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“The Party” is Just Getting Started

Tonight, Thursday, July 25, 2019 on ESPN2 the Professional Fighters League “PFL” Season 1 featherweight champion Lance “The Party” Palmer (18-3-0) looks to build off his regular season opening win and position himself in prime seeding for the playoffs when he takes on Luis Rafael Laurentino (34-1-0) at PFL 5 in Ocean Resort, Atlantic City, NJ.

A post shared by Amanda Sanchez (Chica) (@amandansanchez) on Jul 25, 2019 at 12:39pm PDT

Lance “The Party” Palmer is the defending Season 1 PFL featherweight champion and winner of last year’s $1 million prize. One constant for the 4-time All- American wrestler from Ohio State has been his commitment to evolve as a martial artist throughout his 8-year career. Largely unknown to casual mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, he’s achieved championships in multiple organizations including the World Series of Fighting, which is now the Professional Fighters League. The beginning of his career saw him forge alliances with Team Alpha Male and UFC Hall of Famer, Urijah Faber in Sacramento, CA. Instead of getting comfortable throughout his career, the PFL Featherweight Champion has continuously looked to improve and move camps if necessary.

Leading up to Season 2 of the PFL “The Party” has gone through a camp change to be closer to home in Columbus, OH and also to continue growing as a mixed martial artist. Enter former lightweight UFC champion and current featherweight Frankie Edgar and his head coach Mark Henry. Palmer has moved camps from Las Vegas, NV to New Jersey at Nick Catone MMA in Brick Township. Although most wouldn’t expect a fighter to change camps after winning the featherweight championship and $1 million prize, Palmer had always thought this was his next move. But his stay in Las Vegas last year came with long term relationships that remain intact today as his Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Casey Halstead at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu continues to corner the champion along with coach Mark Henry and BJJ coach Ricardo Almeida from New Jersey.

A post shared by Amanda Sanchez (Chica) (@amandansanchez) on Jul 11, 2019 at 2:07pm PDT

In Palmer’s opening bout versus Gilpin it was clear that the camp change had aided in improving his standup as he looked more comfortable in his hands, throwing more than one or two punches at a time. Immediately, Palmer knocked Gilpin down in the first round with a flurry.  From that point on the former All-American wrestler dominated the fight giving a wrestling clinic. Coach Henry is recognized by his fighters as a mad scientist drilling different combinations and getting the most out of their boxing. In addition to the coaching change, he has a wealth of elite training partners in New Jersey, which include former champion, welterweight Eddie Alvarez and UFC bantamweight, Marlon Moraes. BJJ coach Ricardo Almeida has aided the featherweight’s BJJ growth as he too was once a professional in the UFC and understands how best to utilize Bjj in the cage.  

Lance Palmer with Frankie Edgar sparring, photographed by Amanda Sanchez.

One thing that’s never been a question is Palmer’s elite strength and conditioning. Palmer works under Coach Sam Calavitta (Coach Cal) with The Treigning Lab out of Placentia, CA. Coach Cal is famously known as the head nutritionist/strength and conditioning trainer for Ex-Featherweight Champion TJ Dillashaw. His scientific approach to nutrition and max heart rate work has helped Palmer achieve a level of conditioning that gives him an edge going in to the cage. Some of his other conditioning partners from Bellator Aaron Pico and Juan Archuleta have continued to help Palmer prepare and close out Palmer’s camp heading into Thursday’s fight.

Lance Palmer waiting to Spar at Nick Catone’s gym in New Jersey.

Palmer is the betting favorite to win Season 2 of the PFL featherweight tournament and looks to be one step closer after tonight.  A loss doesn’t eliminate him from the tournament as the top 8 advances, but he will look to continue to show his all-around skills including his standup progression under Coach Mark Henry to pair with his Bjj and dominant wrestling base.  Understanding that there is always room to grow as a martial artist and never getting comfortable has allowed the champion to be successful. Don’t be surprised if after Season 2 is complete on New Year’s Eve we’re calling Lance “The Party” Palmer a 2x PFL featherweight champion and he’s another $1 mill richer.■

A post shared by Amanda Sanchez (Chica) (@amandansanchez) on Jul 23, 2019 at 8:53am PDT

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