Team Alpha Male, Sacremento’s highly acclaimed mixed martial arts training camp, recently decided to host martial arts film legend Jean Claude Van Damme for a series of classes. Within the gym, Van Damme offered some of his martial arts skills and fighting knowledge to the team through some rigorous training. That being said, the trip was not entirely a smooth experience for the film star.
During his stay with the team, Van Damme stepped inside the cage with both former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and teammate Chris Holdsworth. The three martial artists went through some lengthy stretching exercises before putting on the gloves and going at it for some light sparring. However, the sparring was perhaps not as light as was initially the intention.
During the sparring session, Van Damme struck “No Love” in the face with a kick. The unexpected strike causes some commotion with the group that Garbrandt broke down in a recent interview.
“So like 40 minutes of that goes by and I’m looking at him Rob like my hips are hurting, I’m sore from the stretching already. Finally he starts showing kicks with Chris, but he’s going all over the place. He’s going from stretching to kicks to this, you know. He just got really excited. You could tell he was very excited to share his knowledge with me and I was very thankful as well.
“He started throwing kicks on Chris and threw this f—king fast kick, like he came up and…I don’t know what it’s called. It’s the one he always does. He brings his foot up real quick then brings it down; a hook kind of. Chris is there like ‘Oh, shit! I better keep my guard up’ and I was like ‘Damn, he threw that at Chris’ head. Fast, without any warning.’ He saw that then he started messing with him, toe-stabbing him. He toe-stabbed Chris like two or three times where Chris was like, in pain and I’m shaking my head.” said former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt.
“There’s one of me in the video shaking my head like ‘Oh shit, I’m glad he’s not doing that to me.’ Finally he was like ‘I want to show you this kick.’ It was kind of a variation on the teep and you twist it at the end. So I do it like three or four times on him. I put it down and then got in this fight stance and I saw in his eyes like ‘You wanna go?’ And I was back against the cage. So he started playing with me, acting like he was going to throw some kicks, and he started throwing hands like slapping at me.
“I was like ‘What the hell?’ Then he f—king kicked me with that hook kick right in the teeth and I was like ‘motherf—ker.’ I was pissed, I was so mad. I looked over at Rob, then I looked over at Jean and I was like ‘Rob, keep this motherf—ker away from me.’ He kicked me in my teeth, dude. He kicked me in my teeth just playing around. Like how many times have we punched at each other and we can pull our punches? This dude just straight kicked me in my teeth. I’m not going to lie, he has some fast ass kicks, but I was demonstrating the kick he showed me to get it right. Then I put my foot down and he kicked me right in the teeth. I went black.
“I was like ‘I’m going to rip his head off, but it’s Jean-Claude what are you supposed to do?’ All of a sudden he looks at me, drops to his knees and starts crying and is like “My champion!” and starts crying like that, so I felt hella awkward. Hands on my hips, I’m mad, my lip is all busted open and I got that hot sweat, so I just looked at him and I’m like ‘Jean… “ – I kept calling him Jean, I didn’t know it was Jean-Claude – so I walked out of the Octagon, just leave the place, left the gym. It was f—ked up; everyone was watching, taking videos, so from the outside it looked like I hit him and he was crying.
“So they were like ‘I thought you knocked him out,’ but no, dude just kicked me in the face and about kicked my teeth out, so I had to walk out of there so I don’t beat his ass. So I leave the gym and Rob comes with me, and I’m like ‘Look Rob, I don’t want to talk to Jean, I don’t want to hang out with him. That was bullshit.’ He was like ‘Oh, he didn’t mean it.’ But I’m telling you, this guy has hit that kick thousands of times … he knows how to pull a kick. He kicked me right in the teeth, you know. I was so infuriated, so mad.
“I’m driving home and Urijah is like laughing about it, he thought it was the funniest shit ever because Urijah was in the cage, Chris was in the cage. He’s like, ‘Dude, that was the most awkward thing ever. You flipped out on him and he just dropped down to his knees and started crying. We didn’t know what to do.’”
Now a replay of the highly intense strike can be seen in the video above.