When Adam Lynn retired from MMA back in 2007, he didn't think he'd ever be back.
But after opening up his own gym, he started getting into a nice groove with teaching and training. With bills piling up, he figured, "why not?" and after a two and a half year retirement, he came back to cagefighting.
He was still a bit rusty at first, winning a split decision against journeyman David Gardner, but he gained momentum, earning a majority and then a more decisive unanimous victory all in 2010.
After that, the finishes started piling up. Training out of his Subfighter MMA gym in Laguna Hills, Lynn has stopped his last three opponents including a knockout of the year candidate in 2011 against Curtis Demarce with a standing elbow just 98 seconds into the first round. He's now 6-0 since coming out of retirement.
Lynn will be returning to MFC next Friday night (May 4, 2012) when he faces upstart prospect Mukai Maromo at MFC 33 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The veteran spoke with MMAmania.com about his career resurgence, getting rid of silly pre-fight rituals and using his experience advantage against Maromo in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Well let's start with the most obvious thing. You've been on a career resurgence. Ever since you returned from your retirement, you've been unstoppable. What do you credit this spike in performance level?
Adam Lynn: I don't know. It might be that I'm comfortable now. I think, I just have good people around me, good teammates and I have a lot of trust in my coaches and good relationships all the way around. I'm comfortable and it shows. I'm motivated.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You definitely look motivated. You've been destroying everybody.
Adam Lynn: I'm doing alright. (laughs)
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It just seems like you've been getting better and better. Your first couple fights back were a bit rusty, some split and majority decisions but now you're stopping guys. You can pat yourself on the back a bit here I say.
Adam Lynn: It's just been a joy. Winning is so much more enjoyable than that "win some, lose some" stretch. Like I said, I'm motivated, I'm enjoying doing it and it's working out for me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): If you don't mind me asking, you retired for two and a half years. What was it that called you back?
Adam Lynn: I needed to pay the rent to be honest with you. I retired and wanted to teach and I wanted to get my gym going. We did that, but I wanted these guys to be the best that they can be and me, personally, I felt I had more to give on the fighting side of it so I wanted to lead by example for my young fighters that are training and on top of that, I needed to pay the rent and get some extra money. That's how I approached it, like a job.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you think it was a benefit for you that you ended up taking that time off from fighting?
Adam Lynn: Yeah, it was beneficial and it was mandatory. At the time, one of my best friends Jeremy Williams had committed suicide and it was a tough time for me and all of our training partners and everything and on top of that, 2007 was probably one of the worst years I ever had. It was one of the best training years I ever had, I spent the year at Greg Jackson's and I was having the best training I ever had but I got knocked out in three out of four fights. For me, it was mandatory. Something wasn't working. I was working hard but I wasn't being successful so I just had to stop, revamp, rewire and start all over again. It's been a good move for me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You gained a lot of attention for your last fight against Curtis Demarce because it was such an impressive finish. It's very rare to get a knockout with a standing elbow like that. Is that a technique that you work on in sparring all the time or was it more of an "in the moment" type of thing where you just went for it?
Adam Lynn: Yeah, I've been thinking about that since I was in high school, hitting somebody with an elbow like that. That's the god's honest truth. Maybe like a week before the fight, I started working, throwing short elbows in the mitts and it just started coming together and I started hitting home runs with every swing of the bat. I got in there and took the shot and he ran right into it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This upcoming fight you have for MFC, what's your confidence level like going into this one? You're on a terrific run here and you're facing a guy in Mukai Maromo who's a very talented fighter, on a nice three fight winning streak himself and MFC seems to be pretty high on him.
Adam Lynn: Yeah, I feel prepared. I know he's a tough guy but I'm at a state in my career where I've fought a lot of tough guys (Josh Thomson, Jay Hieron, Nick Diaz). I know he'll be prepared, I'll be prepared and I'm just looking forward to the actual presentation. May the best man win, but I think things are working out for me now.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): MFC was trying to bring back their lightweight title with their last event but they had the crazy situations with both guys missing weight and then getting released. Do you feel like if you go out and win this fight that you could potentially be a guy they bring in for that title?
Adam Lynn: I feel like I could, but I've got to focus on the task at hand. If that's the next thing in line, so be it, but I'm focused on May 4th.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Understandable. About Maromo, he's a very powerful lightweight with quite a few knockouts under his belt. What do you feel you feel is most dangerous about him?
Adam Lynn: His athletic ability. He's got a lot of power and stuff, but the thing I'm concerned about is him keeping me in a kickboxing fight, keeping me at bay with kicks and throwing his hands. I think takedowns would be to my advantage and I'm just going to try to utilize my experience and ring generalship. I never go out there trying to knock someone out, I'm ready for all 15 minutes. I want to do my job, perform well and enjoy it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How much do you think your experience is going to be a factor in this bout? He's only been fighting for not even two years and your history goes all the way back to 2002 and you've stepped in there against some really top guys. How much will experience play into this?
Adam Lynn: Experience is definitely on my side. He's only got a couple MMA fights but he's also an experienced Thai boxer. Competition is competition. When it really comes down to it, it's all about who shows up on May 4th and does what they need to do. My last couple fights I've won on experience and I plan on doing the same thing. This is a brand new experience so you're going to find out when I do.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What are your goals now in this stint? You've said that the motivation is the paycheck, but what's your endgame? Do you have greater plans or are you just kind of along for the ride right now?
Adam Lynn: Man, to be honest with you, I love what I do now. I've got a couple buddies helping run the gym and I love teaching young guys and helping young fighters. I look at fighting as, I don't use it as a vehicle to get anywhere. It's like a part of a job. I don't care. I'd love to fight for 15 years and fly under the radar. I know I'm good. I don't need a lot of the attention from other people. My record alone and the fact that I've been in the sport for a long time and I'm still standing, I know I'm qualified to do it and as long as I'm feeling good I'll continue to do it. One fight might be bigger than the next or vice versa. You go up and down a level but that doesn't concern me now. I just enjoy having a passion for the sport and being able to compete in it. To answer your question, as long as it's fun for me, I'll continue to do it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Has it been beneficial for your gym, your six fight win streak, has that drawn some attention of young talent to come train out there?
Adam Lynn: Yeah, it's drawn a little bit of attention for our gym but it's more about, the guys at the gym see me working hard and progressing and it makes them want to do the same thing whether it be their competitiveness, their technique or anything that they're doing. We're all pushing and trying to progress. This weekend, we're having our first jiu-jitsu tournament ever. We're putting it on and it's gonna be a nice event and a gathering of people in the area. We're growing as a gym and that motivates all of us.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'm interested in your background before getting into MMA. Care to share?
Adam Lynn: To be honest with you, I had a buddy teach me judo and then a bit of ground. I didn't know nothing about it. I didn't wrestle or anything. I played hockey when I was in high school so I started to wrestle, started doing ground and I hooked up with Chris Brennen at Next Generation Fight Academy and that's where it started. I trained with them for two years, pretty much jiu-jitsu and a bit of MMA but that was in 2001. I went to a few fights and when I saw him knockout Antonio McKee with a head kick and I was hooked, man. I wanted to fight and it's been my drive ever since.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): When you step into the cage and the cage doors close, your opponent is across from you, what's going through your head?
Adam Lynn: I'm trying to enjoy the moment. I'm 34. I can see that I have a couple of good years left in me, but I see that finish line and I just want to enjoy this and not suffer ever. A perfect night when I walk into that ring or cage, I'm 100 percent there. i'm in the moment and I'm loving every minute of it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you have any pre-fight rituals or superstitions that you do backstage before a fight?
Adam Lynn: No, to be honest, I'm super mellow. I used to. (laughs) I was kind of superstitious a couple years ago. Now, I just try to make it like another day at the office. I warm up a little bit, shake around, keep it light and then just get in there and do it. No stress.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What was it that you used to do that you changed up?
Adam Lynn: You know, it was wearing the same track suit beforehand. I'd be listening to the same album, that kind of stuff. As soon as I got in the arena, I'd go sit in the stands for 45 minutes sitting by myself and just try to soak it all in. Now, for me personally, if you do all that stuff, you're putting it all on a pedestal to where it can be hard to attain. Like I said, I started getting mellow and treat it just like another day at the office and I'm enjoying it. Whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): The results speak for themselves. Now if you can keep this up, do you think you could potentially make it to the UFC?
Adam Lynn: (laughs) I don't even think about it. I know what you're talking about. I get this question a lot but I have the luxury of saying I don't know if the UFC is something I'd want to do. Maybe I just want to keep it on this level. If they approached me with an absurd amount of money, maybe I'd jump on it. I can't say that I wouldn't so it's tough for me to answer that question right now. I'm just happy doing what I'm doing and being successful. Prior, when I was in the IFL, it was a little more stressful than I was accustomed to. It was a big show, lots of fans. It was a couple years ago but now I'm just trying to make some money and build a gym so who knows?
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, last question. When you get in your happy place, all mellow and relaxed and you think about this upcoming fight against Mukai Maromo at MFC 33, what do you see?
Adam Lynn: It's not that I see anything special. I just see me doing exactly what I have always done which is trying to stay composed, try not to make mistakes and then try to capitalize when he does. I don't see me doing anything different than I've done in the past because I've been successful with it.
Adam would like to thank his gym Subfighter MMA in Laguna Hills, his coaches Rusty and Jimmy Jackson and to his family and friends for supporting him these last 10 years.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Will Lynn's incredible career resurgence continue this Friday night? What did you think of that insane standing elbow knockout?