Brian Adams saluted Alex Bodnar after coming out of the ‘lion’s den’ with a victory on his professional debut.
The featherweight defeated Mathieu James in style at Battle Arena 54 on Saturday.
Bodnar, who trains at Fratton’s Gym 01, caused a crowd upset against the home fighter inside Warwickshire Cricket Club’s Edgbaston Stadium.
The University of Portsmouth graduate overwhelmed his opponent throughout, earning a unanimous-decision success.
Despite Bodnar racking up a 6-2 record as an amateur, Adams at times was frustrated with his charge’s commitment during training.
But Gym 01’s head MMA coach couldn’t fault the Barnstaple-born ace’s preparation for his maiden bout in the paid ranks.
And he felt Bodnar reaped the dividends inside the cage.
Adams said: ‘Everyone was against Alex there – from the commentators to probably the judges.
‘They didn’t even read the judges’ scores out so I can only presume maybe one of them didn’t even give the first round to him.
‘It is what it is. Everyone was against him. The guy was a legit opponent, very big and did everything right.
‘But Alex did what he does. He is a talent when he is prepared correctly and fell foul of loses when he trained three times a week (as an amateur).
‘Some coaches may have pulled him out when he was doing that but I didn’t and pointed it out that he lost because he got tired.
‘But he did everything right in this camp. For the past seven weeks, he’s been a model student and a role model for people in the gym.
‘He’s ticked every box and I couldn’t be prouder for him.
‘To get the win in the lion’s den so dominantly was a pleasure.’
Adams has had several offers for Bodnar to make a speedy return to action.
But while the Gym 01 team are happy to face the names tabled, that might not be the case in the opposing camp.
‘We’ve been offered a couple of opponents,’ added Adams.
‘He has said yes but they're umming and ahing.
‘Hopefully we can get the ball rolling.’