To be an elite mixed martial artist, you most likely need to surround yourself with an elite camp. For Zane Kamaka, and at the start of his career, he may have not surrounded himself with an elite camp, but he surrounded himself with people that will forever have an impact on his career. His first camp, which was in his garage, helped get Kamaka to 6-0 in his professional MMA career and a shot on The Ultimate Fighter. Kamaka talked about his first camp as a professional fighter.

“When I got picked for The Ultimate Fighter, I was actually training out of my garage,” Kamaka told The MMA Corner. “It was just me, my dad, and my two brothers. They have no MMA background or nothing. I was winning my fights on my own through my heart, my will, and my determination.”

Before you think it or say it, yes, that is insane. To be able to make it to the Ultimate Fighter while training in your garage is one of the better stories in MMA. Kamaka was able to make it to the Ultimate Fighter, but he soon realized that he needed to make some changes to his camp. Kamaka talked more about training out of his garage and then talked about the hard decision he had to make in his career; a decision that he would not regret.

“I was training out of my garage for years, man,” said Kamaka. “I was 6-0 as an amateur in there and then 6-0 as a pro training out of there. My dad did not really know much, but he always told me to work hard. He taught me to never cheat myself and cardio is everything. He just did not have the knowledge for the ground and jiu-jitsu stuff. So, when I went in The Ultimate Fighter, my opponent was a legitimate black belt. He got me in an armbar quick, man. Then I came back from The Ultimate Fighter and I realized that I needed to leave my family. I really did not want to because I was proud of training with my family at home. I was real proud of that. I just had to make that sacrifice, but it was the best decision I have made in my career.”

Kamaka made the change of camps from “Kamaka’s Garage MMA” to Hawaii Elite MMA. The change has been a good one for Kamaka, as he has not lost since the change, and his game has evolved. Kamaka talked about the change to Hawaii Elite MMA.

“They [Hawaii Elite MMA] teach you how to fight smarter,” said Kamaka. “Just being around top athletes just makes me better and more confident. I know that I train with the best. They are taking my training to a whole new level. I feel like I won my last three fights easily, and I do not want to brag or anything, but it is because of the training. I just feel like 100 times of a more rounded fighter than I was.”

Kamaka was training with his father and two brothers, and nothing against his family, but they are not the number five ranked featherweight in the world headlining UFC Fight Night 74. Kamaka mentioned training with the best fighters and Max Holloway highlights that. Kamaka talked about his team at Hawaii Elite MMA.

“Max Holloway is a f-cking beast, man,” said Kamaka. “These guys are just taking my training to a whole new level. Without them I am nothing. I love them all so much. We are a team and a family.”

Kamaka will get to show how much more Hawaii Elite MMA has helped him at Titan FC 35. Kamaka will be fighting 7-0 Belal Muhammad and he talked about his matchup on September 19, 2015.

“I do not really know too much about him,” said Kamaka. “I watched some of his fights and in the stand-up department, I am too much for him to handle honestly. No disrespect to him and his camp, but I am confident in my team and my coaches. I am confident in myself. I really think I am going to surprise a lot of people.”

Kamaka will be able to surprise a lot of people on UFC Fight Pass. Titan FC 35 will be the second Titan FC card on UFC Fight Pass and is headlined by Pat Healy vs. Rick Hawn. Kamaka talked about fighting on UFC Fight Pass.

“It is awesome,” said Kamaka. “It is so awesome. I am finally getting some recognition and finally getting on a big show. I have been fighting for about nine years and I feel that I have paid my dues. I cannot wait to show the world what I can do.”

Kamaka will take on Muhammad on September 19, 2015, at Titan FC 35. Kamaka had this to say to the fans that will be watching.

”September 19, the world is going to see what I can do,” said Kamaka. “I promise you guys that we will be the fight of the night. I do not take steps back. I come to fight every single fight.”

About The Author

Jeremy Klump
Interview Coordinator / Video Manager

Jeremy Klump is a Sport Media major at Ithaca College and has been writing about Mixed Martial Arts for over a year now. He interned at MVC Sports Management and AMA Fight Club. While interning at MVC and AMA, Jeremy found out that he had a true passion for writing about Mixed Martial Arts. He has interviewed and wrote articles on top UFC fighters while also having knowledge of regional fighters and the top new comers. He looks to grow as a writer and expand his knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts while being a proud member of The MMA Corner team.