Hailing from Houghton, La and having lived in the Bossier region a large portion of his life, Gladney (1-0) represents a home grown heavyweight with great potential. At thirty-six years old Gladney is an older fighter, but the heavyweight division where Gladney fights is the division with the potential for fighters to compete at an older age. Rite Of Passage 6, sees Gladney step into the AKA cage against Corey Johnson.
“…I believe he’s 0-1 as a pro, but know little about him. A couple of guys I know, know him. He’s an oilfield guy, 6’3”, a big guy. He’s a Muay Thai fighter; last time I went in there thinking a guy was going to do something, it went a very different way. So I don’t expect anything.”
Gladney himself has a lot of experience in the sport and in athletics in general.
“I grew up wrestling; I played college Football for the University of Alabama before blowing my knee out. I still wanted to compete and got back into wrestling. A couple of Jiu Jitsu guys came in one day and rolled. I started going to the Jiu jitsu team.”
It wasn’t before long that Gladney started to get more involved in MMA.
“I had my first fight in 2005 and went 17-3 as an amateur.”
In 2014, Gladney moved to California and a car wreck which saw him suffer a back injury shelved him MMA plans. At the time he had been training at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), one of the premier teams for MMA in the United States.
“The training was pretty extreme, two to three times a day full on, full sparring, everything you do you tear yourself down. I was happy I was able to make the pro team. Training with the best in the world showed me where my game stood, having world champions there. It showed me what I needed to work on and what I needed to do.”
The learning experience for Gladney proved invaluable, and the lessons he learned he carried with him. Unfortunately his accident meant he had to have a hiatus from fighting.
“I now train my grappling with Shreveport MMA and standup at Karate Mafia. I have fought 205 lb in the past, but am sticking to heavyweight. I walk around 245-250lb. Training for me is 4-5 times a week and at most 2 times a day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do cardio and train at Karate Mafia in the evenings. Tuesday and Thursday I train grappling and do weights. Now I’m getting back to how I was playing football and getting my strength up. I was very strong then, strength is my focus, I like to be able to pick up guys and toss them around.”
Gladney works in the construction industry and manages to balance work with training. Being an older fighter he has realistic expectations of how far he can go in the sport, but by no means is limiting himself.
“In California I was training for a Bellator fight when I got injured. I want to get on Bellator or possibly fight for the UFC. I want to do enough to have a successful career.”