hardknocks365 May 29, 2019

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Aaron Pico now has an opponent for his return to New York.

The top up-and-comer will face Adam Borics at Bellator 222 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

Pico (4-2) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 in January. That defeat snapped a four-fight winning streak, all of which were first-round knockouts. The California native is regarded as one of the best blue-chip prospects in MMA history, though he has had two rocky outings in six career fights.

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Rochester, NY — Desmond Green promised he’d get a good turnout at UFC Rochester. The only Rochester native on the card actually had to beg to get on it, and it’s a good thing he did. He had the biggest cheers, the most support, save perhaps for the main event. And in terms of media attention, Green was second to none. Every TV and radio station in the city turned out to cover Green, and just Green for the most part.

Which meant that the back stage area following Green’s win over UFC newcomer Charles Jourdain was crowded. The local media got in position immediately following his win, circled around the interview area like hawks. Clearly unaware how long it takes a fighter to clear the commission following a bout.

It didn’t matter. Their guy had won. Green was one of the biggest stories of the night. Hometown hero triumphs. The Rush–Henrietta High School grad and University of Buffalo alum went the distance against the scrappy Jourdain, then got his hand raised.

Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press after the fight, he admitted that “the roar that I got from that crowd, I had no clue it was going to be that big.”

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Rochester, N.Y. — Desmond Green is making his long-awaited homecoming Saturday night at UFC Rochester. There should be about 1,000 friends and family in what’s expected to be close to a sold out Blue Cross Arena. His energy is high and the city is buzzing.

But this night and any other night for that matter were almost taken away from him on Aug. 18 last year.

Green collided with an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer truck on Interstate 75 in Davie, Fla. (he lives and trains in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. as a member of the Hard Knocks 365 fight camp). The crash worsened when five more cars slammed into the truck resulting in the death of two people.

Green lost a tooth and suffered a rib injury, but those wounds didn’t take long to heal. The trauma of that morning, however, remains still almost a year later.

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UFC announced Saturday that Niagara Falls native and former Niagara-Wheatfield and Niagara County Community College star Rashad Evans will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the class of 2019 during a July 5 ceremony in Las Vegas.

“Rashad and I have been close since season two of The Ultimate Fighter and we’ve had an amazing relationship,” UFC President Dana White said in a press release. “It has been fun to see him succeed and grow as a fighter, become a world champion and then a respected coach for up and coming fighters, and then to see him retire last year. I love to see him still involved with UFC. I couldn’t be prouder of Rashad than I am right now with him being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.”

Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018) and Michael Bisping (2019). The “Modern Era” category includes athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000 (when the unified rules of mixed martial arts were adopted), are a minimum age of 35, or have been retired for one year or more.

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Vicente Luque believes in the USADA process, but he does feel that Neil Magny is telling the truth about his failed drug test being accidental.

Rochester, NY — Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous week for UFC welterweight Vincente Luque. Luque (15-6-1) had expected to be facing Neil Magny in the UFC Rochester co-main event. Instead, while fight week was still unfolding, Magny was pulled from the card due to a failed drug test. LFA veteran Derrick Krantz has stepped up in his place, keeping Luque on the card — but creating a high risk, low reward situation for the Brazilian-American.

Well, some might see it that way. Luque, however, told Cageside Press and other media outlets on Thursday that he sees things differently. “I never think fighting is a lose-lose, especially because I love fighting,” he explained.

“So whenever I can go [out] there and do what I love, for me, it’s a win.” Especially since he risks being lost in the shuffle otherwise. “If I am not active, I think other welterweights will be active, and they’re going to have visibility.” So while he’s not fighting a top fifteen guy at UFC Rochester, or someone who will move him up the rankings, “I’m still going to go out there and have the opportunity to show what I do.”

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Martin Nguyen is the first One Championship fighter to win titles in two weight divisions. It could have been three had he not given up a split decision to bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes. The man they call “The Situ-Asian” has now decided to focus on his featherweight belt after relinquishing his lightweight strap because of an injury.

