Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Henri Hooft on Leaving Blackzilians: ‘Sometimes Things Come to an End’

Professional kickboxing instructor Henri Hooft was part of the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Florida. That is no longer the case as Hooft has had some differences with management. He isn’t the only one out the door as former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title holder Rashad Evans revealed the team is “fragmented.”

Hooft recently appeared on Jon Anik and Kenny Florian’s podcast (via Flo Combat). He confirmed Evans’ comments about wanting to focus on branding:

“It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for the past year, year and a half. I’m a guy that just believes working with a group of guys for five, six years with the same mentality is good, but then you need to go try some other stuff out. I feel I need to do more for myself branding up my own name and doing the kickboxing programs that I have. At the end of the day, you have to do a little bit of business and I like that.”

It’s clear that Hooft wanted to go in a different direction. Rather than sticking with training fighters from one team, he’s open to helping fighters everywhere improve their striking. He said the way he wants to implement his vision is similar to what one iconic boxing trainer has been doing it.

“Sometimes things come to an end. Nothing is forever and for me it was just the right moment. I’m still working with Greg Jones and Jake Bonnaci and some of the other guys, but I do things now my own way and with more the Freddie Roach approach. I want to train more people from different camps and I want to do my striking style. I want to be more open to the people that are interested in my style and not just a team that I close myself into.”