Here at MMA Latest, we have been covering Titan FC 35 for some time now. We had a 4 part mini-series that I did (link to my authors’ page to find that), two in person interviews done by AJ Camacho (his authors’ page) and two very well done interviews by Dave Madden (his authors’ page). Continuing our great coverage of their great event, I bring you an exclusive interview with their headliner Rick Hawn.
Hawn is a former Bellator Lightweight and Welterweight tournament finalist. He fell short in both tries for the title and was let go after losing two in a row. The Bostonian recently found himself in Titan FC where he beat former WEC standout Carlo Prater for his chance at Titan gold.
VC: Where are training currently?
RH: In the Boston and southern New Hampshire area. Training at Kong’s MMA in Boston and Professional MMA Academy in New Hampshire.
VC: You won two Bellator tournaments while with the Viacom based company, what is it like to prepare for those fights compared to the ones in Titan?
RH: Nothing really changed, it’s all the same. You’re getting ready for a fight, but it was a tournament fight in Bellator and your second and third fights were quick turnarounds with 4 weeks a part. It’s the same as if I would train for the start of a tournament I guess.
VC: You have had some great wins and some losses, but what is your toughest opponent to date?
RH: Probably Douglas Lhima for the Bellator Welterweight belt. He was just a monster and I went up a weight class. I won the tournament, but he was just way too big for me to be fighting someone of his caliber. That was the toughest fight I’ve had, he beat up my legs pretty bad with those leg kicks.
VC: Is that the loss you want to avenge most or is there another?
RH: Definitely not that one. I’m sticking with Lightweights, no need to fight the monsters from here on out. A couple fights I’ve had were real close and it would great to have another go at them and see if things may be different. But I don’t operate that way, if I lose a fight whether it was a close one or by a mile, I don’t have the mentality to want to avenge losses.
VC: What is the fight you are most looking forward to for yourself in the future?
RH: Right now it’s one fight at a time. I’m fully focused on this one and whatever happens after this one I’m fine with. All my energy and thoughts are going into this fight right now.
VC: Is there someone you haven’t trained with that would you like to? Someone you did train with that you would love to train with again?
RH: I’ve kind of been to all the big gyms in the US. I went to the American Kickboxing Academy early on, I was with American Top Team for a little bit and obviously Tri Star for a little bit. I’ve been to all the big gyms, and they’re all different in their own ways. I’m fortunate to have been able to go to these gyms and all the great coaches in this sport.
VC: You said you’re near Boston, ever go to Joe Lauzon’s gym?
RH: I’ve been to his gym a couple of times, and it’s a great place there.
VC: With so many injuries happening in the sport, what are you doing differently to prevent them?
RH: Now that I’m older, an injury takes longer to recover. MMA has evolved and people are getting smarter with their training and some saying they don’t spar at all in their camps to save their brains. As this sport evolves, you’re going to see more science behind it and smarter training all around. They’re not going to bang heads 24/7 anymore. The mindset used to be just going out there and beating your head against someone’s fist to get tougher, your body can’t take that anymore. When you’re training for 8-12 weeks, injuries happen. If you do it smarter, it’s a little more enjoyable on your body.
VC: You are fighting a veteran in Healy who has 53 career fights and as of recently has found career resurgence in Titan, what do you do best to take him off his game?
VC: He’s a tough, strong grinder. I’m physically strong as well and don’t see that playing a factor but the fact that he’s a grinder who comes forward is something I have to be weary of. I have to meet his forwardness with the same style and just leave it up to who has the better clinch, ground game, punches and all the other skills. I think I’m better than him in those categories and it will be exciting for the fans to see.
VC: How did the life of being an Olympic athlete help you to get ready for your MMA career?
RH: All my MMA success has come from doing judo my entire life, competing at a high level and training with the best people. That is the reason I’m successful in MMA with everything I learned in my Judo career.
VC: I have to ask, what’s the drug testing like in the Olympics compared to MMA seeing as the UFC wants to adopt the same style of testing?
RH: In MMA, my entire career has been pretty lax in that department with not much testing going on. At the Olympic level at the Olympic Training Center, USADA was the main one and did random drug tests all the time. It’s great the UFC is adopting that program, maybe not for everyone who might be getting caught.
VC: Okay, the business is done now, what’s the craziest thing that has ever happened in the cage?
RH: So far in my 24 fights, nothing weird has happened, but I think that’s a good thing.
VC: Favorite Sport Outside of MMA?
RH: I’ve been in the Boston area for ten years, but originally from Oregon only a couple hours south of where I’ll be fighting. You kind have to root for the Boston teams out here and I’ll watch them sometimes.
VC: You were with Bellator for quite some time making two tournament runs. Now you’re with Titan fighting for their belt. Where is your future in MMA?
RH: At this moment I’m taking it one moment at a time. I’m not a spring chicken anymore and I’m at the tail end of my career. I will take it one fight at a time and see how the fights go and how training camp goes. I’ll have to see how I look and what my performances are like. I’m opening up my own school in January and that will take up a lot of time. Hopefully all goes well on the 19th and something comes up.
VC: Having never fought in the UFC, who would like to fight from there?
RH: Their 155 division is stacked, having the opportunity to fight anyone inside the top 15 would be great. It’s probably one of the deepest divisions in the UFC, it’s definitely tough.
VC: Prediction for your fight?
RH: I think it’s going to be an exciting fight. I predict I’m going to throw him around a little bit and put my hands on him. If I can do those two things, it will be a good solid victory. I have to go forward and beat him at his own game. He’s going to come forward, I’m going to come forward and it’s going to be great fight for the fans.
You can find him on Twitter @RickHawnMMA and on his own website RickHawn.com.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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