In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s NFL Season, and so far it’s been a good one. One of the most successful teams in the early weeks has been the Buffalo Bills, who are 2-0 and on fire after their Monday night trouncing of Tennessee, 41-7. Now, you may be wondering, how are we going to turn this into a Kill Cliff story?
Well, it has to do with Kill Cliff FC’s Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
OK, stay with us.
Did you know the Bills’ defensive tackle Brandin Bryant once trained at what is now Kill Cliff FC in Deerfield Beach, Florida? It’s true! Three years ago Bryant was taking wrestling lessons from Kill Cliff FC coach Greg Jones when Jones told Bryant to “yo man, jump in” during a sparring session.
The 6’2 gridiron player weighs 305, which makes him an MMA Super Heavyweight (over 265), but there were no Super Heavyweights training that day. So Jones paired him with…you guessed it…Johnson.
Jones gave Bryant some advice: “Hit, don’t get hit.”
Now that’s some good coaching! Especially given the now-Bellator fighter made his bones as a one-punch knock-out champ. No fewer than 17 of his 23 wins (of 29 pro fights) have been knock outs.
Which is not to say that’s what they look for in a “friendly” sparring session. Still, the wrong punch on the wrong jaw…
So how’d it go? Here’s what Bryant told Syracuse.com:
“’(It went) Just how you think it would have went,’ Bryant said, smiling as he thought back to the sparring session against Johnson. ‘I felt the power. I learned a lot that day sparring with him. It was crazy—like racing Usain Bolt or something. You don’t have a chance. That’s how good these guys are at their craft.’
“When the sparring session began, Johnson said he took the foot off the gas, but he still delivered some shots. Bryant was seeing the same looks that Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson saw when they fought Johnson.
“Bryant didn’t run away from the fight. He hung in there and even touched Johnson a few times.
“’I’m not trying to catch a big punch from Brandin. At all. Ever, you know what I mean? I felt his power,’ Johnson said. ‘He’s a big boy. Even when I lock up with him. I’m like, dude may not be that tall, but buddy’s thick. And you can just feel the strength of him. So you got to be cautious about that stuff and be on your toes.’”
Clearly, Bryant likes training at Kill Cliff FC. More from Syracuse.com:
“This past offseason, Bryant brought a few of his Bills teammates with him to Kill Cliff [FC], including left tackle Dion Dawkins and edge rusher Greg Rousseau. By the time the team had to report for training camp, Bryant said Dawkins was in the gym more than he was. Rousseau even took part in a few sparring sessions. He said he’s noticed improvement in his hand speed since he returned from offseason work.
“’If you can beat the hand then you beat your man,’ Rousseau said.”
And now you know.