to do with designing the programs or diets, but would simply lend his name for marketing purposes. Steph Daniels stated, "I can verify the contents of the e-mail to be exactly as he described, since Mike forwarded it to me."[14]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 5-10 J. T. Taylor Decision (split) UFO: Rumble at the Races July 24, 2010 3 5:00 Kennewick, Washington, United States
Win 5-9 Michael Riggs KO (knee) Kickdown 80: Mile High Battle July 10, 2010 1 4:59 Denver, Colorado, United States
Loss 4-9 Dennis Olson Submission (guillotine choke) Adrenaline: New Breed February 26, 2010 3 3:17 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 4-8 Roman Mitichyan Decision (unanimous) Called Out MMA: Called Out MMA 1 August 15, 2009 3 5:00 Ontario, California, United States
Loss 4-7 Shane Primm TKO (punches) Music City MMA: Rock and Havoc July 18, 2009 1 4:44 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 4-6 Nuri Shakir TKO (Punches) WCF: World Championship Fighting 6 March 14, 2009 2 2:25 Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States
Loss 3-6 Jake Paul Submission (guillotine choke) RFC: Bragging Rights 2 September 13, 2008 1 2:20 Eugene, Oregon, United States
Loss 3-5 Karl Amoussou TKO (kick to the body) M-1 Challenge 5: Japan July 17, 2008 2 0:41 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 3-4 Mike Pierce KO (punch) SF 20: Homecoming October 27, 2007 1 N/A Portland, Oregon, United States
Loss 3-3 Lyman Good Decision (unanimous) IFL: 2007 Semifinals August 2, 2007 3 4:00 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Loss 3-2 Antonio McKee Decision (unanimous) IFL: Everett June 1, 2007 3 4:00 Everett, Washington, United States
Loss 3-1 Delson Heleno Decision (unanimous) IFL: Connecticut April 13, 2007 3 4:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 3-0 Jim Abrille TKO (punches) IFL: Atlanta February 23, 2007 1 0:19 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Win 2-0 Mitch Whitesel Decision (unanimous) ROC 12: Tournament of Champions Quarterfinals November 17, 2006 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 1-0 Josh Burnham Decision (unanimous) SF 17: Hot Zone August 5, 2006 3 5:00 Portland, Oregon, United States

Mixed martial arts amateur record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 1-3 Peter Aspenwal Decision (unanimous) SF 15: Tribute April 8, 2006 3 3:00 Oregon, United States
Loss 1-2 Cory Devela KO (punch) SF 12: Breakout September 16, 2005 2 0:00 Portland, Oregon, United States
Win 1-1 Tom Brown KO (punch) SF 10: Mayhem May 28, 2005 1 1:42 Gresham, Oregon, United States
Loss 0-1 Bristol Marunde TKO (punches) SF 8: Justice January 8, 2005 1 2:54 Gresham, Oregon, United States


Dolce was named a Game Changer of the Year in 2014 by Men's Fitness magazine.

He was also a coach on ABC's Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell in 2014.[15]

Dolce was featured on Wake Up Call, hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, in 2014 as the expert nutritionist, and appeared on an episode of MTV's Jobs That Don't Suck.[16]

Dolce has also been featured heavily on London Real TV for his diet, fitness and motivation advice.


  1. ^ http://heavy.com/mma/mma-interviews/2012/01/the-fighting-life-mike-dolce-part-i/
  2. ^ "Mike Dolce "Skull Cracker"". mixedmartialarts.com. 
  3. ^ "Three years after last bout, MMA trainer Mike Dolce mulls a return to the cage". MMAjunkie. 
  4. ^ http://mmajunkie.com/2008/04/the-ultimate-fighter-7-episode-3-recap
  5. ^ http://news.nationalpost.com/health/with-ufc-fit-diet-guru-to-martial-artists-says-hes-fighting-to-help-public-lose-pounds
  6. ^ http://www.mmamania.com/2012/1/17/2714275/big-bang-duane-ludwig-ufc-on-fx-interview-exclusive-with-mmamania-com
  7. ^ "Mike Dolce". onnit.com. 
  8. ^ http://mmajunkie.com/2015/01/2014-world-mma-award-winners-lawler-rousey-gastelum-mcgregor-ufc-mmajunkie
  9. ^ http://thegarv.com/New-Jersey-Martial-Arts-Hall-of-Fame-to-Honor-Mike-Dolce-as-MMA-Nutritionist.html
  10. ^ http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/8/6/5975843/UFC-TUF-19-finale-bj-penn-opens-up-after-recent-loss-and-retirement-vs-frankie-edgar-mma-news
  11. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2576355-mike-dolce-responds-to-bj-penn-criticism-extends-olive-branch-to-former-champ
  12. ^ http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/12/8/7354049/lockhart-ive-only-heard-bro-science-from-dolce-hendricks-ufc-181-cyborg-weight-cut-nutrition-mma
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqkzqE_Fg6g
  14. ^ http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/12/11/7375889/ufc-mike-dolce-on-bro-science-cris-cyborg-optimal-body-fat-percentage-cain-velasquez-ronda-rousey
  15. ^ Adept Mobile. "Extreme Weight Loss' Ultimate Fighter". ufc.com. 
  16. ^ "'Jobs That Don't Suck' Spotlight: UFC Weight Coach Mike Dolce Talks Walking The Walk". Shows Blog.