The roar of an adoring crowd cheering on their favorite’s name, the hometown fight setting can be a soothing yet irksome event for any athlete competing on local stomping grounds.

Anxiety kicks in, expectation levels are elevated, and performance is crucial as the assurance of victory solely lies on physical and mental skills displayed on fight night. In some fighter’s experience, there is much more to winning than having the home field advantage as their outlook plays a role in the outcome.

Whether it’s fighting on enemy territory or his own backyard, Danny Hilton (3-2) of Prescott MMA walk into battle is fueled by the personal ambition of growing as a martial artist. The supporting faction in the venue, stopping an opponent’s takedown, blood in his nose, or getting his hand raised, it’s moments like those that are simply irreplaceable. Embracing these moments, fighting takes on a deep purpose for Hilton.

“I fight for all kinds of reasons such as testing myself in competition, bettering myself, overcoming fears and learning from them, “Hilton told The MMA Corner.” I feel fighting has made me a better human being not just learning and knowing myself better, but also my relationships with others, my attitude, and the way I look at life.”

The thrill of fighting is always exhilarating no matter what the goal is. Nevertheless uneasy nerves always have a way of sneaking in throwing a fighter mentally off his game especially when competing on home turf. Thus far, Hilton as had a successful run undefeated competing in his home state of Arizona something that is contributed to many factors.

“I remember my first fight here in Prescott. I walked out and my jaw dropped froze looking at the crowd. My coach at the time Jon Kessler slapped me in the face and told me to focus on what’s in there, pointing at the cage. So I blocked it out and I didn’t hear a thing until I won the fight. Every single person stood up screaming and gave me the coolest ovation I have ever have seen. To me, that was worth more than gold or money. You can’t buy those feelings and drugs can’t replicate it either. It’s pure joy.”

“Fighting in my home town means everything to me,” Hilton said. “Beforehand however, I was a wreck. “I think about all the bad scenarios of losing, being embarrassed in front of everyone who believes in me, especially my mom who only gets to see me fight at the local shows. “But those thoughts are normal and also unrealistic because my family and friends will still love me win or lose. “.


The hometown advantage/disadvantage will once again be tested on January 31. After a two year hiatus, Hilton will be making his return to action at “Rage in the Cage” in Prescott, Arizona as he takes on Ray Robinson. The training support from coaches at Prescott MMA, Edwin Dewees, GD Jiu-jitsu and the Grudge Training Center in Colorado are giving Hilton all the tools necessary to once again reign victorious in his hometown.

“I’m training and preparing well for my fight against Robinson as I’m fixing holes in my game and becoming better all-around.” I have my sights set high as I plan on making a statement. I’m coming off a loss, an injury, and moving down a weight class, so I have a lot to prove to myself going into in this fight and I don’t plan on disappointing.”

Hometown benefit or not, the real results take place inside the cage. You can be your biggest asset or your worst enemy in this game. It all boils down to overcoming challenges to discover greatness within you. With a firm establishment thus far locally, Hilton is on the rise representing the many talents out of the state of Arizona. Continue fighting locally or even in the UFC, who knows what the future holds for this promising young fighter as he continues to embracing his MMA experience and pushing himself to be the best.

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.