With his UFC career in jeopardy, heavyweight Juan Adams is making some major changes to his training regime.
Adams, who won his UFC debut last year but has since lost two straight fights, is planning to do his next camp at Jackson-Wink MMA, which he said very well could turn into a permanent move. Adams currently trains in his hometown of Houston across multiple gyms, but said he doesn’t have the training partners there he needs to succeed at the highest level of the sport.
“I need other people on the same type of mission with the same dedication that I have,” Adams told Bloody Elbow. “I don’t really have that out here. It got to a point where I was having to beg anyone with MMA experience on Facebook to come out and train with me. It’s kind of a shame.”
Adams said he can no longer get away with training with people not at his level.
“My entire career I’ve just been so much more athletically gifted and so much more talented than anyone I’ve gone against that it hasn’t really been an issue,” Adams said. “But these last two fights, the lack of experience really showed.
“If I want to stay at this level, if I want to remain in the UFC, if I want to reach higher levels, I have to be in a position in practice where I’m constantly being tested. Here, the only way I really get tested is if I’m exhausted. We put a lot into my strength-and-conditioning out here for me to be tired when I’m going into these workouts so we can somewhat simulate it, but it’s just not the same.”
Adams doesn’t fault his coaches at all for his recent setbacks, a split decision to Arjan Bhullar and a quick TKO to Greg Hardy. Since he started as a pro, Adams said, his coaches have done the best they can.
“I can’t take anything away from them,” Adams said. “I feel like I was the one who didn’t execute.”
In fact, Adams expects two of his original coaches to remain in his corner throughout this new era of his MMA career: his striking coach, David Kelly, and his MMA and jiu-jitsu coach, Jeremy Loflin.
Adams plans to spend four to six weeks of his next fight camp in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink MMA. He has trained there before, but only for a week. He said he liked the vibe he felt when he was there and is looking forward to going back for an extended period of time.
Adams will also spend two to four weeks of his future camps, when he’s not sparring, at home in Houston.
“Everyone there is knowledgeable, everyone there is capable,” Adams said. “They’ve produced a lot of champions, a lot of people that have gone there and revived their career. That’s kind of what I want to do.
“There’s a lot of guys there. I’m excited to work with all of them. It’s a really fun environment training wise. And there’s not much trouble you can get into out there, so I think that’ll help me stay focused also.”
Adams said moving back and forth between Houston and Albuquerque will logistically be difficult – he’s not looking forward to being away from his girlfriend and family for potentially six weeks at a time. But he’ll make it work, because it’ll benefit his career tremendously.
Adams has also been invited by UFC heavyweight Maurice Greene to train at Factory X in Colorado and by UFC middleweight Eryk Anders to train at Spartan Fitness in Alabama. He said he’ll likely make a one-week trip to both places in the near future to “see what they’re all about.”
“If one of them seems like a better fit, we’ll go for it,” Adams said. “I’m open to go anywhere, really.”