Mark Holst has spent the last 15 years of his fighting career doing three things.
Holst will look to put on a show when he squares off with Ky Hollenbeck in a middleweight title-eliminator bout at Lion Fight 30 on AXS TV tonight.
“(Training) has been the same as the last 15 years of fight prep: fun training, fun diet and also lots of fun running,” Holst joked during a recent interview with FightLine. “I plan on having fun through the whole training camp and also during the fight. I can’t wait to put on a show with Ky.”
The 30-year-old Holst has seen his career take him to different spots around the world and in different combat sports arenas. The Ottawa, Ontario, Canada native, though, is excited to be competing for Lion Fight.
“I was scheduled to fight in Argentina for a K-1 eight-man tournament but that didn’t work out,” he said. “I am really lucky and happy that Lion Fight approached my manager and got me on the fight card in Connecticut at Foxwoods again.”
Holst made his Lion Fight debut in 2014, losing via decision to Cosmo Alexandre. That marked his return to kickboxing for the first time in six years, as he fought most of his battles in the MMA realm. Holst is 12-5 there, including bouts with the likes of Leonardo Santos, Paul Sass and John Gunderson.
“I was excited to come back and to fight a big name like Cosmo,” he said. “I felt really rust and I had to really switch my game from MMA to Muay Thai. I always train in MMA, jiu-jitsu, wrestling and Muay Thai, so whatever the rules of the fight are, I am ready.
“I am a fighter and I will fight any rules; K-1, Muay Thai or MMA. My favorite is definitely the striking in all these disciplines. I am very happy with Lion Fight and how it’s bringing Muay Thai to North America, the real Muay Thai.”
After starting his MMA career 10 years ago, Holst doesn’t see an end coming soon to his run. He is a two-time Grapplers Quest champion, a one-time winner of both the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic and Copa Atlantica and a former Freedom Fight MMA lightweight champion and Xtreme Kombat League lightweight champion.
“I will take one fight at a time and be patient,” he said. “This is something I always did through my fight career and so far I have been very fortunate and doing good with that plan.
“I still have five – maybe 10 – more years of fighting in me, so keeping it fun and being patient is the key for me.”