Mike Passnier is widely recognised as one of the top trainers in professional kickboxing. Passenier trains well known fighters such as Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki, Murthel Groenhart and Artur Kyshenko amongst others. Recently Passanier has started training former K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix champion and now UFC MMA fighter Alistair Overeem.
Fighters Only Magazine has an short interview with Mike Passenier on their website. Mike Passenier had a few things to say about Alistair Overeem’s training, the relationship between Mike’s Gym and Blackzilians and not being too friendly in the fight game.
Alistair Overeem’s training:
For a couple of months now I have been the head coach for Alistair’s camp and that’s been a lot of fun. We train in Miami, that’s nice. We train in Amsterdam, that’s good. Alistair is making good development with his stand up…He’s getting strong again, he’s hard-hitting again. Not that he wasn’t hard-hitting but you know how it is with MMA fighting, its a different kind of striking. He has a fight with Frank Mir on November 16 and we will see what happens.
The relationship between Mike’s Gym and Blackzilians:
When I started training with Alistair I wanted it to be right for everybody, including The Blackzilians and also for Glenn because he put a big effort in Alistair’s career. People who know me know that before I commit myself to anything I rather take it slow first. Glenn and I just started out so we will see what happens and take it from there. I was in Miami and I saw some good things and I saw some flaws, I just pointed out to Glenn ‘If it was my gym I would do it like this…
Being too friendly in the professional fighting game:
Yeah he’s my friend,’ – OK, but then you fight him and you don’t want to knock him out. High price to pay for friendship. Or you get offered a fight, you don’t want to fight him, but then he gets a fight [somewhere else] and you don’t so it costs you money.
“This [game] is strictly business. That’s what it is. I am friendly with other coaches but the bottom line is ‘no emotions’. We are not some ‘black and yellow mafia’, we just are who we are. We are one of the few gyms in the world who comes to fight every fight.
“There is not one fighter on my team who can say ‘I don’t feel like fighting, I will just show up and get the money’. I would say ‘OK, well shake my hand and good luck because you will do it without me. You don’t fight for me anymore’. Because I don’t think its fair.
“If you’re a man who goes out to work and you have to buy a ticket for your sons, daughters, then you have to get to the arena, drive 100 miles, buy drinks, food – you have had to stand up every day and work, maybe a full week, just for this one evening.
“And then if the fighters don’t produce, that is shame. Because they make five or six times more than this guy who is supporting them and paying to see them. Its like they are f–king him in the ass. Its no good. So that is why we don’t slack off. We are there to fight.
Mike Passenier is quite a character and always has interesting opinions on fighting and the fighting business in general. I highly recommend you read the full interview at Fighters Only Magazine.