Month: January 2019

The Hard Knocks 365 is a training camp where life is good. Led by the very famous Henri Hooft, we find a spirit of camaraderie outstanding among all the famous athletes who train there. Luke Rockhold, Volkan Oezdemir, Michael Johnson, Kamaru Usman, Robbie Lawler, Michael Chandler, here are the most famous athletes that you will have the opportunity to meet if one day you push the doors of this room.

If this beautiful little group gets along perfectly, there is a small change of mood on the day of sparring. Indeed, during these oppositions, no question of giving gifts to his opponent. The combatants are put in a combat situation, we do not joke anymore, we hit hard. The latest video shows Luke Rockhold, former UFC middleweight champion, sending a few courtesies to Jason Jackson, a Bellator fighter.

Very strong exchanges between the two men, who do not want to let go, even in training. Images relayed to Rockhold’s Instagram account, with a little message for the UFC: “You have to renew yourself from time to time, offer Jason Jackson a fight, he’s been waiting a long time.”

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Michael Chandler made history in Hawaii.

The Hard Knocks 365 representative became the first-ever three-time Bellator MMA champion, as he reclaimed the lightweight crown with a lopsided unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Brent Primus in the Bellator 212 headliner on Friday at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. The judges awarded Chandler a clean sweep on the scorecards: 50-45, 50-45 and 50-45.

Primus — who had beaten “Iron Mike” in June 2017 — never seemed comfortable outside of a second-round exchange in which he advanced to the back and threatened to cinch a rear-naked choke. Chandler executed takedowns in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds, maintained advantageous positions for minutes at a time and applied his ground-and-pound whenever possible. By the time it was over, there was little doubt regarding the outcome.

Meanwhile, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane kept her perfect professional record intact and retained the women’s flyweight championship in stirring fashion, as she submitted Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Valerie Letourneau with a triangle choke in the third round of their Bellator 213 main event on Saturday at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Letourneau tapped 3:19 into Round 3, submitting for the first time in her 17-fight career.

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American Kickboxing Academy has long been considered one of the best gyms in the world, but a track record of injuries often left the gym as a target of more criticism than praise. This past year saw that dynamic shift.

Between the success of team captain Daniel Cormier – who in 2018 became the second man to simultaneously hold two UFC titles, and also the first man to defend them both – but also Khabib Nurmagomedov, who finally fulfilled the championship potential long bestowed upon him, destroying the sport’s biggest superstar in the process, the gym has reached new heights, even by the team’s own admittedly lofty standards.

Rarely do two fighters from the same team present such a strong case for “Fighter of the Year,” but it’s hard to deny the attention that the performances of both Cormier and Nurmagomedov earned under the direction of head coach Javier Mendez.

Sure, Cain Velasquez remained sidelined throughout the year, and yes, Luke Rockhold transitioned to Florida and Henri Hooft’s Hard Knocks 365, but both longtime pillars of the AKA squad remain passionate with their loyalty to the crew in San Jose, Calif.

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