UFC Vegas 52 | “The Netherlands has always been respected in the world of mixed martial arts” – Anthony Hardonk

Was in LA for 12 years

Hardonk has been living in the United States for 12 years now. In 2010, Hardonk decided to start his own gym in Los Angeles. Dutch kickboxing was introduced along with wrestling and jiu-jitsu. What Hardonk loves most is building a fighter’s career from scratch. This is where he gets the most satisfaction. His team is made up of 50% kickboxers and 50% mixed martial arts fighters. Hardonk teams up with former UFC title contender Vladimir Matyushenko.

Anthony Hardonk in action as a UFC fighter

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Hardonk says his dream is to take his fighters to the Netherlands and train them during a fight at the Johan Cruyff Arena. He says he’s trying to follow the Dutch MMA scene, but it’s not easy due to the number of events per week. According to the Dutchman, Dutch MMA has always been respected abroad because the Dutch were good at kickboxing.

Sports development is important

There are a lot of examples of the best fighters who came to Holland to improve kickboxing. According to Hardonk, it may be different. That in the Netherlands people used to value MMA lower. We have dominated kickboxing for 45 years. This is an amazing achievement. The sport of mixed martial arts is developing and becoming more and more international. This is just good. As a small country, the Netherlands has a lot of potential. However, if you really want to participate, you should consider developing the sport, says Hardonk. He also has the feeling that organizational improvements can be made and that better collaboration is needed. For example, in other countries there is better cooperation between different gyms.

Anthony Hardonk (left) with his student Jordan Wright. Next to Jordan Wright, former UFC title contender Vladimir Matyushenko

Photo: Getty Images

This is slightly lower in the Netherlands. Here he is close to “This Is the Enemy”. The advantage of this is that mutually stronger competition is brought on, says the Dutchman. Look at the competition of the day between Mejiro Gym, Chakuriki Gym and Vos Gym. The level competition has increased. It just depends on how you look at it of course.

Hardunk vs. president

Hardonk loves that he takes on Henry Hooft on Saturday. Hardonk coaches Jordan Wright who will compete with Hooft-trained Marc-Andre Parreault during UFC Vegas 52. Hardonk used to train with Henry Hooft quite often despite training at rival gyms. That doesn’t change the fact that Hardonk definitely wants to win. Hardonk anticipates an attractive match between his student Jordan Wright and Marc-Andre Parreault. Hardunk says Wright is an expert in martial arts and ready for battle.


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