"In your twenties, you don't think about the future as much," Antoni Hardonk the Dutch kickboxer and UFC veteran told MMA Fighting recently. "You do whatever you feel like doing and you don't think about it. In your thirties, the future is more of a consideration. For me, I'm a good competitor, I have some talent, but I can't retire on that. I can survive, but that's basically it. So I decided I had to move on."
In April, Hardonk opened his own gym – Dynamix Martial Arts in Santa Monica, Calif. – and began devoting more of his energy to teaching.
When his kickboxing career stalled, Hardonk moved into MMA at a relatively late stage in his career. He had some highs, including three straight TKO victories in the UFC. He also had some lows, including his decision loss to Justin McCully, which he still regards as the most "annoying" fight he ever had, simply because he had to listen to Tito Ortiz shouting instructions all night.
"I always enjoyed teaching. I enjoyed helping people and making them better – people at all levels. I think you could be a rich man, but if you don't have anyone to share it with it doesn't matter ... Fighting is my passion, and I enjoy sharing that passion with other people."
"I think what matters most is that you are happy with what you are doing. And I am. I'm happy."
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