Adam Borics looks to continue his path towards a featherweight title shot when he meets Jeremy Kennedy at Bellator 256.
Borics has now won back-to-back fights following his first career defeat during the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
Borics defeated former Bellator champion Pat Curran via TKO in the last second of their first-round tournament bout at Bellator 226. That set up a quarterfinal showdown with former Bellator bantamweight champ Darrion Caldwell, the toughest and biggest bout Borics had been in at the time.
Borics, however, had no answer to Caldwell’s wrestling and was submitted fairly quickly in the first round.
In an exclusive interview with FanSided MMA, Borics reflected on that fight. While he recognized it wasn’t his best performance, it allowed him to grow as a fighter — and took off the pressure that undefeated fighters have to keep winning.
“That fight was really important in my life and in my career,” Borics told FanSided MMA. “I wasn’t there mentally. It was a big event, but I learned a lot from that fight. I lost the undefeated pressure, and I just feel better.”
Borics has since rebounded with a pair of decision victories, first defeating Mike Hamel by split decision at Bellator 243 before a unanimous decision over Erick Sanchez at Bellator 250 just under three months later.
Adam Borics looks to show next generation of fighters that success can be had in MMA career
Being able to compete in the Bellator cage three times during a year where the promotion was forced to the sidelines for several months due to the global coronavirus pandemic is not something Borics took for granted.
Borics said he was thankful for the recovery time following his loss and during the first few months of the pandemic before Bellator let him compete twice in a span of just under three months.
“In the last year, during the pandemic, I fought two times in three months. I was super happy and thankful for the battles they gave me, an opportunity,” Borics said. “I’m just happy, man. You know, so many people lost their jobs in the world, and I can do my job. So I really appreciated that.”
As far as working on his craft and getting those needed back-to-back wins, Borics gives the credit to his team at Sanford MMA. There, Borics is able to learn under kickboxer Henri Hooft and train with some of the best MMA has to offer, a list of former and current champions and world-class athletes, including Gilbert and Herbert Burns, Derek Brunson, Michael Chandler, Robbie Lawler, Matt Mitrione, Vicente Luque and Jason Jackson, among many others.
The Hungarian-born Borics says his team at Sanford MMA has become more than just his training partners, but his “American family.”
“I’m very thankful I can be part of the team. It’s not just a team. I think we are friends, and they are like my American family. Not just in the gym; hanging out on the weekends watching the fights together, and always pushing each other, having each other. I really believe that Sanford MMA is the best gym in the world.”
Now Borics, who is currently at No. 3 in the Bellator featherweight rankings, gets to do battle with a similar top 145-pound prospect in Jeremy Kennedy. Kennedy went 3-1 with the UFC between 2016 and 2018, with his only loss coming to current UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski.
Kennedy, currently ranked at No. 8 at featherweight in Bellator, then competed twice for Brave CF and took part in the 2019 PFL season before his Bellator debut at Bellator 253, where he scored a unanimous decision over Matt Bessette.
Borics recognizes Kennedy’s toughness and his world-class experience and grappling. Borics, however, feels he has the keys to hold off Kennedy for a win.
“Definitely my striking with my quick hands [gives me an advantage],” Borics said. “And my speed advantage, and I think I’m stronger than him.”
With a win over Kennedy, Borics may place himself just a fight or two away from challenging for the Bellator 145-pound title, which will be on the line in the Featherweight Grand Prix final between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and A.J. McKee later this year. And being able to call himself the first Hungarian to hold a championship in a major, global MMA promotion would be an honor for Borics.
This isn’t just because of pride in his country; Borics’s goals outside of becoming a champion include being able to help and influence the next MMA fighters to come out of Hungary and show the younger, rising generation that a successful career is possible in the sport.
“You know for me, I’m really happy to represent my country. I’m very proud to be Hungarian, and that is huge for me,” Borics said. “I don’t feel pressure…I just feel I’m blessed, because I can show the young guys, they can make a career, they can make money from MMA, and that’s huge for me. My ultimate goal is to become a world champion. After that, I’m definitely going to help the next generation.”
Bellator 256 takes place on Friday, April 9, 2021, live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.