John Hackleman Jr. Cutting His Own Path Through the MMA Jungle


John Hackleman JrFinding one’s own identity as a fighter can be hard enough, but when you’re the son of one of the sport’s most well-known trainers, it can be even more difficult.

So far, however, John “Handsome Hack” Hackleman Jr. seems to be doing well blazing his own trail.

Since making his pro debut last October, Hackleman has won back-to-back fights, finishing both of his opponents in less than 90 seconds combined.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself before believing that I had something to live up to, but I’ve been able to put that aside and just go out there for myself and have fun and not worry about if anyone else accepts me,” said Hackleman of living up to the family name.

“Definitively, everyone has an idea of how I should be. It’s a double-edged sword; it has its negatives and positives; but I just try to roll with it and have fun.”

With Hackleman’s father and namesake gaining fame as the Head Trainer of The Pit and helping Chuck Liddell to UFC light heavyweight championship glory, it’s understandable that opposing fighters would seek to use him as a steppingstone on their resume.

“That’s another one of the things that’s negative or positive,” said Hackleman. “For some people it’s intimidating, and for others they want to take a shot to make a name off me.

“That’s fine though. I’m 32 years old. I should be fighting tough guys and solidifying my name. It doesn’t matter to me; I’m going to punch them in the face either way.”

Hackleman (2-0) will be looking to pick up his third win in a row at RFA 15 on Friday in Culver City, Calif., when he takes on fellow undefeated up and comer Justin Jones (2-0).

“(Jones) is a pretty tough guy, but I think I need to go out there and do what I do,” said Hackleman. “Just go in there and not get taken down, punch him in the face, and implement my game plan and hit him more than I get hit.

“I train for everyone pretty much the same. We might change things up a little bit, but I’ve basically just got to be myself and have fun.”

While a famous name can hurt or help an MMA fighter, especially early in their career, for Hackleman, his main concern is what’s in front of him Friday night at RFA 15.

“I do have goals that I want to obtain, but I don’t look past any fight,” he said. “Every fight is the most important fight of my career at that time.

“I want to keep climbing the ladder and become a champion, but right now I’m just looking at this one fight and it’s all that’s on my mind right now.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 27 views

Wallid Ismail, one of the most charismatic figures in MMA, will give fans an all-access pass to his MMA promotion Jungle Fight. In a documentary called "Enter the Jungle," produced by Alexander Harve read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 8 views

Longtime Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) promoter, Wallid Ismail, who helped launch the careers of Fabrício Werdum, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo, and more, is giving fans an all-access pass to his MMA read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

When Mehdi Hassan arrived at Georgetown University as a freshman football player from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he was in the same mindset as many as of his college freshman peers. He didn’t quite know read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 14 views

The MMA injury bug can strike at any point, including after the weigh-ins. Top UFC flyweight contender Ian McCall was set to face off against Brazilian John Lineker in the co-main event spot on Satur read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

Ian McCall explains why he wasn't able to fight John Lineker on Saturday in Brazil. read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 6 views

Denis Smoldarev wasn’t the biggest fan of sports when he first started. His father had been an athlete, so he wanted his son to be active, but Smoldarev wasn’t very enthusiastic.Filed under: News read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 0 views

The MMA Hour is back in your life. Below is a rundown of Monday's show: 1:00 p.m. ET -- MMAFighting.com's Chuck Mindenhall will recap a very busy weekend in mixed martial arts. 1:25 p.m. -- Metamoris read news >>

  • 9 days ago
  • 0 views

MMAFighting.com's Chuck Mindenhall recaps a very busy weekend in mixed martial arts. read news >>

  • 9 days ago
  • 11 views

So, which is it? Is famed MMA trainer and former kickboxing great Duke Roufus a vengeful oaf who bullies peers, demands obsequious students and runs a butcher shop of a fight camp filled with mismana read news >>

Jump to: