Almost every combat sports card with enough fights on it will inevitably have one match that features a fighter from the host city. However, often times the list of hometown fighters from which to choose leaves much to be desired.
Brett Hlavacek is not on that undesirable list.
GLORY World Series (GLORY) will host a kickboxing event that will go down tonight (Sat. Jun 22, 2013) in the largest city in the United States, New York City, which is teeming with numerous traditional martial arts practitioners. It was no surprise, therefore, that GLORY tapped Hlavacek to compete in a "super" fight on this card.
That's because the Muay Thai practitioner-turned kickboxer was already a "Road to GLORY" finalist, sports a fantastic record (9-1) and has trained for years under legendary fighter/coach Phil Nurse at The Wat.
We spoke with Hlavacek before his Welterweight showdown with Paul Malfort, which will serve as the top match on the GLORY 9: "New York" pay-per-view (PPV) under card. Here is what he said:
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): When I last saw you, you were wrecking Chris Clodfelter back at TakeOn's Muay Thai show in 2012 at Madison Square Garden. What've you been up to since then?
Brett Hlavacek: Since then I signed up with Glory and did the Road to Glory show and was a runner up at that tournament. Now I've got a superfight with Paul Marfort here Saturday at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): No other fights - Muay Thai or kickboxing - between Road to Glory and this one?
Brett Hlavacek: No the Road to Glory one was back in March, so this was pretty much right around the corner. Had a little injury that healed up and now I'm ready to go.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): Walk us through that final match that you had at Road to Glory.
Brett Hlavacek: It was a good fight. Francois Ambang, I knew he was dangerous, I kept my distance, was waiting for him. I checked a leg kick at the end of the first round and I hurt my ankle really bad. I didn't bring my leg out to meet him with my shin, I just brought it straight up. So he hit my lower ankle and damaged my shin. So I went into the second round... and I think he saw I was injured and he saw it and kept attacking it and the rest is history - you know, a little downfall there.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): You're fighting a guy, Paul Marfort, out of Florida this Saturday. Tell us a bit about your scouting report on him.
Brett Hlavacek: One of my training partners fought him about five years ago when I was an amateur and he was a pro. He's definitely got experience on me, same height, same build as me, so I'll be fighting someone with the same reach as me. He brings a decent base in general, so it should be a good fight.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): You mentioned reach. You're kind of a big dude. What do you cut down from?
Brett Hlavacek: I don't start with just a cut. I start dieting and when the training camp starts 4, 5 weeks out, the heaviest I weigh is probably 195, 198 or something like that... The cut is to 170.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): You live here in NYC, what is the number one best thing about having a fight in your hometown?
Brett Hlavacek: Having my friends and family there. They all come out and cheer what I do.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): Favorite place to eat out at?
Brett Hlavacek: Oof. There's a ton of them, but I like going to the Japanese yakitori places with my wife. Eat, chill out and have a couple beers.
Cory Braiterman (MMAmania.com): You train with Phil Nurse who's trained a bunch of MMA guys -- big names like GSP and Frankie Edgar. Give me a funny story about one of the MMA guys you've met over at The Wat.
Brett Hlavacek: Having Georges St. Pierre ... how the women in New York are different than the women in Montreal. The whole nightclub scene out in Montreal, them being French-Canadian and how he couldn't get a handle on how the women were in New York when he first came here maybe five years ago. When he first started training with us a long time ago before he really blew up. He was like "I dohn't understan bout thee wemen here!" You know, just typical George.
GLORY 9: "New York" will be headlined by an eight-man tournament that features a line-up of top light heavyweight (209 pounds/95 kilograms) kickboxers this weekend, including Tyrone Spong, in "The City That Never Sleeps." You can watch a LIVE video stream of all the GLORY 9 action on MMAmania.com, beginning at 6 p.m. ET right here, as well as catch full blow-by-blow LIVE results right here.