‘Alex Brunnen does not pose a challenge to me’ – Brad Watchorn


Brad Watchorn [5-6] will be stepping into the cage this Saturday, August 1st at Raged UK MMA 2 in Swindon, at the M.E.C.A, where he will be going into enemy territory and facing hometown favourite Alex Brunnen [3-2].

Brad Bellator Watchorn

The 25-year-old from Bracknell, Berkshire is no stranger to entering ‘enemy territory’ so to speak, being a former Grenadier Guard in the Military has taught Brad that stepping into enemy territory is to be doing something you love and is all part and parcel of your job.

Finding a love for Boxing aged 8, Brad decided that is where he would first start his journey into what has now evolved into MMA, but it was not a straight path of just MMA that interested Brad.

“I started boxing when I was about 8 years old down at the local boxing gym and as I was going through my teenage years I started to get into a lot of street fights, I mean a lot, to a point where I knew I needed to go and focus on something.  So I found Ian Hawkins gym and I started to train there”

Since the first time he could lace up his own Ice Skates he had always had an interest in Ice Hockey, so much so, Brad made the Professional Ice Hockey Team at the age of 15 playing for the Bracknell Bees which also enabled him to travel to Canada for 2 years to play over there and gain even further experience.

“I’ve been skating since as long as I can remember from around 5 years old. I worked my way up from the Junior set-up in Bracknell to the Pro team at 15. Ice Hockey players are of a special, different kind of breed. It’s a fast paced contact sport with a close-knit ‘family team’ vibe. From the road trips to hanging out together you are all part of a team which even extends itself to the infamous ice hockey ‘fights’ on the rink.”

Brad Watchhorn (Bracknell Bees) and  Nicky Watt (Swindon Wildcats) at link centre Swindon by bluelinephotography.co.uk

Upon leaving the Military Brad now juggles working full-time as a Roofer, competing in professional MMA and also professional Ice Hockey, let alone all the training involved for both sports which leaves little to no time for any down time.

“It’s not too bad when the hockey season is on its off-season but when the season is on there is not a lot of spare time. But I always make time and spend time with my daughter no matter what. Family time is important to me.”

Fighting out of Fight Science Gym in Aldershot owned by legendary MMA fighter Nick ‘Headhunter’ Chapman and occasional visits to The Bat Cave for sessions with Brendan Flannigan, Brad is looking forward to Saturday nights event with Alex Brunnen.

“There’s been a bit of banter on social media, mainly by Alex with quite a few private messages I’ve had, which in fairness I find him hilarious. He’s a rangy fighter like myself but come Saturday I’m going to stand and bang with him”

From going from ‘The Warrior’ to ‘Bellator’ which is latin for Warrior, a name given to him by veteran fighter Ian Hawkins, come Saturday night with an army full of ‘Watchorn’ fans making their way down to Swindon one thing is for sure this is going to be one exciting, fast paced, explosive fight.

Brad would like to thank the following people:

The Fight Connection, Fight Science, Paul Dash

Tickets available from all fighters, The Forum, The Khyber, DREAMLOUNGE, Sailor’s grave or www.swindontickets.co.uk  £20 Standard  £40 V.I.P

Photo Credit Main: Jack Moggridge

Photo Credit 1: Graham Finney

Photo Credit 2: bluelinephotography.co.uk

The ‘Killa Bee’ Instinct – Bryony Tyrell on her BCMMA Title Fight


Bryony Tyrell will be competing for her first amateur title on BCMMA 11 this Saturday, June 13th in Colchester, Essex in what will be her toughest challenge to date in a strawweight bout against hard-hitting Wendy McKenna.

Bryony Tyrell GnP #UIC14  by Chris Scadden

Bryony Tyrell is a 35-year-old, married mother of two, who by day works as a Cardiac Intensive Care Research Nurse at Southampton General Hospital and in her ‘spare’ time is a Mixed Martial Artist, competing all over the country in the sport she loves.

Having started out in Martial Arts 15 years ago, first in the art of Kickboxing and Kung Fu, Bryony has also trained in Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga (for 2 years) before adding Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing and BJJ to the mix since starting her amateur career in MMA 3 years ago.

“Martial arts are my passion in life. I love the contrast that they can be beautiful and deadly at the same time. Anyone that practices a martial art to a high level knows that it involves incredible dedication and discipline and also pushes your body and mind to the limits of endurance.”

Bryony took her new-found passion head on, and started to gain experience by competing in several different tournaments, in many styles so she could keep on evolving and improve her ever-growing arsenal of tools to make her the all rounded athlete she is today.

