Lance Gibson Jr. explains why he trained with Henry Cejudo ahead of his Bellator 293 bout.
Lance Gibson Jr. is learning from one of the greatest bantamweights in history ahead of his Bellator 293 bout with Vladimir Tokov on Friday. And he says he's learning a lot from the former UFC champion and Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo.
"Me and my team have done fantastic for a long time with Julia, my dad and I, obviously Julia was a four-time world champion for Bellator. We just needed a little bit of extra push," Gibson Jr. told FanSided. "I needed a little bit extra work from a different look from sparring partners and and obviously wrestling when it comes to the elite level wrestling. You don't get any better. If you're on the mat with world champions daily, you're going to improve or you're going to quit. It was a great opportunity to be able to come down here and work."
Before you jump to conclusions, Lance Gibson Jr. hasn't ditched his former training camp (consisting of his father Lance Gibson Sr. and step-mother Julia Budd) he's just spreading his wings a bit and improving his game in every way possible.
"I've been obviously training with by my family, my dad, since day one, Lance Gibson Sr. and Julia Budd and my team," he said. "But I've been training with the guys at Fight Ready in Scottsdale, Arizona where Henry Cejudo trains and Kelvin Gastelum and all those guys. I've been working with a lot of really good wrestlers, and building on my wrestling base, building my Jiu-Jitsu there as well, and really working on my striking with Santino Defranco. So yeah, it's been awesome. Everything, been working on everything."
It's been a bit since Gibson Jr. fought, his last outing, in Oct. 2022, gave him about six months to work on his skills with fighters he's never trained with before. When asked what he's learned most from Cejudo, he was quick to answer.
"Just seeing his dedication to the sport and his craft," he said. "Just walking in and seeing how hard he's working and how long he's working. I don't think anybody really understands that. You don't see the day-to-day stuff that he does, with the guys going all out for a long time. Like he's there hours before people show up, and stays for hours after they leave. So the guy's a machine and he's constantly working. That's why he's a Triple C obviously."
"If you're on the mat with world champions daily, you're going to improve or you're going to quit. "- Lance Gibson Jr. on training with Cejudo
He also mentioned some things he's specificially working on with Cejudo.
"He's really worked on a lot of stuff for me when it comes to range. So understand my range and exploiting it on my opponent," he said.
Lance Jr. also explained that, while this is the first time he and Cejudo trained together, it wasn't the first time they met.
"I met him back in like 2008 when he was fresh off the Olympics," he recalled. "When he first won his Olympic gold and there's a picture of me and him. I was like in eighth grade at the national tournament. And I was an All-American. My coaches like 'you need to get a picture with the Olympic champion.' So that was the first time I met him and yeah, it was just cool to kind of go full circle and work alongside him and at the same gym."