Tywan Claxton takes on Braydon Akeo at Bellator 235. The main card featherweight bout goes Friday, December 20th. The event emanates from Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Claxton was ousted from the Bellator featherweight grand prix earlier in the year. He also suffered his first loss as a pro-MMA fighter. Claxton looks to rebound and redirects his momentum heading into a new decade.
One of the big changes Claxton has made came in the form of integrating tape analysis to his camps. Claxton quipped, “It’s something that I have done this camp. I usually don’t watch film on my opponents but I started to watch film in general and I’ve watched every fight that he has available. I’ve watched him multiple times. He’s a grappler. I think that he relies heavily on his wrestling. I think that if I had to try to analyze his striking style, he’s probably like Max Holloway as a striker just from the standpoint of how he moves. I’ve seen film and there’s levels to this game. I don’t think he’s on my level.”
Yoga has also been brought into his training regime. The idea initially came to him after a realization in his last bout and he has found multiple positives with yoga. Claxton said, “That was pretty slick actually. Man, let me tell you there are a lot of beautiful women in yoga… But flexibility is key. I learned that in the Sanchez fight. His flexibility got him out of a lot of bad situations on that ground. It’s something that I’ve added to my routine. Just stretching in general. That was a cool experience, man.”
Claxton has also allocated different duties to people close to him and has brought back some past influences as well. Claxton stated, “I’m not my own head coach anymore. I’ve promoted my striking coach to my head coach. I brought in two other coaches. My old high school wrestling coaches who are notorious for breaking me….I became hungry again, man. Went out finding people that can beat me. I took the time out of each day to make sure that I had more than enough partners that could really push me.”
Tywan Claxton 2.0
Claxton’s focus on Braydon Akeo is unwavering and some pre-fight jaw jacking has caused some bad blood between the two. Tywan Claxton quipped, “I made a lot of changes and his guy’s going to have to pay the price. He thinks he knows but he has no fucking idea of what’s coming his way. At times when I didn’t want to go to training. I just think of him saying ‘I’ve been working for this my whole life and it’s time to for me to cash in’. I ain’t no fucking lottery ticket. I’m the last guy you want to try to cash in on.”
Claxton continued, “He’s kind of a fuckin bully if you look at his little fights. The way that he comes out. He pushes his opponents. He thinks he’s like Nate Diaz or Nick Diaz or somebody…I just want him to bring that same energy. That tough guy energy and I’m going to show him what a real tough guy is.”
Bringing back his high school wrestling coaches isn’t the only way Claxton has been tapping into his roots for this camp. He’s coming out to an entrance song this time that he came out to for his amateur debut and scored an emphatic win. Claxton is looking to tap into that magic and win big on Friday. He is also looking for four fights in 2020.
Claxton would go into more specific detail about what he wants to do in the new year. An answer that encompassed everything from fighting to coding to a possible foray into standup. Claxton said, “I want four fights. Four dominating finishes. That’s my goal for 2020….Not to just go in there and win a decision. It has to be complete domination.”
Tywan Claxton remarked, “It’s not half bad, man. I think that I’m a funny guy. Guess that’s going to be for people to kind of decide. I plan on doing a show by the end of 2020. But I have a lot of coding goals that I want to accomplish before then. I also shot my first commercial in 2019. So I want to shoot one or two more commercials in 2020. So there are goals set for 2020.” Claxton is looking to release two to three apps next year. He has around fifteen app ideas and told me he could be pumping out steady apps for the next few years to come and intends to do just that.
Tywan Claxton has always found a way. Since his tough upbringing where he was exposed to community and family violence, he has always found a way to galvanize his spirit. Claxton stated, “I hit adversity. I feel like the world is going to end and I just keep fucking grinding….We’re back in the spotlight. We’re back doing what we love to do and we’re having fun doing it. I’m going to have fun going out there and punching Braydon in the face. Going to have fun entertaining the troops, man. I’m going to have fun in general in life.”