Glenn Robinson founded the Blackzilians in 2011; there was considerable controversy. Rumors circulated recently that the team had closed is doors, but in an interview with Ariel Helwani for MMA Fighting, Robinson vehemently denied that the Blackzilians were done.
Whether in promoting or opening a gym, the surest way to make a small fortune in MMA is to start with a large one. Earlier this year Robinson’s main business, Iron Bridge Tools, reorganized, filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. His JACO MMA lifestyle brand is probably not a major revenue stream. In short, the money may not be there at present for Robinson to indulge his dreams in the MMA space, or perhaps he has simply tired of the effort being in the red, rather than the black.
The current Blackzilians headquarters in Boca Raton is indeed closing, but Robinson said the decision was made because rent was high and the facility did not make business sense. However, Robinson told Helwani he was building a new facility that he described as “state of the art” and unlike anything seen to date in MMA. He declined to say where in Florida the new facility will be, but predicted a January opening.
In the meantime, the Blackzilians are training at a temporary location in Pompano Beach, Florida. It probably isn’t a thriving, growing business but Robinson remains in the MMA space for one reason.
“I’m really only staying in MMA for Anthony [Johnson],” said Robinson. “He’s like a son to me, and I would never leave before he’s done fighting.”
ATT co-founded Alex Davis offered a blunt assessment of the situation.
“BZ was evicted from their place in Boca for not paying rent,” wrote Davis on the UG. “There is no other place being built. They will be training out of an itsy bitsy MA school in Ft Lauderdale.”
In addition to Johnson, current team members include JZ Cavalcante, Michael Chandler, Rashad Evans, Michael Johnson, and Matt Mitrione.
And if you think the men at Blackzilians are tough, check out one of the women!!?! This is WMMA prospect Katsiaryna Kavaleva sparring with little friend Matt Mitrione.