UFC contender Donald Cerrone trains Clippers star Blake Griffin in MMA

Whoever said basketball isn't a contact sport didn't watch Larry Bird and Dr. J duke it out.

Or how about the time Brad Miller narrowly avoided a mandatory ICU trip when Shaquille O’Neal just missed with a wild overhand right?

Beyond the random scuffle, basketball is still a punishing inside game, so players will try different offseason training regimens to try to gain a competitive advantage.

In anticipation of the 2015-2016 NBA season, L.A. Clippers star Blake Griffin decided he wanted to brush up on some hand-to-hand technique so he sought out UFC lightweight contender Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone – and they were both surprised by the experience.

“I didn’t realize that much dirty play was involved in basketball,” Cerrone said. “The pushing, the shoving, the pulling, trying to get everyone off axis. So, it’s good for him to find his center and keep under his hips, and his balance is there. He’s not getting pushed off, he’s not getting mislead. So I think it will play into his game well.”

Check out the video below:

It’s amusing to see how blown away ‘Cowboy’ is by the strength of the former Oklahoma standout.

To his credit, Griffin seems all in on the new-age training, even if this was for an episode of his web series "The Crossover."

“In basketball, it’s one quick move to get to your position,” Griffin said. "The quicker I can get to a guy's hands before he can get to mine, the quicker I can get him out of the way, get to my spot and then I'm in total control."

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Ryan McKinnell is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports Cagewriter blog. Have a tip? Email him or