RAGED UK MMA takes place this Saturday, March 7th at MECA in Swindon which promises to be an action packed night of amateur and professional MMA.
I managed to catch up with one of the co-main event headliner’s, 23-year-old, Alex Brunnen, who in his own unique words discusses with me his up-coming fight with Julian Kerr, fighting back in his hometown since his amateur career, training at The MMA Lab with Benson Henderson and Joe Murphy plus his coach/mentor and good friend Oz.
You’re going to be making your home town debut on March 7th at RAGED UK in a co-main event. How does it feel to be finally not only fighting in your home town but to be also co-main event?
Whatever the running order of the fights, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m looking to put on a performance whether I was fighting first or last.
You train out of SVT in Swindon under your mentor, coach and good friend Michael ‘Oz’ Osbourne. Can you talk me through what it’s been like for you having such a good friend guide you through your career thus far?
Haha Yeah! Me and Oz are close. When I was just getting into this sport at 16 years old, Oz was like a god to me Ahaha! He is a real fighter. He’s down! I mean, I remember this one time, after a fight some guy threw some beer in the ring at me and Ozzy jumped straight out of the ring and started ‘throwing down’ into a packed crowd; beast!
You went 3-0 as an amateur before turning pro with a current record of 2-2. Personally I feel people do not give you the credit you’re due; Having fought Joe Orrey in your first pro fight who is the current Painpit Bantamweight Champion for which you won; Nad Narimani who is now at Cage Warriors which resulted in a second round loss. You’re a guy who will rise to the challenge of a tough fight and not back away, why?
I know I haven’t fought as much as my teammates over the last few years due to personal reasons. I finally feel I’m at a stage now, where I can go to other MMA gyms and not feel completely out of my depth. Back then when I was younger, I suppose I used to think of myself as a kid and perhaps I felt as if I didn’t belong with these guys but that’s changed now.
Looking back I feel I rushed the start of my career and should have had at least double the amount of amateur fights that I had; ultimately it doesn’t really matter now though.
I’ve heard you’ve been over to The MMA Lab in Arizona to do some training. Firstly how was the whole experience; secondly did you get the chance to train and roll with Benson Henderson; thirdly tell me more about trainer/fighter Joe Murphy.
Yeah I spent 4 months in 2014 over at the MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona. It’s a great place. That gym is a martial artists dream. I THINK it has the most UFC fighters training in a single room anywhere in the world. The amount of lightweights and featherweights there is, is unreal! Everyone trains hard as fuck and there isn’t anything that someone wouldn’t be real good at. In my opinion it is the very best MMA gym in the world. John Crouch is a 2nd degree BJJ Blackbelt under Royce I BELIEVE and he is a wicked coach.
Yeah I’ve rolled with Benson. It was not nice (in a good way), that guy is a physical specimen. He really is something different and I’ve yet to see an athlete that’s close to his calibre.
Joe Murphy is a cool guy! Real good BJJ and he’s also a big fella for the MMA weight he fights at. He caught me in some funky omoplata shit when we were rolling one time and I was thinking “what the fuckkkk”.
For those people who do not know you or who have never met you, how would you describe yourself as a person then as a fighter?
As a person? hmmm… That would be a bit biased hearing an opinion on myself.
I’d like to say fucking legendary but I’m sure someone will disagree somewhere haha!
Would you say that there are any similarities between you and a young ‘Nick Diaz’ at all, as in his fighting mentality, his confidence – which more than often is misconstrued into being more cocky and arrogant than what it really is and that of his ingenious fighting style?
Nah there’s no similarities that guy is insane!
Do you think the key to a successful fighter is self belief in being mentally prepared as much as physically being prepared, if not more so?
The fight game is 90% mental I’ve come to realise that if you’re not in it mentally as much as you can be, you aren’t in it at all!
You’re facing Julian Kerr this Saturday March 7th at MECA, Swindon. Do you know much about your opponent or the challenges he could pose on the night?
If I remember right he said he had “perfect standup” We’ll see!
At the Pre-fight press conference I noted one of your quick-witted responses “You can be an inch taller but six feet under is quite low” looking back on that, what are your thoughts?
Haha I was having fun. I was chilling!
What can we expect to see from you on the night when you face Julian Kerr at RAGED UK?
As you’re the home town fighter, do you feel for once having a big home crowd will play a big part into the atmosphere and how you feel once those cage doors shut on Saturday night?
I’m hoping to draw the energy from the crowd and fire it into Julian through combat. It will be nice not be booed in my home town for once!
Lastly is there any sponsors or anyone you would like to thank?
Shout out to my team SVT, we train hard, we’ve really grown as a team lately too and there’s a good vibe. Shout out to Oz, and my kickboxing coach Daniel Hughes out of Scorpion kickboxing gym.
Thank you for your time Alex it’s appreciated.
You can keep up to date on Alex on his Facebook page here.
RAGED UK takes place this Saturday, 7th March at Swindon MECA.
Tickets will be available on the door (subject to availability)
Photo Credits: Alex Brunnen/Tear-up/Knuckle-up