As he begins his pursuit of another $1 million grand prize in Professional Fighters League, Lance Palmer has been reinvigorated after his move to a new training camp.
The former Ohio State All-American wrestler has long wanted to work with head coach Mark Henry, who came to prominence after working with fighters such as Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez and Zabit Magomedsharipov.
Unfortunately a season ago Palmer was in the same featherweight tournament as another fighter working with Henry and the camp based in New Jersey so he stayed away to avoid any potential conflict.
Now that has passed and Palmer has spent the last few months working under Henry as well as coaches Ricardo Almeida, Nick Catone and several others as he prepares for PFL season 2, which starts for him this Thursday night.
“It’s been awesome,” Palmer said about his new team. “It’s closer to home. I can drive home on the weekends, see my wife, it’s been really good. These guys are really good and they took me in like family. So it’s been an easy transition.”
Palmer, who previously worked with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento and more recently trained in Las Vegas, has spent the majority of his career training without a dedicated head coach. Team Alpha Male famously switched head coaches several times over the years from Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig to Martin Kampmann and several others also filling that role.
In Las Vegas, Palmer worked primarily out of the UFC Performance Institute where he always had a bevy of top notch training partners but didn’t necessarily have one person leading the ship when it came to his preparation.
Palmer says the differences now working with Henry have been huge as he prepares for another arduous road to a $1 million grand prize in the second season of PFL.
“It’s night and day difference,” Palmer said. “They are overseeing every single day. He does all my training and then coach [Sam] Calavitta at the Treigning Lab oversees all of my nutrition and strength and conditioning plan. So those two together have made a huge difference in my game the last night weeks.”
According to the former World Series of Fighting champion, it’s Henry’s attention to detail that makes him such an incredible coach.
Henry is well known for the meticulous way he breaks down his fighters and their opponents while preparing a game plan to help lead them to success.
“The main thing was just the focus that Mark Henry puts on each guy,” Palmer said. “Nobody spars without him watching. He’s always watching you, recording it with his phone, just everything from a coaching perspective he does at the highest level. That’s what intrigued me about it at first.
“I would have been out last year if Timur [Valiev] wasn’t at my weight in the tournament. Just because that was my plan a year ago after I left [Team] Alpha Male in 2017. It ended up working out this time. I’m happy here.”
Palmer hopes this will be a long term solution to his training camp but especially as he embarks on the second season of PFL kicking off this Thursday night.
“I have a feeling it is,” Palmer said about making the New Jersey based camp his permanent home. “I like it a lot. All the guys here are cool. The coaches are awesome. Between Mark and Ricardo Almeida and Nick Catone, how close it is to Princeton and I can go wrestle at Rutgers.
“There’s a lot of guys that are really well known in other organizations and there are guys who are still coming up who are super tough who have been training with these guys for years. There’s a partner for every look I can think of, especially for this year’s tournament. It’s a great place. I’m excited that they let me come into their family.”