John Hawk is 10-0 as an amateur mixed martial arts fighter.
A 12-0 record could vault him to the pros.
Hawk, an Elida product, is indeed licking his chops at the next opportunities presented to him in the MMA world. Two victories this summer ‚?? he fights June 5 at the Cleveland Sports Pavillion and again in August ‚?? would likely give him the 205-pound North American Allied Fight Series championship. That belt would be his second in NAAFS after he won the heavyweight title in February.
Those two belts and a drop into the 205-pound weight class would likely give him a spot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship circuit.
For an athlete like Hawk, a former wrestling standout, the world of MMA and a chance to fight in the UFC has become one of the avenues to continue a competitive athletic career.
As a wrestler at Elida, Hawk finished his high school career with an impressive 85-15 record, which earned him a partial scholarship at Kent State.
During his sophomore year with the Golden Flashes, Hawk¬†suffered a broken¬†ankle, giving him only one full year of college experience.¬†
‚??After wrestling was over I needed something to do. I‚??m competitive and MMA fits into that same kind of background,‚?Ě Hawk said. ‚??Two years after getting out of wrestling, I started to powerlift and got in to Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing.‚?Ě
Hawk is a full-time personal trainer at R and P Fitness in Akron, logging more than 50 hours a week instructing others in fitness.
He then drives to Cleveland and trains another 40 hours a week for his passion: mixed martial arts. With more than 90 hours a week in the gym, this leaves little time for a social life, but that‚??s not a problem.
‚??I have no life,‚?Ě Hawk joked. ‚??I‚??m¬†a committed full-time trainer and full-time cage fighter.‚?Ě
This is the world of a competitive fighter. And with his wrestling background, his style is pretty brutal.
‚??My strength is ground and pound, elbows to the face,‚?Ě he said.
Undefeated in the ring, Hawk owes a lot of his success to the guys he trains with: Steve Miocic, was ranked as high as number three in the nation as a wrestler at Cleveland State before jumping into MMA; along with the Jeff Cox at Strongstyle Fighting.
Hawk considers this to be, ‚??The best competition in Ohio.‚?Ě
One of Hawk‚??s¬†most memorable fights¬†came in December 2009 against Thad Schlichter, former Ohio State linebacker and nephew of legendary Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter.
Hawk said it was, ‚??the bloodiest fight I‚??ve ever been in.‚?Ě
Following that victory, he went on to win the North American Allied Fight Series heavyweight title in February, beating¬†Joe ‚??Cujo‚?Ě¬†McCall in a split decision. To win the fight, Hawk overcame a 60-pound deficit¬†against McCall. Hawk weighed in at 225 pounds while McCall tipped the scales at 285.
With these quality wins, Hawk caught the eye of scouts from the UFC. One or two more wins should earn him a contract. He said UFC officials would like to see him drop to the middleweight ranks of 205.
‚??They want me to drop to see how well I can fight at that weight,‚?Ě he said.
For the moment, however, Hawk‚??s focused on the immediate future.
‚??My goals now are to win the 205-pound title by August and carry two belts.‚?Ě