Benjey Zimmerman

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When did you retire? What made you decide it was time?

I believe that passion is the main ingredient of being successful. I lost my passion after some heavy injuries and disappointment in decisions by management.

Where were you training until then? How did Golden Glory change as a gym after Cor Hemmers moved to a managerial role in the ‘Glory’ promotion?

I lived in Italy the last two seasons of my career. I was competing in WSB (World Series Boxing) and did pretty well the first season. The whole second season I was injured and I decided to retire after that. I trained with Nick Hemmers after that (Cor Hemmers’ son). He took over his father’s role at the Gym and he’s a talented trainer.

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How did you end up working with Alistair in America? Are you his trainer now?

Me and Alistair go way back. We used to spar a lot together in the time Alistair was fighting in Pride and K1 . When Alistair moved to the USA we kept in contact and he asked me to join his camp for the Roy Nelson Fight .

We have a strong team with a lot of experts like : Greg Jackson, Winkeljohn, Joakim Engberg, Roberto Alencar, Azad Soufi, Brandon Gibson, Lenny Lovato, Chad Smith and yours truly ….

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You are a very experienced, decorated striker. I know – I carried the impression of your 16oz glove around on my face for months. How much do you know about the other aspects of MMA?

Thank you Jarrod … Striking is my speciality but I think a trainer should always be aiming for perfection in all aspects . Compared to the BJJ and wrestling coaches in our team, I have a lot to improve on that part.

How did you go about educating yourself? 

One of my old baseball trainers told me that it’s always good to listen to other people’s opinions. The most important thing is to always be hungry to develop and try to pick up every little piece of knowledge.

Who are the other people involved in Alistair’s team? What is your role?  

I just mentioned the people we worked with in the last camp but there are many more people involved. It’s called, ‘The coalition of the willing’.  My role is to focus on opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and together we build a game-plan. The chemistry is great in the team and positive energy is the main ingredient.

How do you structure his training? How did you come up with the strategy for Dos Santos?

Well of course there are always some things that have to remain secret but I can say that we did it in a very professional way.

While watching dos Santos’ videos, me and the other coaches were really impressed by his skills, fitness and heart. I have to give him credit for that!

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Alistair is a formidable athlete and is able to adapt his style in a few seconds. Every idea that we made up was a possible key to win the fight. We practiced over and over again and the result was perfect.

How did you feel the fight against Dos Santos went? What do you think of Alistair’s performance on the night? 

I think he did great ! He showed discipline and waited for the perfect time to execute … Flawless victory!

 It’s a great win and confirms Alistair’s talent. Why do you think he has had such a shaky couple of years in the UFC?   

Alistair had a very turbulent career and he was always able to stay confident and work hard enough to get back to the top. In my eyes he has always had potential to be the champion in his division but unfortunately, you win some and you lose some.

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 Are you moving from the Netherlands to the US?  

I’d love to, but I’m not sure yet.

What’s your impression of the States? I have seen pictures of you at ‘Los Pollos Hermanos’…

I see a lot of opportunities in the US and I feel at home when I’m there.

We did a tour in Albuquerque and stopped by at Walter White’s house; the carwash, ‘Pollos Hermanos’ and some other scenes of the Breaking Bad series. It was an amazing experience.

What’s it like being part of the biggest fightsports promotion in the world? Is it different to what you’ve been exposed to in Holland?

The UFC is doing a great job, they do everything in a professional way. I think in Holland some other organisations do a great job, too.

How did you fall off the stage at UFC? 

We discussed before the open workout to hit the pads on a relaxed way and not to show the things we worked on behind closed doors . We made a little fun and when I backed up, Alistair followed with a combination and I fell off the stage. It was fun; I even posted it on my Facebook page.

What are you doing back in the Netherlands? Do you have any plans to open your own gym?

The priority at this moment is the title fight. We have serious plans to open a gym. I’ll promise to keep you informed about that.

Thanks for having me, Jarrod.

No problems, Beast!

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