Updated: July 20, 2015

On June 6th in Brownsville, Texas at “HERO FC Best of the Best V,” Hayward Charles successful defended his HERO FC Middleweight Title and $50,000 fighting contract against Gemiyale Adkins. Charles stopped Adkins in the 1st round with an arm bar, but the fight almost didn’t take place because of a weight issue Adkins was having the day before the fight. I had a chance to talk to Charles about that issue and his win over Adkins.

Q: How does it feel that you have been successful in defending your title?

A: It’s a dream come true. That’s what it means to be a champion, is defending the belt. You can get the belt, but it is harder to defend it. It means the world to me and it means that I am a true champion.

Q: What is it like getting a quick win over Gemiyale knowing that he has never been stopped in his pro career?

A: That was a blessing in itself. He has had over 20 professional fights and for me to be the first one ever to submit him makes me feel good.

Q: Can you explain why?

A: It’s a relief. With him never being stopped, it was like a big mountain in front of me. It lets me know that I belong in there with the best.

Q: What was your take on Gemiyale not being able to make the weight and the fight being changed to a catch weight of 195 pounds?

A: The way I look at, a guy not being able to make weight says that he is not taking the contract serious and he is not training serious. That is completely opposite of me. I train hard, I eat healthy and I drink healthy. I am a true professional.

Q: Do you feel that it gives you an edge when you know a guy can’t make the weight?

A: I find it disrespectful because you know if you are going to make weight or not. You have a pretty good idea a week in advance. He could have told me, and it would have saved me from cutting so much weight and then we could have decided on a catch weight. But when you tell me the day of the weigh in that you are not going to make the weight, it shows me that you have no respect for me.

Q: What do you think about the last couple of fights you have had with HERO FC? First it was Brandon Farran and now Gemiyale?

A: They are tough guys. Nobody is easy. I am at a level now where I never expect to have an easy fight. I don’t train easy. I take this very seriously.

Q: Do you feel like your training is paying off and you are where you want to be right now in your career?

A: I am always training hard. At the end of the day you get to see the hard work paying off for you inside the cage.