Derrick ‘A-Game’ Adkins (8-2) is a fighter to pay attention to in the ranks of the Legacy 170 lb division. Originally from Oolagah, OK which is a town northeast of Tulsa, Adkins relocated to Edmond, OK. Adkins is fighter who has fought for the Legacy promotion as both an amateur and as a professional fighter. At Legacy Fighting Championship 62, he faces Manny Muro (5-2) in what looks to be a compelling matchup.
Adkins has had a surprisingly large number of fights in the time he’s been training, with an influencing factor on his success being his sporting background.
“I wrestled in high school and college. I was friends with older guys who fought, some went on to do other things and some of them have been very successful as MMA fighters. I went to UCO in Edmond for college; they were fighting while I was wrestling. I got injured in college, I injured my bicep and had a tear in my labrum and had to finish early. I had a year off from training and about 3 ½ to 4 years ago walked into American Elite in Edmond.”
Adkins has stayed with that team, and in fact some of the names of the older guys Adkins was friends with that train there are names MMA fans will be familiar with;
“At Elite there’s Cole Province (WEC veteran), Jared Hess (Bellator veteran) and Tim Elliott who is currently on The Ultimate Fighter series.”
Adkins history of his career isn’t quite a fully accurate one, and he takes a little pressing to talk about his earlier fight and win in 2009.
“I was training with those guys a little and there was a show on. I went there on a whim and ended up fighting. I thought it was an exhibition and not a fight. I turned up and at that time it wasn’t that organized, no-one made weight and people were matched when they got there. I turned up and got matched.”
As mentioned, Adkins hasn’t had a long career to date but has made a sizable impact;
“In January it will be two years as a pro. I’ve also had boxing matches in that time. We have a local promotion, HD and they use MMA guys in it. I tried to box JC Cottrell before and they said no. His guys didn’t show up and on 24 hours’ notice they called me, and the fight was a draw. I’m 3-1-1 (two of his wins coming by TKO) and hold the Oklahoma State Championship for that promotion at 168 lb.”
Adkins has devoted himself to the sport of MMA.
“I’m not working, just fighting and my sponsors help me out as well. I’m usually lucky in that I tend to finish fights pretty healthy. Fighting is kind of my drug, I’m addicted to it. I like to fight. This Summer I had some downtime as fights fell through, and that was hard. I like to fight every six to eight weeks.”
Although starting as a wrestler, Adkins works on other areas of the sport of MMA. The days that you can succeed in MMA as a one dimensional fighter are long gone.
“I’ve evolved into a well-rounded fighter; a bit before I turned pro I started focusing on my standup. I did a kickboxing fight as an amateur. I always fall back to wrestling as it controls where the fight goes and what happens. If I don’t want to go down, I can defend the takedown; and if I want a ground fight, I can take it down.”
To date, Adkins has had one amateur fight and two professional fights for Legacy.
“My first pro fight for Legacy was against Jesse Chaffin, it was pretty decent. I live in Edmund; I was technically the out-of-town guy. He had an 8-2 or 8-3 record, and I came in as the underdog. I went out there, kept my composure. We had some flurries, then I got the slam. I fell in love with the D’arce choke some six months before. He turned and I got it. I was really happy with it.”
The second fight Adkins had was actually a rematch of his amateur fight against Daryl Wilson (4-1), which Adkins had previously won.
“It was a rematch; it was good and went the distance. The local people held him in high esteem and thought he’d win. I wasn’t going for the finish. I wish I had let my hands go more; I kept getting the clinch and taking him down. I learnt that I need to open up more and go for the finish.”
In his last fight, Adkins competed against another fighter who is on the LFC 62 card, the tough and durable Zac Church (7-3).
“He was the number one 155lber in the state. It was for the title, so was set for five rounds and went to decision. I came out slow to ease into the fight. I knew he had a good ground game, but I felt my standup was better. In the second round I almost finished him; he had good defense and counters. I almost gassed and took a step back, but we ended up going all five rounds. He had really smart, technical defense, and it was hard to really hurt him. That was a fun fight. He went up a weight class for it, and on this card is going back down a weight class again.”
Manny Maro, Adkins opponent for this fight, is someone he is a little familiar with.
“One of my teammates fought him, Jose Martinez. It was one of his losses. He’s a good local guy, but one of the last good local veterans at this weight I haven’t fought and beaten. He is a stand-up guy from what I’ve heard. He’s a local guy and will have a lot of fans cheering him on. It will probably be one of the highlight fights of the night.
“I don’t really go in with a game plan. I take what is there, so I’m open to different finishes. If I’m winning on my feet, I’ll keep it there. If I’m not, I’ll take it down. I look for the easiest way to win. I want a finish that’s good, impressive and fun for the fans to watch.”
Keeping an impressive work schedule up means Adkins has another fight set up already.
“I have a Bellator fight coming up soon after; both will be really good back-to-back fights.”
Fighters from Oklahoma in my experience often like to take advantage of the countryside. Adkins is no exception.
“I like the outdoors; we don’t have too much hiking in Edmond though. I go to Factory Muay Thai in Denver, CO, and when I do I go hiking. I like nature and good music; I’ll go and see bands with my friends.
“I’d like to thank my sponsors: Stevenson Plumbing Service, Tel Star Communications, Young Chiropractic, Trigger Apparel, Right a Way Burger and Team Unite Local. Also my gyms, American Elite MMA in Edmond OK. I also go train some at Factory X in Denver, Colorado.”