“The only way to truly know how good you are at fighting is to compete, and that’s where the MMA comes in. Being locked in a cage with another trained fighter who can use pretty much any style or technique against you is the ultimate test. I’d always liked the idea of MMA but I wasn’t sure if I was tough enough for it, it wasn’t until I started Krav Maga that I thought I should go for it. MMA is the closest thing to it and also compliments it very well.”

With a current record of 3-2 in her amateur MMA career thus far, Bryony who trains out of Southampton’s Exile Gym will be facing her toughest challenge to date in the form of BKK Fighter Wendy McKenna [3-1] for the BCMMA Women’s Strawweight Amateur Title on Saturday, June 13th in Colchester, Essex.

“I’m very honoured to be offered the opportunity to fight for a title. BCMMA approached me after their last show and of course I jumped at the chance. Wendy and myself have a similar experience in MMA which will make for an exciting match-up.”

Bryony Tyrell (c) Stephen Smith - Fast and Furious

Bryony knows that come fight night, as with every other fight she has trained for in her amateur career preparation is key in getting to know her opponent before she has stepped foot into the cage on the night.

“Wendy holds the BCMMA Women’s Flyweight Title. She is a good boxer so obviously her punches are going to be strong but I’m also expecting her to have very good footwork and great cardio. I’m quite lucky as an MMA fighter because I feel comfortable on my feet and on the ground. I think my strengths definitely lie within my kicks and wrestling.”

For thrill seeking, adrenalin junkie Bryony who in her additional ‘spare’ time used to Base Jump, Sky Dive and Bungee Jump the times have changed, she is now a Company Director of her own branch of Exile MMA Southampton Central and is thriving on her new challenge, although she is very much looking forward to a much-needed break having little to no down time at the minute.

“It’s been a massive learning curve and pretty stressful if I’m honest. It’s still early days but it’s going well. With Exile Gym booming over the last 2 years the owners felt it was time to open another new gym, this gave rise for me to take on more of a managing and coaching role in the gym. It’s such a huge part of my life that it seemed silly to pass up such a great opportunity.

Being based at Pound for Pound Training Ground in the centre of Southampton. Pound for Pound was already an established and well-respected boxing academy run by Steve Barnes. Steve runs all his boxing classes for novice up to pro boxers and Exile runs classes for Gi BJJ, NOGI BJJ, Wrestling, MMA striking and Muay Thai. We also have independent classes for Krav Maga, Kung Fu and Chinese Kickboxing. It’s made for a great collaboration between two of the best gyms in Southampton.

I’m definitely looking forward to having a break after this Saturday. Lots of bbq’s with the family over summer.”

Bryony Tyrell (c) Daniel Rose at Phoenix Fight Night

With anything in life comes confidence but Bryony has always been adamant about one thing and that is about her Amateur MMA career, it has always been about gaining experience, so much so, Bryony was given a new fighting nickname in the process and went from ‘Gazelle’ to ‘Killa Bee’.

“I think Gazelle suited me at first because I used to feel like I was going to be eaten alive when I stepped into the cage…lol. Fortunately with experience I’ve grown in confidence and toughened up. After I won my last 2 fights by ground and pound my coach re-named me ‘Killa Bee’. I really like it because lots of people call me Bee anyway and the Look Borai (our Muay Thai gym) colours are black and gold.”

Bryony would like to thank the following people in helping her reach her goals so far:

I would like to thank all my wonderful coaches and training partners at Exile, Look Borai and Pound for Pound that have helped me prepare for the fight. My brother who has helped me massively with setting up the new gym and is a constant source of advice and support.  Lastly I would like to thank my long-suffering husband who I can never thank enough for putting up with my crazy antics…lol.

I would also like to thank my sponsors THT Plumbing and Home Improvements for providing me with my nutritional supplements and Temple Fight Gear for my fantastic new fight wear.

You can keep up-to-date with Bryony on her Facebook account here.

You can Follow Bryony on her Twitter account here.

BCMMA 11 takes place Saturday, June 13th, Charter Hall, Colchester

Click here for more information.

Photo Credit: 1 Chris Scadden

Photo Credit: 2 Stephen Smith

Photo Credit: 3 Daniel Rose 

‘Determination will get you far’ Polly Beauchamp on her MMA Career


Polly Beauchamp [1-0] will be stepping into the cage for the second time on Saturday, June 6th at Ultimate Impact 15 in Gloucester, GL1 Leisure Centre where she will be facing Monica Nix [0-1].

