hardknocks365 May 8, 2019

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After losing two in a row and four of his last six, the new Hard Knocks 365 representative was in peril of being tossed aside. Brunson had to dig deep, do a little soul searching and change some things up in his life or else he was in jeopardy of not fighting in the Octagon again. MMA is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport, and losing two in a row via knockout is not a spot any fighter wants to be in. So Brunson did what he needed to and reversed course to back in the winner’s circle.

“I switched up my training camp and moved to Hard Knocks 365,” he said after he toppled Theodorou via unanimous decision. “I think that made a big difference in this fight. They prepared me so well down there and told me exactly what he was going to do, so I felt confident coming in here.”

The duel with Theodorou wasn’t exactly the greatest fight in the history of the UFC, but Brunson did more than enough to earn the win. The North Carolinian tried goading his foe into a fire fight, but Theodorou played it safe throughout their 15 minutes, leaving plenty to be desired in terms of action. But, Brunson said, it wasn’t his fault; he tried bringing the proverbial heat.

Read more on Sherdog

CHICAGO — Patricio Freire will look to become a Bellator two-weight champion on Saturday night, but he thinks the fight against Michael Chandler should have happened much sooner.

Freire, the Bellator featherweight titleholder, meets Chandler, the lightweight champ, in the Bellator 221 main event at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL, USA, for Chandler’s title. “Pitbull” is looking forward to winning a second belt — and especially to simply getting his hand raised against Chandler — but he believes the promotion could have booked this bout far sooner than it did.

“It’s a fight I believe should have happened a long time ago,” Freire told Bloody Elbow on Wednesday. “Perhaps Bellator and Viacom were waiting for him to get have the belt back and some of his shine back to make this fight finally happen. But I think they missed some opportunities to do it before.”

Freire and Chandler have gone back and forth for years on social media and in interviews. Both are two of Bellator’s biggest faces for the company and their fight is looked at as one of the biggest in the promotion’s history. But after multiple requests to fight Chandler, the Brazilian moved on from a fight against him after it seemed it was never going to happen.

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“[I] came here tonight and showed that I belong in the best company of MMA. I want my contract!” Burns told Usman to a chorus of cheers from his local South Florida fans, teammates, and students.

UFC president Dana White, who was in attendance for the Titan FC 54 show as part of his viral series, ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’, agreed with Burns. Following Burns’ one-sided win, White tendered the Brazilian a summer showdown opportunity on the Contender Series.

Burns, 31, turned to his grappling roots to get the job done against Gomez. While he wanted to strike more than he did, Burns says an injury in training prompted him to engage his jiu jitsu early, and the result speaks for itself.

“I was training with the [Titan FC] featherweight title challenger, Caio Uruguai, and then we were doing some grappling drills,” Burns told The Body Lock. “I was going to his back, and he was trying to whizzer my shoulder, and accidentally he cut my forehead. So, I had to change the strategy to a little bit more conservative.

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The UFC will not have the mixed martial arts stage to itself, however, as Bellator MMA will counter with Bellator 221 on Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, where featherweight champion Patricio Freire moves up to 155 pounds to challenge Michael Chandler for his lightweight title in a five-round superfight.

An NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, Chandler finds himself on a three-fight winning streak. The 33-year-old Hard Knocks 365 export reclaimed the lightweight championship for a third time at Bellator 212 on Dec. 14, as he laid claim to a five-round unanimous decision against Brent Primus and avenged a 2018 defeat to the Sports Lab standout. Chandler has compiled a 16-4 record under the Bellator banner.

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Derek Brunson is back in the mix, as he is set to fight in the co-main event of the upcoming UFC Ottawa.

He will be fighting Elias Theodorou in what is sure to be quite the fight.

Brunson is coming into the fight on the back of 2 losses against Israel Adesanya and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, but he will be looking to turn his fortune around with a win against Theodorou.

I was able to catch up to Derek Brunson before his next UFC fight and pose a few questions before him.

Catch UFC Fight Night 151 in Ottawa live on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD at 5:30 AM on the 5th of May.


Q. What’s your preparation like heading into this fight against Elias Theodorou?

DB: I switched it up from training at home to training at Hard Knocks 365 in Florida. It’s a lot of tough guys all trying to get to the next level. So it’s a push every single day.

