Add Adrian “Guard Yo Grill” Miles to the list of professional mixed martial artists making the transition over to bare knuckle competition.
The 36-year old Miles is happy to be fighting back in his home state of Mississippi when he meets Wes Combs at Bare Knuckle FC 9 in Biloxi on November 16.
Tapology currently lists Miles as boasting a 16-12 pro MMA record, but Miles doesn’t seem to mind what is written, or where. He is a longtime student of former UFC fighter Alan "The Talent" Belcher, with his first pro bout coming 10 years ago in 2009.
“A lot of the fights I did in Alabama were before the commission came around so I have more than what shows on my official record,” Miles said, not really caring about what is listed. “I just like to fight.”
One of those fights that Miles participated in was that likely would never be sanctioned today was a three-man MMA fights where he had to take on not one, but two, opponents at the same time.
In 2013, Miles would earn his biggest break yet, a chance to try out for the Ultimate Fighter. He would go on to lose in the opening round of the season 19 tournament, but it would be an eye opening experience that open other doors for the soft spoken fighter from the South.
“I wish I had never done it to be honest with you,” Miles said of his time on the Ultimate Fighter. “I don’t really think I needed to do it, but I was pretty much in a spot where I had an opportunity to do it and if you win your fight, you are in the house, and you get noticed. But I should have listened to Alan and not do it. I didn’t really have to do it. I was on a two-year win streak and I didn’t have to do none of that weighing stuff until I got the phone call. I got too greedy and tried to rush and do it. I think it helped out, but it would have been the same whether I did it or not, you know?”
Later in his career Miles would compete for Bellator MMA, V3 Fights, and several other promotions, all while trying to provide for his family.
“Working, taking care of my kids, and training when I have time,” Miles said of his hectic schedule which has recently kept him from the cage. “I’m an auto mechanic. I run a mechanic shop.”
That's when he got the idea to give bare knuckle boxing, specifically Bare Knuckle FC, a try.
“I kept seeing this bare knuckle stuff and I was wondering why nobody was bothering me about it. I hit up Ricky Dereoun (BKFC Regional Representative, and President of Fighting Force International) and I was like, ‘damn man, I’m your 205-pound champion, and nobody asked me if I wanted to fight.’ I just kept hitting him up, and then I saw Nate Shook (matchmaker for BKFC). Nate doesn’t know me as well as Ricky, so it was Ricky that pretty much vouched for me.”
Although Miles has been away from competition for a while, he is not training much differently than he normally would for an MMA fight.
“The thing is these are two minute rounds," he said. "I’m not really training full time boxing because it’s bare knuckle, it’s not really boxing. I mean it is, but it’s not. People aren’t going in there trying to score points, they are going in there trying to knock each other’s heads off. What I’m working on mostly is getting my wind back and really getting back my technique. Trying to improve my combos and really use my strength to my advantage.”
In order to prepare for BKFC 9 and his opponent in Wes Combs, Miles said that Belcher has his working on building up his leg strength. Yes, you read that right, Miles is building up his legs to help make him a better bare knuckle boxer.
“We get up early couple days a week, and he works a lot with my legs, getting me in better shape. He told me that I’m going to need to rely a lot on my legs for movement in this fight. I’m doing a lot of lifting with my legs. This will be first fight in a weight class that I don’t really remember fighting in.”
Guard Yo Grill
“Anybody that has seen me fight knows I’m going for the grill," Miles said of his nickname 'Guard Yo Grill.' "It’s rare that I miss.”
While Miles may have a fight scheduled for November 16, he certainly is not looking past his opponent or towards a future in the sport without first getting through Combs at BKFC 9.
“I pretty much retired from fighting," Miles said about himself prior to agreeing to this contest. "This one is local. I hated to do the traveling. I missed fighting because it made me be me. I would still fight if I could stay local all the time. I just don’t want to do the traveling nowhere.”
“It depends on how this goes," Miles said of the pending fight. "This is something that I think I needed. I’ll see how this fight goes. If I go out there and smoke him, I may want to do it again. I just really want to thank Ricky and Nate for giving a shot and an opportunity to fight at home. I’m from Alabama but I moved to Mississippi seven years ago. This is probably my third fight here in seven years. It’s kind of crazy that I’m a local guy but I never fight here. I’m just excited to put on a show for my friends and family.”
Former UFC standout Artem Lobov and Mississippi native Jason Knight will meet in a rematch of their 2019 Fight of the Year candidate as the main event of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) action Saturday, November 16 live on pay-per-view from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss.
“BKFC 9” will be broadcast across the United States and Canada, exclusively on pay-per-view through MultiVision Media, Inc., on all major television distribution outlets for $29.99. It will also be available to BKFC’s international broadcast partners worldwide and via stream to all in-home and out-of-home connected devices through FITE.