Photo Credit Barbelles Magazine
Photo Credit Barbelles Magazine

The 28-year-old who is originally from a little village called Westwood in Bath but now resides in Melksham, Wiltshire is no stranger to Martial Arts. Having started out in the world of Karate at a very young age before taking a break and re-finding a love for Kickboxing, Polly soon realised she could make more of her abilities. First training out of Revolution Gym in Trowbridge with Owner and professional MMA Scott Clist she began applying her first initial steps into the world of adult combat sports.

“I mainly started for a hobby really and fitness but as soon as fighting became an option I took it more seriously and enjoyed the discipline. Having Scott as a coach meant he knew how hard we had to be pushed and Scott helped me to compete in my first kickboxing fight”.

After racking up an amateur Kickboxing record of 3-0 and an amateur K1 record of 1-0, Polly decided to add in MMA to her already growing arsenal of tools. After already adding renowned and arguably one of the best South West Gyms into her training regime, Trojan Free Fighters in Cheltenham, Polly started making the 130 mile round trip and finally made Trojans her second home.

“I now train at Trojan where the level of training has stepped up. I started training at Trojan when I was still at Revolution as I felt I needed to mix up my training and train with people who pushed me harder as I progressed. I started to train more and more at Trojan and less at Revolution and then when Revolution shut it was right for me to move to Team Trojan full-time as I could see my self progressing and have lots of very good training partners there.

To be honest the 130 mile round trip to the gym has just become part of my lifestyle now! It is draining sometimes and my days are long and can be stressful with work but I absolutely feel it is worth it.”.

Photo Credit Steve Dyer
Photo Credit Steve Dyer

With working a 9-5 job as a Manager for Future Publishing in Bath, commuting a 130 mile round trip up to 3-4 times a week and sometimes on the infamous sparring  ‘Meat Day’ Sunday, there doesn’t seem to be much down-time for Polly.

“I don’t tend to have much chill or relaxation time as I have to do house chores etc when I’m not working or at the gym so  I am always on the go, but I kind of like it! I do get to spend some time with my partner, family and friends so that’s good. I get bored easily so my lifestyle suits me fine currently.”.

On Saturday, June 6th Polly will be making her second outing in MMA, under promotion Ultimate Impact on their fifteenth show at GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester and will be competing against Monica Nix who trains out of London Fight Factory who currently holds a record (according to sherdog) [0-1] in amateur MMA. Being trained now by owner and head coach of Trojan Free Fighters Paul Sutherland for whom is an accomplished athlete within his own rights, Paul has a unique way of connecting with all his students to make sure they have a great working partnership especially when it comes to fightcamp and learning all about their up-and-coming opponents.

“I have watched footage of Monica’s fights and know my coach has too but you never know how a fight is going to go so I think you should always be ready for anything! Coming from a stand up background I am comfortable on my feet but I’ve learnt a lot at Trojan and had a good camp where I feel we have covered all the bases well, so we’ll just see what happens on the night!”

Photo Credit Chris Scadden
Photo Credit Chris Scadden

This is an unbelievable, committed young lady who in my opinion will go along way in this sport, with her sheer determination and all the natural fighting skills she brings to the table. Polly is not one to have a ‘Ritual’ as such before each fight but she did say ” I always eat and drink the same thing after weigh in but that’s it really” 

Polly really does seem to have her feet firmly placed on the floor and the only one piece of TV time she does make time for is none other than The Ultimate Fighter and since we are on the new season TUF21 American Top Team VS Blackzilians which has one of Polly’s favourite female fighters who trains out of ATT Tecia Torres, teammates taking part the obvious thing to do was ask #WhatSideAreYouOn?

“Ah TUF! One of the only things I do watch! Although I feel it is going downhill and I’ve been disappointed with this series. I think the quality of fights so far have been quite poor to be honest. so I’m not fussed either way who wins!”

At the moment it does appear that Polly has not got a fighting nickname, I know they come with time and your coach usually gives them to you; well Polly has been training at Trojans since 2013 (and a few years before that) and I personally think it’s about time for her to get a fighting nickname, she has definitely earned a fight worthy nickname!

Polly would like to say a big Shout Out to the following people:

Everyone at Trojan Free Fighters, particularly Paul!

