UFC 212, which went down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last Saturday night, was a big one for the Hawaii, as Max Holloway defeated Jose Aldo to win featherweight gold, and Yancy Medeiros thumped Erick Silva to move to 2-0 as a welterweight.
Hawaii, of course, has always been a hotbed for mixed martial arts – thanks in large part to our own BJ Penn. Yet with Holloway sitting on the featherweight throne, and Medeiros surging into welterweight contendership, the island’s status as a crucible for top fighters is surer than ever.
“If anybody thought he wasn’t going to take Jose’s hardest hits, nuh uh, cause I clock him,” he said of training with Holloway. “He gets his punches in but you best believe I give him a punch back every time, so I know he can take a hit. That’s one tough Hawaiian.”
“[Training] partners learn from each other, but we do more than that,” he continued. “We listen. After sparring, we talk. We’ll be like ‘that shit was tight, you’ve got to keep doing that cause I couldn’t get out of that shit.’ It keeps me honest, cause it puts me in that predicament to get out. He gives me feedback, I give him feedback.”
Medeiros then explained that, with such a great team, he and Holloway really have no reason to leave Hawaii in search of additional training.
“We’ve got a good team,” he said. “We’ve got good coaches that collaborate all together. We don’t have this separate, different gyms far away [stuff]… We live on an Island so everything’s real connected. We learn how to do it like that. Everyone’s like ‘you gotta go cross-train.’ Nope. ‘You gotta get in, get out.’ Nuh uh. We’ve got the formula. We’ve got the formula all at home and we know how to do it.”
What do you think of the recent success of Max Holloway and Yancy Medeiros?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/8/2017.