Photo Credit: Walk Zink Photography
Brett Hlavacek laces up again for Lion Fight Promotion for a main-card feature on the Lion Fight 40 event taking place on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. This fight has title implications as it is for the new North American Championship. As a fight of the night rematch from two veterans, this fight promises to deliver to the Muay Thai fans. Here we sit with Brett to discuss his training and plans for 2018.
AR - How do you feel about being one of the first to compete for the Lion Fight North American title?
Brett: It's an amazing chance to get something that I believe that I had worked hard over the years for and a next step on my way to the world title.
AR - What are you doing to prepare for your upcoming fight with Elijah?
Brett: Nothing too out of the ordinary for this one. The only thing that i did was I went back to my original strength and conditioning coach. It's been a minute since I have been down to 175 and I think it was something that I was missing in my last 3 or so fights.
AR - You're in the 170-pound division now. How's it treating you, compared to the cruiser-weight division you were in at 185 pounds? What's your weight cutting process like? As a fighter and coach you've been seen the process a lot.
Brett: The fight is actually at 175. I have fought as low as 168 pounds and I believe that was something I grew out of. My last couple fights were at 185 and I believe that was too much of a jump for me. 175 seems to be my sweet spot and i'm happy to be there and fight for the title at that weight. This fight I have been working with a healthy meal prep company The Prepped Life and they have been amazing. Not only does it take away time that I would be cooking but the meals are delicious and are the correct portion for me. As for the weight cut I do a water load the week of and sweat out the last 10 or so the week of.
AR - What piece of advice would you provide to other fighters looking to grow in their sport: Muay Thai, Boxing, etc.?
Brett: Get as much experience as possible before making the jump to pro fights. Now fighters have many options for armature fights almost every weekend. Spend less time on social media and spend more time on your technique. Lastly make sure you are having fun.
AR - What's the best promotion you have fought for and why?
Brett: I have fought for some amazing promotions but currently Lion Fight have been amazing to me and offer great exposure for me. No doubt they are a great fit for me.
AR - Who was your favorite opponent and why?
Brett: I don't think I have a favorite opponent. Every fight has been its own experience whether I won or lost. I am very grateful to go out there and showcase my skills and have a great time doing it.
AR - You recently changed gyms after being at the renown WAT in NYC for x years, where are you know and how has the adjustment been for you?
Brett: I was at the WAT for 10 years and it was a great experience and would not have changed my time there. My new home is Anderson's Martial Arts for just about a year now and it has been great. All gyms are different and have their own vibe. It's been really easy to get in there and work with Dan Anderson and their young fighters. They have all been very helpful and Im very happy to be apart of the team.
AR - What are some of your plans for 2018?
Brett: I want this title before I really plan anything else as in fights go. I will be planning another trip to Thailand and will be hosting another camp at Khongsittha Muay Thai. We will be there for two weeks of top training and enjoying the amazing things Thailand has to offer. If anybody would like to check it out the camp's website https://kstmuaythai.com/
and we also have a seminar link.
AR - Sweet, so people get to train in Thailand for 12 days in a top camp under your instruction in English. That has to be an incredible opportunity. We'll share the link up.
Brett: Yea, we've gotten a lot of great feedback. Everyone enjoyes it and talks about coming back on the next one.
AR - So this is not your first seminar in Thailand?
Brett: No and I hope to keep doing them for time to come. The last one was exactly 2 days after my last fight in the Connecticut.
AR - Two days after a tough fight? It takes usually a day to get there alone.
Brett: Yea, it was tight but you have take opportunities when you get them. My leg was also pretty much chop meat from the fight so I wasn't sure how I would be walking around. I actually used Athlon Rub right after the fight up until I got to the camp. Luckily my bruising had cleared up and I was moving around fine. I have some photos of my leg on my phone which are nasty.
AR - Great story, glad we were able to help out. Let's talk about the Nak Muay Brand we see you behind. Are you working with them or part of the founders?
Brett: Me and my good friend Alfredo wanted to get into a clothing company and also make sure the fighters we make shirts about and with get paid. Every fighter is contracted and paid for every shirt that is sold. I feel like these legends of the golden era missed the boat with the social media and marketing machine. So we want to make cool shit and get them some money. I brought in my good friend Michael Dnox who was a designer for Reebok to design the shirts with us and he has been amazing. We also brought in Dan Anderson to help out on the business side. It’s been great having a company with my best friends and make clothing with guys I grew up idolizing.
AR: Right on, that's a great concept. We wish you much success with Nak Muay Legends. Love what it represents for the sport of Muay Thai and for the past Golden Era Hero's and future hero's. You've got your hands really full as a trainer, fighter, husband, and now entrepreneur. All the best on your Lion Fight title fight this weekend. Let's do this again.
AR: Oh, where can we watch the fights
Brett: There're working on that as we speak, I'll let you know as soon as I know.
AR: Cool, we'll share it on here as well.