On Wednesday, November 8, UFC welterweight Randy Brown visited Hit the Books MMA (HTB) as part of UFC 295: PROCHAKA vs. PEREIRA in New York.
“A partnership and opportunity with UFC have been a dream for Hit the Books since its inception,” said Jhae Thompson, Executive Director – Hit the Books. “Having Randy come and work with our students was a real treat. For many of our students, seeing a professional athlete who looks like them and can relate to them was a significant opportunity. They will remember this event for a very long time.”
During the event, Brown joined Stan Dryev, HTB’s Director of MMA during the two-hour class with more than 20 local youth, teaching various boxing techniques, working the pads, kickboxing bags and individually sparring with students. HTB’s MMA program currently includes more than 135 students five days per week, in conjunction with free after-school tutoring for all members.
Established in 2019, Hit the Books aims to bring additional educational resources to underserved communities through a sports-based development approach, with tutoring and mentorship at its core and mixed martial arts as the ‘hook’. Located in Harlem, HTB serves as an after-school community center that facilitates development and helps make any and every goal achievable for its students.
HTB focuses on three key pillars that are intended to shape its students’ upbringings. These pillars are broken down into Educational Services, Mentorship, and MMA.
“Youth organizations, like HTB, that provide free after-school tutoring while teaching the fundamentals of combat sports and self-defense are very important to the development of its members, as it will help them become educated and fit at the same time,” said Brown. “I grew up in a gym like this and it absolutely helped make me the person I am today. We need more of these gyms and youth programs, and it’s great to give back by being a part of it.”
At the conclusion of the event, the UFC Foundation made a $10,000 donation to help further the organization’s mission.
UFC’s corporate social responsibility program, #UFCInTheCommunity, strategically collaborates with partners, sponsors, and athletes to develop additional charitable programs and funding sources to help bolster and inspire the local community. For more information, please visit UFCFOUNDATION.
UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira took place live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 11, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!