Month: September 2019

One of the hardest parts about being a UFC fighter involves the training. To maximize their workouts and techniques, a great UFC fighter needs a great gym so they can train with the best in the sport. Here are some of the most famous UFC gyms in the world.

American Kickboxing Academy, or AKA, is more than just a kickboxing academy; it’s the stomping grounds of four UFC champions. Cain Velasquez, former heavyweight champion; Daniel Cormier, former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion; Luke Rockhold, former middleweight champion; and Khabib Nurmagomedov, current lightweight champion, all trained at AKA.

At AKA, fighters train in every style of the sport. Nurmagomedov and Cormier specifically like to train and improve their wrestling skills at this gym. Of course, as its name implies, AKA also teaches kickboxing, and Rockhold is a great kickboxer as a result. AKA’s head coach, Javier Mendez, often corners the champions he’s trained while they fight in the UFC.

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Sherdog.com confirmed the bookings with a promotion official on Monday. Dutch outlet Babrants Dagblad reported Van Roosmalen vs. Lencioni, while MMAjunkie.com initially brought word of Mix vs. Mazzotta. Bellator 232 takes place at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and is headlined by the welterweight grand prix final matchup between Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima.

Van Roosmalen is a former featherweight and lightweight champion with Glory Kickboxing. He owns a 2-0 mark in professional MMA and has been training at Hard Knocks 365 in Florida. His pro kickboxing record is 51-17-3.

Anchored at Gracie Barra Portland, Lencioni halted a two-bout skid with a first-round submission of Adil Benjilany at Bellator 221 on May 11. He is 2-2 under the Bellator banner overall.

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Sherdog.com confirmed the bout following an initial report from MMAjunkie.com. Bellator 231 goes down on Oct. 25 and will be headlined by a heavyweight scrap between Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.

Mowry is 6-0 as a pr, including a 2-0 in Bellator. The 27-year-old trains at Hard Knocks 365 and is a towering 6-foot-8 heavyweight. Mowry owns submission victories against Ben Moa and Darion Abby in his two promotional appearances thus far. The former Titan FC competitor has finished four of his victories by submission and two by KO/TKO.

Saricam is also undefeated at 4-0 and will make his first walk to the Bellator cage against Mowry. The Turkish fighter last competed in February, when he defeated Jose Agustin Jimenez Garcia by TKO at an event in the Netherlands. He has finished all four of his fights inside the distance — three by KO/TKO and one via submission.

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ONE Championship light heavyweight and middleweight champion Aung La N Sang is more than a two-belt titleholder. He is a national hero for his native Myanmar, and through his success, he has changed and saved lives, bringing the strife-ridden country together.

He never imagined that would happen to him, but it did, and he accepts the responsibility of being a role model. His demeanor, drive, work ethic and values make him a great representative of the ONE Championship mantra in and out of the ring.

Also a wildlife activist, his sights these days are set on his next fight.

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A current two-division world champion and the 2018 Fighters Only World MMA Awards International Fighter of the Year, Aung La N Sang likely remains an unknown to all but the most hardcore of MMA fans.

That doesn’t bother him one bit.

“I respect everybody, and if people don’t respect me, it doesn’t bother me,” N Sang told MMA Junkie. “Obviously, the Western media is not going to cover ONE Championship as much. The fact that I’ve been fighting mostly in Asia doesn’t help, either. But skillwise, I know where I’m at. I’m in the room at Hard Knocks 365. I know what I’m capable of, and I train with Kamaru Usman and the best guys in the world, so it’s not a big deal for me.”

N Sang is the reigning middleweight and light heavyweight titleholder under the ONE Championship banner. A native of Myanmar, N Sang relocated to the U.S. to attend college, launching his professional MMA career shortly after. He registered early appearances with regional stalwarts such as Cage Fury Fighting Championships and Ring of Combat, even fighting once under the Bellator banner.

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Saturday is a busy day in the MMA world. UFC 242 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+) and its lightweight title headliner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier is getting the bulk of the attention. But Bellator has a compelling card Saturday night in San Jose, California, that won’t actually go head-to-head in terms of time slot with the big UFC pay-per-view event.

Bellator 226 (10 p.m. ET, DAZN) features a heavyweight title main event pitting champion Ryan Bader against veteran Cheick Kongo. Also on tap is the launch of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix, with four of the eight first-round tournament fights happening on the card from SAP Center.

Here’s what to watch at Bellator 226:

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