Clare Wheller my Physio who is just awesome, Maple scaffolding who help me with clothing and always support my fights, Contender Gym who help with extra boxing training, Sci-MX who sponsor the gym and help out the fighters with supplements which are great! Adam my boyfriend who tolerates me lol

Doors Open 4pm

GL1 Leisure Centre

Gloucester

You can follow Polly on her Twitter account here

You can keep up-to-date with Polly on her Facebook account here

You can click here to order tickets for Saturday’s Ultimate Impact Event online

Or you can contact anyone of the fighters listed below

You can also get some limited available tickets from the venue GL1 Leisure Centre on the day

Standard TIckets £25.00

Cageside Tickets £35.00

Single V.I.P Tickets £45.00

Please note that their maybe an extra surcharge for tickets bought on the day/door

 Ultimate Impact 15

FULL FIGHT CARD AND RUNNING ORDER

Tommy Cook v Craig White MW Pro MMA Title

Dawid Masel v David Willmot WW Pro K1 Title

Greg Reeves v Jon Spoors BW Pro K1 Title

BREAK

Danny T Joel v Phil Wells WW Pro MMA

Philip Kite v Jack Shore LW Ammy MMA

Jaiah B Turay v Jake O’Hagan 86kg Catchweight Ammy MMA

Mitchell Head v Mark Finney LW Pro MMA

Andrew Brew v Will Jones LHW Ammy MMA

Lukasz Marcinkowski v Greg Summers MW Ammy MMA

BREAK

Jessica Mawby v Andree Warbrick 54kg Catchweight Ammy k1

Monica Nix v Polly Beauchamp Strawweight Ammy MMA

Liam Fulford v Ryan Mendez FW Ammy MMA

Marcus Stevens v Jay Garrington LW Ammy MMA

Jesse Wright v Isaak Falzon 86kg Catchweight Ammy MMA

Main Photo Credit: Barbelles Magazine

‘With each fight I compete in I keep growing’ – Chris Astley on BAMMA Debut


Chris Astley [2-2] will be making his BAMMA  debut at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday April 25th facing Harry Marple [1-0].

Chris Astley RNC Win By NJF Photography
Chris Astley photo by  NJF Photography

The 29-year-old from Bristol, who trains out of arguably one of the best gyms in the South West ‘Trojan Free Fighters’, under the tutelage of owner/head coach Paul Sutherland for whom is an accomplished athlete within his own rights (ISKA Kickboxing Title Winner, Cage Warriors Lightweight Title, Ultimate Combat Lightweight Title and of course an Official UFC Judge), has only been training and competing in Mixed Martial Arts for three years and is still learning the trade.

“I used to play quite a lot of football and it is what I did all my life. I then fell out of love with the sport as the game was changing so I found a local MMA club in Bristol at the time (BCL – Bristol Combat Legion) for which I did a bit of boxing just for fitness.  It was then I decided to do an Interclub at Trojan Free Fighters with no headshots. The adrenalin and the buzz from winning out weighed anything the football ever did and I clearly got the bug for the sport. At the end of the football season I hung up my boots and have never looked back.  To this day I have never touched a football and went into MMA.”

Racking up an official amateur record of four wins and one defeat including winning the Throwdown 3 Welterweight Title against Chay Ingram, aptly named: Taste the Pain in June 2013, Chris then decided it was time to venture into the Pro ranks.

Wining his Pro debut he then took a huge step up in opponent, which is a testament to the fighter Chris has become in fighting rising welterweight athlete Adam Boussif [3-2 at the time], it was not to be Chris’s night. This by no means dampened Chris’s spirits or soul as he was straight back into fight camp and competed in two more scheduled fights before taking a long overdue break.

“Having had some time out and not having the pressure of fight camp I have enjoyed training more.  I am now able to play with my technique and open my mind up more than what I was doing whilst in back to back fight camps. I am still in my early days of my fighting career, so with each fight I compete in, I am growing”.

Refreshed from last year, Chris is more than ever ready for his new challenge, which comes in the form of Harry Marple [1-0] for which he will be facing at BAMMA 20 on Saturday, April 25th at The Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham and he is looking forward to welcoming Harry to the Welterweight division.

Harry is stepping up from lightweight to welterweight. He is of similar build to myself, long and rangy. Regardless who you fight, every time you fight someone its a different fight and anything can happen. I respect him, I respect his record, but it’s not something I fear, it’s not something that enters my mindset, if anything, people may think I am the underdog which I am more than happy to accept and I am comfortable with. I am looking forward to Saturday night as I know I am confident wherever the fight goes”

Chris Astley - Team Trojan
Chris Astley – Team Trojan

Family is everything to Chris, literally and figuratively. After all, spending so much time at the gym  it has become a second home, so making sure the gym he trains at is full of motivation, inspiring people to help push him through those hard days when he feels he does not want to be there is a tough ask of anybody. But at Trojan Free Fighters they know how to get the best out of all of their students, especially owner/head coach Paul Sutherland who has a unique way that he can connect to all his athletes on so many different levels and he is able to get the results that show many a time again.

