by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com

Over the past few years, Mark DellaGrotte has transformed his camp into one of the premier training facilities in all of mixed martial arts. From Kenny Florian to Patrick Cote, the list goes on and on of fighters that work with Team Sitydotong in Massachusetts as they continue to build a tradition of winning.

Recently, DellaGrotte appeared on MMAWeekly Radio to give fans an update on the fighters he is working with, including mainstay Kenny Florian as he prepares for his April 2 showdown with Joe Lauzon.

“Kenny Florian looks better than ever,” said DellaGrotte. “Things are going good. Kenny never stopped training after his last fight. The kid does not take a day off, I can’t pry him away from the gym if my life depended on it.

“Look for a whole new and improved Kenny Florian, even better than what you saw last time against Din Thomas.”

The pressure going into the fight would seemingly be on Florian, who may only be a win away from a lightweight title shot, but his coach says that he’s focused and preparing for Lauzon the same as any other fight.

“Kenny takes every opponent the same, whether it’s Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn, Joe Lauzon, it doesn’t matter who it is, Kenny treats every opponent the same,” DellaGrotte stated. “He’s not the type of fighter that will get himself thinking something that’s not true. He won’t hype himself up and put himself on a different wavelength. He always stays focused with the task at hand and that’s beating whoever’s in front of him.”


The world-class camp has attracted fighters from all over the globe and recently Jorge Gurgel disclosed in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio that he too planned on seeking the counsel of DellaGrotte and his camp.

“Marcus (Davis) has been pulling at Jorge (Gurgel) to come out here to Boston to train with us for a long time,” commented the Sitydotong trainer. “I think initially he was worried that he may run into Kenny (Florian) and at the time that was a possibility, because we were actually throwing names back and forth a couple years ago and that was one of the names that was tossed around.

“Jorge has expressed interest in coming out here and working with me and Kenny and the camp. He knows through Marcus Davis what we’re capable of doing and he’s seen what we’re capable of doing through our fighters and I think that’s something you’re going to see pretty soon.”

Another Jorge who is a longtime member of Sitydotong, Jorge Rivera, is a student that impressed his coach after his destruction of Kendall Grove in his last fight out.

DellaGrotte spoke praises about Rivera’s performance and expects much of the same out of him going forward into his next bout, possibly against Martin Kampmann at UFC 85 in London.

“Jorge made me very proud for that particular fight,” DellaGrotte said about the fight with Kendall Grove. “I knew he was capable of doing what he did. What it comes down to with Jorge a lot of times is a mental thing. He personally has a lot of things going on in his personal life, he’s got a family, he runs his own business too, he’s got a martial arts academy, USMMA out in Bellingham, Mass.

“When Jorge Rivera is on his mental game, and he’s 100% in my opinion, he is right up there with Anderson Silva and with Rich Franklin, and all these top 185er’s that are out there doing it.”


Marcus Davis has also worked alongside DellaGrotte and his team for many of his fights and his next step will be a showdown with American Kickboxing Academy welterweight Mike Swick, a match-up that DellaGrotte likes very much.

“I think this is a great opportunity for him to let everybody know just where he’s at. The last couple of opponents he’s had have been game and worthy opponents, but I think they really didn’t test Marcus,” DellaGrotte said. “I think you’ve yet to see Marcus, the new Marcus Davis, the new transformed Marcus Davis. I think you’ve yet to see him be tested in the Octagon.

“I’m sure Mike Swick is going to be the first guy that’s going to be the real formidable, new age Marcus Davis opponent. I’m looking forward to that fight, I’m looking forward to training Marcus for that fight for sure.”


Another fighter who is working with the camp currently is UFC middleweight Travis Lutter, as he prepares for his bout with Rich Franklin in Canada.

“Travis Lutter was just here,” DellaGrotte commented. “Lutter was here getting ready for (Rich) Franklin. He was here for the last week or so. Travis is looking really good, we’re getting him ready for the April 19 Montreal show.”

In Lutter’s last fight out he was submitted by current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a bout that lost some of its luster after Lutter couldn’t make the championship weight limit of 185 pounds. DellaGrotte promises a different story this time around.

“I tell you what I’m going to do different for Travis this time… he’s going to make the weight,” DellaGrotte said with a laugh. “Travis is just so good at what he does, no matter who he’s in there with.”

While it’s no secret that DellaGrotte has worked wonders in the stand-up department for a great number of fighters, he doesn’t plan on reinventing the wheel when it comes to Lutter’s game plan for Franklin.

“Obviously it’s a no-brainer, I don’t think we’re going to take Travis Lutter and were going to turn him into a Thai boxer overnight down here at Sitydotong, and we’re going to go in there and tell him to trade kicks and punches with Rich Franklin,” said DellaGrotte. “I think it’s obvious where Travis wants to take the fight, and what it comes down to for Travis is just a matter of making that weight smooth, and having the gas. One thing about Rich Franklin, the guy is a superstar when it comes to training, he’s a hard worker.”

For now, DellaGrotte and the Sitydotong team will continue to ready star student Kenny Florian for his April 2 main event match-up with Joe Lauzon.