Adam Townsend (19-5 MMA) is making his professional Muay Thai debut, and he’s coming home for it. He’s fighting fellow Muay Thai debutant Justin Hatcher at Valor Fights 51 in Johnson City, TN this Saturday.
The fight marks the first time Townsend will be fighting at home since a March 2016 win over Justin Hartley. Before that, it was January 2015 against Craig Johnson. Townsend’s three previous fights had taken place overseas in Australia, Austria and England. Now, he gets to fight about 15 minutes from where he lives.
“It’s been a long time since I fought at home,” Townsend, 29, told MMASucka. “It feels good to jump back to my roots and show some of my skills to the fans who probably don’t even know who I am because it’s been so long.”
The facts it’s a Muay Thai bout that’s taking place in Tennessee are one-offs for Townsend, however, who re-signed with Absolute Championship Berkut. His last three fights have been with the promotion. Townsend took the Muay Thai fight in order to stay in shape and keep his weight down.
“I like ACB, man,” Townsend, who re-signed with ACB before his last fight, said. “They treat me well, they pay me well. I’m flying all over the world to fight to see these cool destinations I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Townsend is back to combat sports following a retirement phase he had last year while pursuing a career in politics. The only reason he took bouts at ACB 70 and ACB 74 in September 2017 and November 2017 respectively was to fund his political campaign for Register of Deeds in Carter County, TN.
“I stepped down from fighting in order to try and pursue something that would give me a much better future and a better career,” Townsend said. “It didn’t pan out. I’m a big name in my county through the MMA world but I’m not into politics at all. It takes your family, the other politicians willing to back you. That was an experience for me for sure.”
Unfortunately, Townsend’s political aspirations didn’t come to fruition. He fell to businessman Jarrod Ellis in the election this past May.
If there’s one thing Townsend’s eight-month hiatus did, it’s re-motivated him, as he’s ended his retirement from MMA with a unanimous decision win over Kieran Joblin in June at ACB 88.
“I’m truly motivated again to stay in shape,” he said. “I’m making UFC money, I’m seeing other countries. This break really revitalized me and has me pursuing this game like I should have from the beginning.”
At the end of the day, Townsend said the sole reason he’s back to competing is for money.
“When you’ve fought as long as I have, it takes a toll on you mentally and physically,” he admitted. “There could be some pretty bad consequences later on in my life from all this fighting I’ve done, training, Motocross. I’m just doing this for money. I don’t know if I have three more fights or 10 more fights. I’ll ride this roller-coaster while I can.”
He’s got his Muay Thai debut on his plate next before he gets back to touring the world with ACB. Townsend gave a prediction on how he believes his fight with Justin Hatcher will go.
“I will knock this kid out. It will be an awesome finish, totally spectacular. I definitely want to put a show on for the whole town and show them what they’ve been missing out on.”
Valor Fights 51 is live on Saturday, July 21 from the D3 Sports Complex in Johnson City, TN and can be caught on FloCombat.