If all goes according to his plans, Ron Frazier, who recently parted ways with the Xtreme Couture Academy, will officially begin the next chapter of his professional career at Las Vegas’ TapouT Training Center on Monday morning.
“I just wanted to build my own brand a little bit more,” explained Frazier, 45, who has spent more than half a decade working with elite mixed martial artists like Vitor Belfort, Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Gray Maynard and Mike Pyle at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
“I’ve been with Randy [Couture] for seven years now; the Xtreme Couture gym has been open for five—it’s coming up on its five-year anniversary—and I just thought that the timing was right for me to go out on my own and, kind of, build up my own brand a little bit and take everything that I’ve learned over the past seven years and implement it in my own way.
I just thought the timing was right. I had a great talk with Randy and he said, ‘Hey, if that’s what you want to do, I appreciate your time, and go out there and do your thing.’”
While Frazier admitted that his decision to part ways with Xtreme Couture—which is widely regarded as one of the premier mixed martial arts academies in North America—was “extremely difficult” to make, he is nevertheless excited to make his mark on the TapouT Training Center.
“I’m pretty much going to be the face and the voice of the TapouT Training Center,” Frazier offered. “I’m going to get their amateur and their pro teams up and running and see where they’re at, see where we can make improvements and try to do for them what I did for Xtreme Couture.”
Although it appears as if Frazier will officially replace the late Shawn Tompkins as the de facto leader of the TapouT Training Center on Monday morning, the California product doesn’t necessarily agree with that assertion.
“I’m not trying to replace him; I’m just trying to be me—I’m trying to be Ron Frazier,” explained Frazier, who has worked extensively with Tomkins in the past. “I know what he did and I know how passionate he was, and I know what he meant to everyone around him. It’s a tremendous honour that they want me over there, but I’m not trying to replace him.”
According to Frazier, who insisted that his own practices have been influenced heavily by Tomkins, he has big plans for his new academy.
“I would like to get the most out of the fighters—just like what I did when I was at Xtreme,” Frazier noted. “Some of them are going to be champions, some of them are going to be contenders and some of are going to be tough fights…In the next 10 years, we’re going to be one of the top gyms around.”
Ed Kapp is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations were obtained first-hand.