He is most recently coming off a successful title defense against Mongolian great, Narantungalag-Jadambaa. And as he awaits his next opponent, you can learn more about him through the numbers below.

21: Years old when he started to get into mixed martial arts. Nguyen’s original sport was rugby, but after suffering multiple injuries, he was forced to quit. Needing something to keep him fit and active, he turned to martial arts. It’s impressive how far he has come as a professional MMA fighter, especially considering he started rather late.

2: Recorded amateur fights before turning pro. Nguyen fought and came out victorious in a couple of local events, namely Competitive Edge – The Fight Project and Brace for War 21.

Read more at Sherdog

It’s only fitting to start with the guy making his UFC debut. Charles “Air” Jourdain is a very promising 23-year-old fighter, who was already a featherweight champion in his domestic TKO promotion. Won the title in December vs former champion Alex Morgan with a guillotine choke in the first round. That one was actually set up by a great spinning backfist that hurt his opponent and sent him to the mat. Last month he was scheduled to fight the champion of the lightweight division Ronson in an attempt to become a champ-champ. But unfortunately that fight was scratched, so he fought Damien Lapilus instead and won by TKO in the 5th round. Soon after that he signed with UFC and announced that he’ll compete in 155 division.

Desmond Green is definitely more experienced of the two. 29-year-old has 3 times as many fights as Jourdain in his career (22-8) and is on UFC roster for almost two years now. He’s not that unfamiliar with Canada either, as he was working out at Tristar Gym with GSP before he made a move to Hard Knocks 365 in Florida. He’s working with some of the best there like new welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. He is extremely motivated to do well in this Rochester card because he was born here and wrestled for the University of Buffalo which is not far away.

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Ed Herman isn’t done yet, but he’s got a plan for what’s after fighting
For Desmond Green, a short turnaround is worth the effort for the chance to fight in front of a home crowd.

“The Predator” is coming off of a first-round TKO win over the newly-retired Ross Pearson, his first stoppage victory in the UFC. Just a month and a half later, he’ll step into the cage with UFC debutant Charles Jourdain at UFC Fight Night 152 in Rochester, New York on Saturday, May 18.

The Rochester native will be looking to feed off the energy of his hometown crowd in order to put together his first UFC winning streak.

Before his fight, Green talked to John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock about his evolution as a fighter, past issues with opponents and what it’s like to finally enjoy home-field advantage in the UFC.

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Mike Trizano isn’t interested in the trash-talking side of the game. He lets his performances speak for themselves.

Unlike some of the other cast members on the show, the Ultimate Fighter 27 lightweight winner wasn’t much of a character. He didn’t need to be.

Trizano defeated Thailand Clark and John Gunther to land a spot in the finale against Joe Giannetti. He came into that fight a slight underdog, but he exited with the TUF trophy and a UFC contract.

After his most recent win against Luis Pena, Trizano made the decision to drop down to featherweight, and he will make his 145-pound debut at UFC Fight Night 152 against Grant Dawson.

Before the fight, Trizano spoke with John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock about training at Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts, his approach to fighting and the task at hand in Rochester, New York.

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If you thumb through Nik Lentz’ Instagram page, the eighth image in his array is a fan-made fight poster announcing his trilogy bout with Charles Oliveira this weekend in Rochester, New York.

Above the myriad hashtags affixed to the post is a message from the 34-year-old lightweight, who enters the contest on a two-fight winning streak. It reads, “I’ve been telling everyone… I’m a new person. New faith, new father, new man. I get a chance to prove it.”

A cynical person would say it’s a personal spin on the same old pre-fight promises of being in the best shape ever, training camp going perfectly and feeling ready to take on all comers, but to hear Lentz chronicle the twists and turns and milestone moments that led him to this point in his life, you come to understand that the unflinchingly honest and refreshingly open veteran really is in a different place.

All it took for him to get here was to stop caring about fighting so damn much.

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