Category Archives: Hard Knocks 365

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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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.

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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.”

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