Anthony Hamilton: Training With the Likes of Jon Jones has Heavyweight “Confident” About MFC Title Prospects
By Kelsey Mowatt
While most fans and pundits think of names like Carlos Condit, Travis Browne and Jon Jones when they hear the name Jackson’s MMA, the renowned Albuquerque gym is also home to emerging fighters like Anthony Hamilton. The heavyweight has put together an impressive 10-2 record to date, and as a result, Hamilton will compete for the Maximum Fighting Championship’s vacant title this Friday. Standing across from him on October 4th will be undefeated heavyweight, Smealinho Rama.
“We have a lot of up-and-comers; guys that people haven’t heard about yet but they will,” Hamilton said on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, while discussing the fact people might overlook some of the gym’s rising talent, due to it’s other high profile fighters. “It’s an awesome experience to be down here, with a gym full of champions, and guys that are just hungry and getting after it everyday. It’s an amazing experience.”
In addition to receiving world class instruction from coaches like Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson at the facility, Hamilton gets to test his abilities against some of the best fighters in the sport. As a result, the heavyweight has an informed perspective on how he would do competing against top tier competition.
“Absolutely,” said Hamilton, when asked if he’s confident he can compete against the planet’s best heavyweights, based off his training and experiences at Jackson’s. “I spend a lot of time training with Jon Jones, Travis Browne, Frank Mir, Andrei Arlovski, and I can hang with them. So it definitely makes me feel confident going into each and every fight.”
“But it also gives me the confidence that I can go to the higher levels,” added Hamilton, who is coming off a stoppage win over Matt Kovacs under the Cage Sport banner, where he won the promotion’s heavyweight title. “That’s all in time; we’ll see what happens. I’m having fun just riding the wave right now and we’ll see what we can do on October 4th, make the MFC my home for a little while and see what happens after that.”
If Hamilton hopes to add the MFC title to his resume, then he’ll have to become the first man to defeat Rama, who has won all six of his pro bouts to date.
“I always keep an eye out on the competition that’s out there, prospects or those guys that are making an impact in the sport,” said Hamilton, when asked if he was familiar with Rama when he was informed he would fight the Calgary fighter on Friday. “I had my eye on him and had kind of watched what he had been doing as of recent, and he looks like a tough guy.”
Rama has certainly made an impact in Canadian MMA since he turned pro last year, as not only has he won six straight fights, but all of his victories have come via first round stoppage or submission. At MFC 36 in February, Rama knocked out Mike Hackert, who was coming off back-to-back victories over UFC vet Tim Hague.
“No, not really,” said Hamilton, when asked if one specific element of Rama’s game concerns him more than the other. “He’s pretty well rounded; he comes to fight every time, but I think we feel that I have the skills to shut him down from anything he’s trying to do. I’m just really looking forward to getting out there and put on a show.”
MFC 38 will be hosted by Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Centre and will be broadcast live on AXS TV.