Lack of MMA Experience Not an Issue for Duluth’s Alvin “Goozie” Hines

In a field of 100 competitors, Hines finished in the top 16, despite having less than a year of experience in mixed martial arts.

DULUTH, Minn. – Last weekend, Duluth’s own Alvin Hines took part in a major international grappling tournament out in Las Vegas. And in a field of 100 competitors, Hines finished in the top 16, despite having less than a year of experience in mixed martial arts.

“A lot of people ask me, “how long have you been doing this?’ because they’re like brown belts, black belts. And I’m like ‘I don’t know, like 10, 11 months.’ They’re like ‘really?’ I think I just wanted it more. I would’ve never guessed to tell you the truth. If it wasn’t for these guys telling me that I could and jus saying go ahead and try this. It really came out of the blue,” said Hines.

“While we were inadequate from a skill level, just his mental fortitude, his purpose, his drive really made up for everything else. It was incredible to watch him perform,” head coach Dustin Hjelle said.

The Jungle Gym MMA school is also in its infancy and an early success story like Hines lends credibility to their methods and creates motivation for others to join.

“Of course Goozie himself is quite a specimen. But then you take that and channel behind some good coaching and good direction, then you get the results. Definitely puts Northern Minnesota MMA on the map and puts Jungle Gym on the map, too. I’m so proud of him,” Jungle Gym founder Zach Walters said.

“I think it’s growing every day to tell you the truth. People ask me all the time, ‘where do you do this? where do you do that?’ And I just completely be honest with them, tell them all the info and I encourage more people to come,” said Hines.

Hines added that he will definitely compete at the tournament’s next installment, which is set for 2024.

Categories: Professional Sports, Sports