Category Archives: Hard Knocks 365

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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After a successful international Titan FC 51 fight card in Kazakhstan this past weekend, Titan Fighting Championship officials have announced their first card of the 2019 calendar.

The organization returns to its home at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with Titan FC 52 on Friday, January 25 and will broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.

Two titles are on the line to include the organization’s bantamweight and featherweight titles.

“The Speciman” Jason Soares defends the Titan FC featherweight title for the very first time when he meets challenger, Caio Uruguai.  Soares, undefeated at a 11-0, won the title in April with a  rear-naked choke over Luis Gomez. Caio Uruguai, 7-1, is coming off a win over Juan Villaseca, also on that April Titan FC 49 fight card.

The vacant bantamweight title is on the line when Edir Terry and Rudson Caliocane meet in the evening’s co-main event.  When former champion Jose “Shorty” Torres was signed to the UFC earlier this year the title was vacated.  Caliocane, 6-1, is new to the Titan organization.  The Brazilian mixed martial artist is riding a six-fight win streak.  Terry, 6-2, has one win and one loss with Titan.  His most recent, a victory over Irwin Rivera in Febraury.

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Luke Rockhold is done killing himself to compete at middleweight.

The former 185-pound champion has declared his intention to move to the light heavyweight division after teasing that same decision throughout 2018 but then ultimately booking a fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 230 in New York.

Unfortunately, Rockhold’s body couldn’t hold up and he was forced to pull out of the fight and that was the final straw to tell him it was time to move up to light heavyweight.

According to Rockhold, he had already plotted a move to 205 pounds but when the UFC came calling with an opportunity to compete on the card at Madison Square Garden in November, it was too good to pass up.

He tried to get through a full training camp while still nursing a shin injury that had hampered him for much of 2018 but the strain was just too much.

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A top kickboxing star is making the move to mixed martial arts.

Robin van Roosmalen, the first-ever man to win two championships for Glory Kickboxing, will transition full-time to MMA, his new management team Paradigm announced Thursday evening. Paradigm also represents the likes of Conor McGregor, Cris Cyborg and Glory heavyweight star Rico Verhoeven.

Van Roosmalen, 29, has won 10 of his last 12 bouts in Glory, recently losing his featherweight belt in September. The Netherlands native now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., training at Hard Knocks 365 under decorated coach Henri Hooft.

Van Roosmalen, who has a black belt in judo, is already 2-0 in MMA and boasts a 40-8 record in kickboxing. He will compete at featherweight in MMA, per the Paradigm release.

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Carlo Pedersoli Jr. is fine with marching into enemy lands. He just hopes that someday he gets the chance to be the one defending his territory.

Making his UFC debut on less than two weeks’ notice this past May, Pedersoli managed to defeat veteran Bradley Scott in Scott’s home country of England. Up next for Pedersoli is a welterweight matchup with Brazilian finisher Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira in the co-main event of UFC Sao Paulo on Saturday, another booking where he can expect a hostile crowd.

Pedersoli’s last two fights before joining the UFC also came against opponents backed by the majority of the audience. He fought Romanian Mircea Dumitrescu in the city of Brasov, and then traveled to Sweden for a Cage Warriors show where he fought Nicolas Dalby, who hails from neighboring Denmark.

Playing the visiting villain hasn’t been too troubling for Pedersoli (11-1), but he’s making it a point on Saturday not to leave things in the hands of the Brazilian judges after his last two fights ended in split calls.

“I think I have to improve every time. But I think that was a unanimous decision,” Pedersoli told MMA Fighting when asked about the split verdict against Scott. “It’s difficult because Scott was from England, so the judges are from England, so every time you fight in another place that is not your hometown you have to win by KO or submission because the decision will be difficult.”

Pedersoli is going up against a proven finisher in Oliveira, who hasn’t been to the scorecards in his past six outings. He hopes to match the ferocity of Oliveira and steal his spot in the contenders’ rankings.

“I don’t want this fight to end by points, by decision,” said Pedersoli. “I will try my best to finish this fight in my opportunities. But I know it’s a difficult fight, he’s one of the best in the division, but I’m hungry and I want my legacy, so I accept this fight because I think it’s a good moment to put it in the cage. I don’t have fear of anybody.”

Born in Miami to an Italian father and a Panamanian mother, Pedersoli is a man of many nations. Even his nickname “Semento” comes from the Japanese word for cement, a moniker he acquired when he spent time training in The Land of the Rising Sun. Pedersoli was raised in Italy and primarily trains in Rome at the Gloria Fight Center, though he has also made stops at Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Dynamix MMA in Los Angeles.

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Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale is filled with enough games and activities to keep you busy for days. Their latest addition will put a sweaty smile on the faces of every gym rat in So-Flo. Deco’s Chris Van Vliet has all the deets on the new workout destination.

We’ve been to Xtreme Action Park a few times over the last year or so. Actually, the last time I was there, I was reporting live 20 feet above the ground on their ropes course. Now, they’ve got something that lets you train like a pro athlete — while training with pro athletes.

Xtreme Action Park is the largest indoor entertainment venue in Florida.

You name it, and this Fort Lauderdale fun factory has it — go-karts, roller skating, tons of games, and now they’ve added a mind-blowing new space called “Hard Knocks 365.”

Tony Villani: “Hard Knocks 365 is like a coming together of a lot of sports training and fitness and sports disciplines under one roof.”

If you’re a professional or amateur athlete looking for a place to get a complete workout, your search has ended.

Tony Villani: “We basketball courts here, we have XPE Sports speed and agility and all types of sports training that goes on there. We have a great kickboxing and MMA program.”

And it’s a favorite for top MMA fighters who duke it out in the octagon.

Tony Villani: “Yeah, so we have some top UFC fighters from all over the country that choose this location to train at.”

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Forward pressure makes opponents nervous, puts them on the defense and has them reacting to you. Pace also creates mental pressure on your opponent to keep up or slow down. Physical pressure against the cage and on top can be used as a compliance measure or to inflict damage.

Either way, it chips away at their will to continue and makes them want to quit. Stay relentless with your pace and pressure, and you may not even need to make it to the next step.

At UFC 225, Colby Covington pushed a relentless pressure on Rafael dos Anjos that was not returned, ultimately . breaking the former champ.

Anyone fighting under Henri Hooft at Hard Knocks 365 will put a relentless forward pressure on you, and using simple striking, they will make it look easy finishing you.

Check out how Hard Knock’s fighter Gilbert Burns used forward pressure to earn a ferocious knockout at UFC Glendale. There’s nothing fancy about the strikes themselves, but coupled with Burns’ relentless pace and pressure, there was nowhere for his opponent to go but down.

With a new four-fight Bellator MMA contract in hand, Dominic Mazzotta (13-2) has a date set for his next fight, as “The Honey Badger” is set to face Josh Sampo (11-5) at Bellator 197 in St. Charles, Missouri.

Mazzotta announced the bout in a FloCombat interview with James Lynch.

The bout will be Mazzotta’s third with the promotion, as he bounced back from a knockout loss against A.J. McKee at Bellator 178 to earn a win over Matt Lozano at Bellator 186 in Pennsylvania in November.

The Pittsburgh area native has recently made some big moves in his life, including getting married in Las Vegas last month and moving to Florida to train at the Hard Knocks 365 gym.

Mazzotta entered Bellator last year as one of the hottest prospects in the sport, riding a nine-fight winning streak with big wins at both featherweight and bantamweight.

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