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One Championship featherweight titleholder Martin Nguyen has become one of the faces of the Singapore-based promotion over the last five years, and his journey to this point in his career has been filled with surprising twists and turns. The son of Vietnamese immigrants, Nguyen, 30, grew up in the “Aussie life.” His parents escaped a war-torn nation and chose to start a family in Australia — a country with a welcoming nature to those from abroad.

“I wasn’t bullied or discriminated against for being Asian,” Nguyen told Sherdog.com. “I was raised as an Australian kid.”

Though he once dreamed of stardom on the rugby pitch, his small size and recurrent shoulder injuries forced him to look in other directions. Nguyen accompanied a neighbor to a taekwondo school that also offered Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. He was instantly hooked, later incorporated striking and ultimately made the transition to mixed martial arts. “The Situ-Asian” made his pro debut in July 2012 and joined the One Championship roster as a 3-0 prospect a little more than two years later.

Nguyen finished five of his first six opponents under the One Championship roster, a submission loss to eventual featherweight champion Marat Gafurov his only misstep. Two years later, he avenged the setback, knocked out Gafurov and captured One Championship gold. The victory catapulted Nguyen into an ambitious two-fight run in which he attempted to become a three-division champion.

Read more on Sherdog

Elias Theodorou has often described himself as a tough puzzle to solve, but he would not cast Derek Brunson in the same light.

Theodorou had plenty to say about his UFC Ottawa opponent when speaking to MMA Fightingand other press at a scrum on Thursday. In particular, Theodorou was dismissive of Brunson’s recent training sessions with world-renowned striking coach Henri Hooft at Hard Knocks 365 in Florida.

“I would argue that experience goes a long way, but there is the old statement ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ I think that is very much the case. If you’ve seen one Derek Brunson fight you’ve seen them all,” he said. “With that being said, I respect him both as an athlete and as a mixed martial artist. He is a great wrestler, but I’ve competed against great wrestlers before. I fought Trevor Smith who is a D1 wrestler instead of Derek Brunson who is D2. A lot of his wrestling goes out of the window the more it doesn’t work.”

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Following back-to-back losses against Jacare Souza and Israel Adesanya, UFC Ottawa’s Derek Brunson has enlisted the help of Henri Hooft and Hard Knocks 365, after being a “superstar” in his own gym wasn’t working out.

Ottawa, ON — Middleweight Derek Brunson is back in action in the co-main event at this Saturday’s UFC Ottawa. And like the weather in the Canadian capital, his career has had its ups and downs of late. Most recently, it’s a two-fight slump, though it’s worth noting that his last opponent, Israel Adesanya, now holds interim middleweight gold.

Facing the media on Thursday, Brunson told media outlets including Cageside Press about how he is adjusting for this fight — and even gave his pick for the winner of Adesanya and Robert Whittaker’s title unification bout.

“I don’t feel the pressure’s on me,” Brunson told reporters in regards to his recent losses. “I always want to perform well, and lately I have not been performing well. Particularly in the bigger fights. So that’s been the focus in my training camp, and pretty much in general.”

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On Friday, UFC president Dana White will be in attendance at Titan FC 54 in Florida, and Herbert Burns believes it will be the night he earns a UFC deal.

“My plan is to win this fight in an impressive way, to get a contract with the UFC,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “I believe I have all the necessary weapons to win this fight and go on to the UFC featherweight roster. I know that once I’m in the UFC, I can make it to the rankings in short order.”

Burns (7-2) faces Luis Gomez at Titan FC 54, which takes place at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale. The card streams live on UFC Fight Pass, and White will be there to film for his show “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”

There’s no guarantee a victory will get Burns a UFC deal, but he believes that once the UFC boss sees him compete, the result is inevitable, and he’ll find his way to the UFC roster alongside his brother Gilbert.

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Undefeated bantamweight prospect Dustin Lampros (3-0) is slated to meet Colton Minster at Shamrock FC 318.

Lampros was originally supposed to meet Raul Romero, who had to pull out of the fight. Minster stepped up about a month ago to take the fight with Lampros, which will mark his professional debut.

“I heard he’s a tough, scrappy kid who comes out there and he’ll be in your face,” Lampros told MMASucka. “For me, it’s the same thing. I plan on coming out, touching gloves, putting pressure on the guy and hopefully break him in the first round.”

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