hardknocks365 August 30, 2019

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After knocking out one of the hottest prospects in Bellator, Hungarian star Adam Borics is riding a tidal wave of momentum. Now he’s heading into the Bellator featherweight grand prix looking to extend his unbeaten run all the way to the final and title belt.

In his last outing, undefeated Borics (13-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) spectacularly knocked out Aaron Pico at Bellator 222 in June as the 26-year-old announced himself as a serious threat to the division’s best. And now he says he’s ready to make his mark against the biggest names in Bellator’s 145-pound class.

“I am so excited, but I am the same person who works hard every day,” Borics told MMA Junkie. “I have a goal to become a world champion, and I’m working towards that every day.”

That knockout against Pico, a stunning flying knee, catapulted Borics to stardom back in Hungary, and he said he was mobbed when he returned there after his fight.

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Zhang “Magnum” Weili is yet to face the music but the Chinese fighter’s looming title fight with Brazilian UFC champion Jessica Andrade seems to be changing the way her country is looking at MMA.

The immediate impact has been felt among the fighters.

“The fact that she is fighting for a title has really motivated me and I am not the only one,” Li “The Leech” Jingliang said on Friday. “Perhaps this is just the start and from now on you will see many more from China fighting for titles, including male fighters.”

Zhang’s match-up with Andrade has assured her a place in the history books as the first Chinese fighter to be given a title shot by the UFC.

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Herbert Burns thought he had his chance with the UFC locked up back in April. He was on the main card in a prominent fight at Titan FC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sitting cageside was UFC president Dana White, with the cameras rolling for White’s “Lookin’ For A Fight” show.

With an impressive performance, fighters competing on “Lookin’ For A Fight” can immediately get signed to a contract, which is how Sage Northcutt and Mickey Gall got into the UFC.

Burns did his part. He took down opponent Luis Gomez right off the opening bell, took his back and finished with a rear-naked choke submission at 2:24 of the first round. White and show co-stars Matt Serra and Din Thomasappreciated the effort. White said Burns won “in impressive fashion.” Serra said the bout was essentially over in 10 seconds.

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After competing on “The Ultimate Fighter,” Dana White’s Contender Series, LFA, and various other regional promotions, Jason Jackson has finally found a home with a major promotion.

Jackson (10-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who trains out of Hard Knocks 365 in South Florida, has signed with Bellator, a promotion official confirmed following a congratulatory tweet from LFA. The terms were not disclosed, however, Jackson stated on social media it’s a multi-fight deal.

Jackson, 28, first entered the national spotlight on “TUF 21: Blackzilians vs. ATT.” He represented the since-demised Blackzilians, and Jackson went 1-1 in exhibition bouts on the show. After he defeated Marcelo Alfaya by decision, he was submitted by future-UFC veteran Mike Graves.

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Derek Brunson isn’t ready to play gatekeeper for anyone. The UFC veteran of 16 fights survived a scary opening moment of the fight to edge out a decision over Ian Heinisch in the first bout of the pay-per-view main card at UFC 241 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The fight was a battle of top 10 middleweights with Brunson entering the Octagon ranked No. 8 to Heinisch’s No. 10.

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International Fight Week 2019 is in the books after being capped off by UFC 239, which went down Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card was headlined by arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Jon Jones, defending his light heavyweight title against Brazilian slugger Thiago Santos. The fight was a surprisingly close back-and-forth contest which saw “Bones” winning a split decision using a slower, more calculated attack. The main event came after three straight spectacular knockouts that might have stolen some of the headlines from Jones’ title defense.

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Former middleweight world champion Luke Rockhold (16-4) isn’t a middleweight anymore. His next fight, July 6 at UFC 239 (10 p.m. ET, PPV), will be up a class at light heavyweight against Jan Blachowicz (23-8).

So, when Rockhold is asked about the lunch he just had in Florida where he’s conducting his training camp at Henri Hooft’s Hard Knocks 365, he focuses on the quantity, not the specific flavors of the dish.

“Lunch was a hefty portion,” he chuckles.

Eating big during training camp is new to Rockhold, who for years whittled the weight from his 6-foot-3 frame down to the middleweight limit (185 pounds) for competition. Since moving up to the 205-pound class, however, the Californian says his mind, body, and training have benefited a great deal.

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LAS VEGAS – There’s a long line of top contenders waiting for their crack at welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Speaking to MMA Junkie last Friday at the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony, Usman (15-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) was asked who he thought would be his toughest challenge. His answer? Tteammate Robbie Lawler.

The former 170-pound champ Lawler (28-13-1 MMA, 13-7 UFC) proved he is still a threat in his controversial stoppage loss to Ben Askren in his last outing. He was submitted via bulldog choke early in the fight but showed his toughness. And Usman gets to see that on a daily basis, training with Lawler at the Hard Knocks 365 Gym in South Florida.

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LFA CEO Ed Soares announced on Thursday that the promotion will have a new title fight at LFA 71. Junior Marques, who was scheduled to fight for the welterweight title, was denied entry into the country due to an immigration issue after his flight landed in the United States.

The main event of LFA 71 will now feature a welterweight title fight between LFA standout Jason “The Ass-Kicking Machine” Jackson and respected Brazilian prospect Hemerson “Toco” Souza for the vacant championship. LFA 71 – Jackson vs. Souza takes place tomorrow Friday, July 12th at the Coca-Cola Roxy in Atlanta, Georgia. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

“Jason Jackson will now face Hemerson “Toco” Souza for the LFA welterweight championship at LFA 71,” stated Soares. “Junior Marques was denied entry into the country due to an immigration issue, so we are moving Souza up from the co-main event to face Jackson for the title. Stylistically, Jackson and Souza will give fight fans in Atlanta a fantastic headliner tomorrow night at the Coca-Cola Roxy in Atlanta, Georgia.”

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Derek Brunson knows his three-round battle against Elias Theodorou in early May wasn’t the most exciting fight in history, but he got the job done.

Dealing with an awkward counter fighter, Brunson had to make some adjustments to ensure the victory but ultimate he swept the scorecards to get back in the win column following a pair of consecutive losses.

Heading into the fight, Brunson acknowledged that Theodorou is a tough puzzle to figure out at times and he had to make his own adjustments after switching teams where he began working with the coaches and fighters out of Hard Knocks 365 in Florida.

“He’s a smart guy. He went out with his game plan and he fought the normal way that he always fought and he thought I was going to present the same attributes or come out the same way I did in my previous fights just really aggressive,” Brunson told MMAFighting when speaking about the fight with Theodorou. “He didn’t deviate from that game plan and I said to myself ‘you can’t keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over again’.

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