The past few fight camps for Arlene Blencowe has been a trek. Having to fly from her native Australia to the United States has been daunting but a worth wild effort in her title match with Cris Cyborg this past October.
After the loss to the champion, Blencowe made the decision to split her camp between her home gym and one of the most famous ones in MMA – Jackson/Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has been at Jackson’s for eight weeks ahead of her fight with Dayana Silva, which will take place at Bellator 262 on Friday live on Showtime. There was a specific motivation for Blencowe to go to Albuquerque.
“The whole reason why I went to Jackson’s was because of Holly (Holm),” Blencowe explained. “She transitioned over (to MMA) and had such a successful career. But it is also awesome to train with fighters who are on the same journey. I was a part of Claressa’s (Shields) last four weeks of fight camp and experiencing the things she was going through I could relate to; Holly could relate to.”
The idea of boxers making the transition to MMA is nothing new. Many early fighters such as Erin Toughill and Jodie Esquibel (who also trains at Jackson’s) have found some success early on inside the cage. You can add Blencowe to that list, as she transitioned over in 2013.
Blencowe reiterated that having fellow boxers in her camp to help bounce ideas off of and helping them with advice she has gained throughout her career has been mutually beneficial. She helped Shields in her training camp as Blencowe used her wrestling to try to take the boxing world champion down.
Blencowe’s wrestling and ground game has been something she was concentrating on for this camp to “mix things up” but to also improve that part of her game. She finally got her blue belt, which may seem like a small feat for some, but something she tells us she is very proud of.
The advantages at Jackson’s not only extend with training with Holm and Shields. This time around she is training at altitude, which should help with cardio in her fight with Silva. Also the jetlag won’t be an issue as it is a short flight from New Mexico to Connecticut versus her native Australia.
The biggest advantage is Jackson’s fight team itself. Fighters from around the world and with different skill sets have come together to train not only to improve themselves, but to share knowledge with their teammates. If iron sharpens iron, Blencowe looks to slice clean a win on Friday.
“For me to have such high level training partners in my weight division, so many different styles, experience levels, and achievements, it just allows me to grow as a fighter.”
“Having so many training partners, it helps prepare you for many different styles or anything that comes at you. I feel these last eight weeks I have ad everything thrown at me literally, and I am ready for whatever gets thrown at me on Friday night.”