Category Archives: Hard Knocks 365
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Alton Meeks was two days away from basic training and set on spending time with family before heading off to join the military. The former high school wrestler and Division I football player at Iowa State and Northern Illinois was going to join the U.S. Army wrestling team and had designs on making his way up the Olympic ladder as part of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
Last Oct. 2, Meeks and his father, Sanford, had just taken cows to market near their home in central Florida and were on their way to see relatives. Driving on East Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland, their Chevrolet pickup was struck in a head-on collision.
Adam Borics believes fans need to slow down when talking about Aaron Pico.
Borics, an undefeated featherweight who meets Pico at Bellator 222, said Pico is a “good fighter” but people think too highly of him. Bellator 222 takes place Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“He has two or three good knockouts, but I think he is overrated,” Borics told Bloody Elbow. “Maybe he got too much hype. Maybe he got the most hype ever. I never saw like this, ‘Oh, he’s the future’ and everything. He got the knockouts and they are pushing him. I just want to show the world who deserves the hype.”
New York, NY – Adam Borics is off to great start in his career. The Hungarian is 12-0 with eight finishes. He’s really showcased his abilities since joining Bellator, winning by rear-naked choke twice, and a flying knee in three appearances. Now he’ll get his toughest test against top prospect Aaron Pico, but the result will be the same in his eyes.
“I’m going to finish him. I’m a finisher, I’m going to finish him.”
Aaron Pico has had the spotlight on him since his MMA career began, and will be looking to recover from a loss at Bellator 222. On the other side, this can be Borics’ coming-out party after quietly amassing his 12-0 record.
“I don’t care about it. He gets a lot of hype, and if I get this hype, I can say that ‘oh, I don’t need this, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do commercial, I don’t want to do this.’ But I understand this. I’m just thinking about the fight. Maybe it’s easier if I don’t [have the hype].”
If the hype does come, however, Borics says “I’m ready for that.”
Borics started his run with Bellator in the best way possible, fighting in his home country of Hungary twice before making his American debut last year. While he’s well-known in Hungary, the rest of the world is about to catch up.
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No fighter ever wants to suffer their first loss, but in the world of combat sports it’s not always about winning or losing, more so about what can be learned from both winning and losing. Just a month before he turned 22 years-old, Mike Kimbel suffered his first professional loss in his career to John Douma.
While the fight didn’t go his way, Kimbel now prepares to take on Sebastian Ruiz at Bellator 222 which takes place on Friday, June 14, at Madison Square Garden. Kimbel spoke to MyMMANews about suffering his first loss, the lessons learned from that fight, how he’s going to bounce back at MSG, and why he’s focused on fighting for himself now.
For some fighters, all that matters to them is winning or losing inside the cage, but for Mike Kimbel, who is always focused on winning, every chance he gets inside the cage, is another opportunity for him to learn.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion “Suga” Rashad Evans is making his way to the UFC Hall of Fame.
Over the weekend the UFC announced that Evans, the winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the class of 2019.
The 2019 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, will take place on Friday, July 5, at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort 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.
“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 will join Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018) and Michael Bisping (2019).
Robin Van Roosmalen, a former champion in two weight classes with Glory Kickboxing, has signed with Bellator MMA.
Bellator President Scott Coker announced the signing via Twitter on Tuesday. Van Roosmalen’s deal is exclusively for mixed martial arts, so he will not compete in Bellator Kickboxing, according to a promotion official. While Coker hinted that van Roosmalen would take part in the promotion’s upcoming featherweight grand prix, the Dutch fighter’s participation in the bracket has not been finalized.
Van Roosmalen was the first fighter two win two titles for Glory Kickboxing, capturing crowns at featherweight and lightweight. He announced at the end of last year that he would be transitioning to MMA on a full-time basis. Van Roosmalen has been training at Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., under the guidance of Henri Hooft and others.
A black belt in judo, van Rossmalen has gone 2-0 in MMA, winning both of his bouts via technical knockout. The 29-year-old last competed in MMA in March 2017. He owns a 51-17-3 mark as a professional kickboxer.