It’s never easy for a fighter to suffer a loss. A defeat holds an even deeper wound when that fighter was expected to win.

While it was never a given that Brett Hlavacek would emerge victorious from his last outing, there were certainly better odds on him earning the win as the more experienced Muay Thai professional. But it wasn’t to be for Hlavacek, who dropped a decision verdict to Chip Moraza-Pollard.

Hlavacek has an opportunity to exact a measure of redemption at Lion Fight 36 as he takes on Paul Banasiak on Friday, April 28th at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Their bout will be the co-main event of the card airing live on AXS TV Fights in the United States as well as on Fight Network throughout Canada, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

The lone loss in three bouts inside the Lion Fight ring has brought significant change for Hlavacek, albeit one that figures to restore the skillset that earned him wins over Cyrus Washington and Brad Mountain which put him at the top of the cruiserweight contenders list.

Hlavacek has moved his training to Anderson’s Martial Arts Academy after many years of tutelage at The WAT, and he expects the change to pay immediate dividends.

“I feel like the fighter that I’m known to be and can be did not show up that night. It’s great to have a fresh set of eyes on me reworking everything,” said Hlavacek.

“I took a little time off and began working with Dan Anderson around the new year. We watched the tape and are making the adjustments that we need to every day. We really took a step back and started from the beginning with everything.”

Most notably, Hlavacek is trying to create a more aggressive approach, one which was almost completely absent against Moraza-Pollard.

“I can be a technical counter fighter most of the time and sometimes I make it harder on myself by being too patient and waiting,” offered the 33-year-old from New York City.

“I plan on being much more on the offense this fight and causing more damage.”\

In Banasiak, Hlavacek will be facing someone who is aiming to take him off his perch as a leading contender in the division. The winner will certainly move towards a title shot, and Hlavacek intends on keeping himself in contention.

“I have known Paul for a little while now and he is an up-and-coming pro,” said Hlavacek.

“He has a great opportunity to get on a Lion Fight card and I know he will be looking to make a statement with this fight. I am making sure that the best version of me, mentally and physically, shows up on April 28th.”


Tickets for Lion Fight 36 are available at and at all Foxwoods Resort Casino Box Offices.

The Lion Fight 36 main card will air live on AXS TV Fights with a start time of 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. with commentary from renowned duo “The Voice” Michael Schiavello and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich plus ring reporting from veteran MMA journalist Ron Kruck.