The Blackzilian camp has passed its 2 year mark and seems to have settled in as a bonafide supercamp, filled with top notch athletes. With names like Rashad Evans, Tyrone Spong, Anthony Johnson and Abel Trujillo gracing their roster, along with a laundry list of great prospects, they're sitting in a very enviable position.
A couple of big names are no longer making roll call, though. Melvin Guillard had a very public break with the Blackzilians almost a year ago, and more recently, although not public knowledge, Alistair Overeem has separated from the camp and is searching for yet another team to call home.
In a recent interview with Bloody Elbow, Blackzilian team chief, Glenn Robinson commented on why he released Overeem from his management, the break with Melvin Guillard, and also gives a manager's perspective on the proposed UFC uniform. Here's what he had to say:
I stopped repping Melvin about six months ago. I was at a point where I just wanted to focus on a certain number of guys, and I just didn't feel I was the appropriate manager for Melvin. I had a hard time getting hold of him, so I ended up having to send a text to a good friend of his explaining that I needed to bow out. Malki (Kawa) is repping him now, and from what I can see, Malki is doing an awesome job with him. I think Melvin is a great person and will excel in the WSOF.
Our issues are not resolved. Malki doesn't like me and we kind of have our feelings about each other, but life goes on, the sun comes up and there's nothing I can do about it but move on.
I have not spoken to the UFC about it from a management perspective, but I do own Jaco, and I hate to see that we won't be able to be in the UFC. Hopefully there will be room on the shorts or shirts for our guys. I do think that realistically, on an overall basis, it's a very positive change for the vast majority of the fighters.
There are a few fighters that are high up the chain that make a lot of money from sponsors, but there is a tremendous number of fighters that don't, so I think on that overall basis, it will help a whole lot more than it will hurt. I think it's a strong move in support of the fighters.
In my opinion, Tyrone will be victorious this weekend. He's had some personal tragedy recently, but he's training well and looks great. He's strong and in good spirits.
His personal tragedies were the death of a close friend, and the brutal murder of his uncle in Suriname. Tyrone had just spent Christmas and New Year's with him, too. It was his mother's brother and they were very close. It hit the family very hard and took them some time to get over.
He channeled all the energy and pain and frustration into his training. He's dedicating this fight to his uncle and friend that passed away, so for them, he will make sure he's victorious.
Tyrone and Alistair have not trained together in a very long time. He hasn't trained with the team in a long time. His last camp he did in Thailand, and the camp before that he did in our gym, but he brought in his own trainers except for Kenny Monday, and he did all his training late at night. He had his own sparring partners, and basically did everything on his own.
He's not on our roster anymore, to be honest. It was a hard call for me, but I think it was something that was mutually in both our heads. I ended up making that decision because I didn't feel I was the right person for him. I felt that there were people out there that could better take care of him. I had always told him that if I didn't think I could do the best job for him, I would bow out, so that's what I did.
I still wish him the best. I feel like he has the ability to be the champ very easily. When he's on his game, he's just devastating. I think the best Alistair is yet to be seen.
I don't think he's talking to anyone yet as far as new management, but I know he's shopping around for a new camp. I've heard rumors, but nothing that I want to throw out on his behalf.
Anthony has matured so much as a fighter. He's really fast and very strong. Everybody talks about Phil Davis' wrestling, but Anthony knows how to wrestle. He's not new to it. I think Phil is a tremendous athlete and a great competitor, but I believe Anthony will win this fight. He's going to show the world who he's become.
His recovery is coming along very fast. The physical therapists are all saying he's way ahead of schedule. He's kept his weight down throughout his recovery and has been working out the whole time. He's moving very fast now. He's going to be coming back in the fall, better than ever.
You can follow Glenn via his Twitter account, @GlennAuthentic