The future of the Blackzilians team may be uncertain, but they're definitely out a coach.
Monday, longtime Blackzilians striking coach and trainer Henri Hooft announced via Instagram that he was leaving the team, formed by Authentic Sports Management's Glenn Robinson in 2010, after six years of tenure.
Recently, Hooft has been training fighters alongside UFC lightweight Gilbert Burns and Blackzilians wrestling coach Greg Jones out of Combat Club MMA in Boynton Beach, Fla., which figures to be his new homebase. However, Hooft's announcement comes during a time of much tumult for Robinson and the team on the whole.
Last May, Robinson's Iron Bridge Tools declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though reporting noted at the time that the reorganization did not directly impact the Blackzilians team or Robinson's clothing brand Jaco. Later in the year, Robinson sold the team's Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Deerfield Beach, leading to the team working out of a temporary facility in Pompano Beach and resulting in much media speculation about the team's future and Robinson publicly denying the Blackzilians' demise.
Following news of Hooft's departure, longtime Blackzilian rep Rashad Evans appeared on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani and shed light on the team's present situation.
“The truth of the matter is, the team is splintered, the team is fragmented. It just became a very hard thing for Glenn to kind of keep his grasp as far as keeping everyone together,” Evans said. “Henri wanted to throw his brand into his own thing and it just wasn’t matching up with where Glenn wanted to go. That’s part of the fragment, but another part of it was that we didn’t have a gym anymore.”
Evans stated that he, Anthony Johnson, Michael Johnson and Kamaru Usman have all began training with Hooft and company at Combat Club MMA.
“Now, the state of the Blackzilians, I guess there really is no Blackzilians,” Evans continued. “It’s all in the namesake, but for the most part everybody, or most of the people who was training with the Blackzilians, we’re still training together.”