Bellator Newcomer Roger Hollett on Training at Jackson’s: “Every Day is a War”
While for sometime now, Roger “The Hulk” Hollett has been viewed by many throughout Canada as one of nation’s top light-heavyweights and more promising fighters, the veteran has yet to compete on the international stage. Now, after putting together a record of 12-3 since he began fighting in 2006, Hollett will look to impress the largest audience of his career when he takes on John Hawk at Bellator 57, Saturday night.
“I was really excited; they’re a fast growing organization, and I’m excited to get a shot to get in the tournament and win a hundred grand” Hollett told FCF, while discussing his reaction upon finding out that he would make his Bellator debut in Rama, Ontario this weekend.
“I’m also excited to broaden my fan base, through an American station like MTV 2,” Hollett added, who has competed for Canadian based promotions like the Maximum Fighting Championship, Extreme Cage Combat and Ringside MMA throughout his career. “I’m looking forward to putting on a good show and getting some new fans.”
Although Saturday’s tilt will be Hollett’s Bellator debut, and will mark just the second time Hawk is competing for the promotion, the bout will be featured on the main card broadcast.
“When we were talking with them, we negotiated that we wanted to be on the main card,” said Hollett about Bellator 57, which will also feature the welterweight tourney final between Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima, as well as the middleweight competition’s final bout between Vitor Vianna and Alexander Shlemenko. “We had spoke with them before and things didn’t work out, but this time it did and I’m ready to go.”
Hollett has likely been on the verge of competing internationally in the past, however, injuries, like the torn knee ligaments he suffered in a 2007 bout with Lew Polley, have set him back.
“There’s been times where I went almost a year without competing,” Hollett noted, who holds a stoppage victory over former UFC competitor Victor Valimaki. “I tore my oblique, my knees have given me troubles and I’ve needed surgeries, I’ve had elbow problems, so there were times where I wondered how long my body would hold up. This camp though, I feel really good, and I’m peaking at the right time.”
To prepare for his Bellator debut, Hollett has once again headed south to train with the highly regarded Jackson’s MMA team in New Mexico.
“Definitely,” said Hollett, when asked if training at Jackson’s for his last few camps has been a career altering move. “You’re swimming with the sharks every day; if you show up and you’re not on your game you’re going to take a bit of a beating. Every day is a war here.”
The decision to enlist the guidance of renowned instructors like Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn has evidently paid off. Heading into this Saturday’s bout, Hollett has won four straight fights and is coming off a stoppage win over another top ranked Canadian, Martin Desilets.
“I wanted to get back into myself, prove to myself that I’m still one of the top guys out there,” Hollett noted. “It’s been game changing; it’s been great.”
In Hawk (6-3), Hollett will face an opponent who is coming off a stoppage win over Allan Weickert at Bellator 51 in September. After going 4-0 to begin his pro career, Hawk is 2-3 in his last five fights.
“He’s a bit of a brawler; he has nothing to lose in this fight so he’s going to be dangerous,” Hollett said about Hawk. “So I’m just preparing for that, be as sharp as I can, and see what happens.”