“Paul has everyone’s respect before he even talks to you. He holds that respect within the gym and he looks after everyone, whether you are there to fight or whether it is your first time in the gym. He will hold that respect and in return will expect that respect back. Paul is a straight talking person if you need to work on something or if he is not happy with something he will tell you in the right way, if you’re doing well he will also tell you in a positive way. We have a good vibe in the gym which produces  great attitudes, and a very good work ethic in the gym, and a  great family atmosphere. It is my second home, my home from home. We are a family unit. A team. We are all quite close and look after one another”.

Being a regular on Ultimate Impact Events and also a fan favourite. I’m sure there will be a lot of noise in the Barclaycard Arena for the debut of Chris Astley and for all of his fans watching at home on SPIKE TV in the UK for which BAMMA 20 will be airing from 10pm and the live prelim stream on the Lonsdale Facebook page from 7pm.

Chris Astley UIC by Seth Bates
Chris Astley at UIC by Seth Bates

Chris would like to give an honorable mention to Mario Saeed for whom has been by his side throughout his journey thus far, and been there through thick and thin with him.

And last by no means Chris would like to thank the following sponsors and supporters.

“Everyone at Trojan, All my Sparring partners, All my coaches, SCI-MAX, Marc Allen, Mario Saeed, The Boss – Paul Sutherland, Kate James my nutritionist, All my family and friends and BAMMA for giving me the opportunity to compete on their show”.

Side note: Chris Astley is not related to Rick Astley although he is ‘Never gonna give you up’  🙂

You can keep up-to date with Chris by following him on his Twitter account here and Facebook page here.

Photo Credit: NJF Photography

Photo Credit: Seth Bates Photography

Photo Credit: Steve Dyer

‘I know I will never have an opponent as tough as my teammates’ Lauren Murphy


Lauren Murphy [8-1] will this weekend be facing Liz Carmouche [9-5] in her second outing for the UFC at Fight Night 63 in Fairfax, Virginia.

Not only is Lauren one tough athlete in the octagon, she also says exactly how she feels without holding back.

In this interview, I asked Lauren not only about her upcoming fight with Liz Carmouche, her thoughts on the Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia fight but the current scoring system in place, amongst a few other gems and let’s just say Lauren has not minced her words. Have a read.

Lauren Murphy UFC
Lauren Murphy UFC

First of I’d like to take you back to your fight with Sara McMann and I’d like to ask, as Joe Rogan puts it “UFC jitters really exist”.  Did you feel this in your UFC debut fight, and did that did happen for you or as you stated in our last interview “It is just another cage. There maybe a few more cameras, a few more lights, a few more people in the audience, but there is only one opponent and she is human, just like me”.

I got a little jittery. I was under the bright lights, fighting a woman I’d only ever seen on TV in the world-famous Octagon. It was a little nerve-wracking. I got excited and didn’t think as well as I wanted to.

Talking of your debut fight against Sara McMann, having being scored in the way that it was and although you were the more active fighter, even from bottom position landing shots (and I’m not taking anything away from Sara McMann in that fight), do you feel the judging system as a whole needs to be looked at in the way judges are scoring these kind of fights?

I think the thing that we could really revise would be, I’d like to see judges explain why they think one fighter won a particular round. Just a quick sentence on the scorecard would be sufficient: “Maintained top position”, “was more active fighter”, “landed more effective punches/kicks”; something like that. Sometimes after fights we’re all left wondering what fight the judges were looking at, and I think if they had to provide an explanation we wouldn’t be so confused.

It was announced 10 weeks ago that you would be facing Liz Carmouche at UFC Fight Night 63 in Fairfax on April 4th for your second UFC outing. True Lauren Murphy fans will know that you never shy away from a tough fight, infact you welcome them. What was your initial reaction when Sean Shelby offered you this fight, as I know you had been vocal on social media about other possible match-ups? 

I said yes right away. My manager called me with the matchup and I knew it was perfect immediately. I’d still like to fight Bethe Correia.

Okay so I’m just going to throw this one in here! When I saw on your Twitter feed a fair few weeks back, that you were asking to fight Bethe Correia, my own eyes lit up.  Lauren Murphy fans that know you, know that you bring it in every fight that you have, so in saying that, you and Bethe in my own opinion would have made perfect sense in adding value and integrity, let alone a perfect match up stylistically, but it was not meant to be! How do you feel that the champion Ronda Rousey has a crack at putting Bethe Correia in her place, as Ronda Rousey has clearly stated it was her choice because of it being personal?

I think it’s ridiculous. Bethe is not a great fighter. She has zero punching power, is a mediocre grappler and can’t wrestle. She’s always talking about the “power of her hands” and “the weight of her fists”….no one believes that shit. She beat Jessamyn Duke in a decision and then beat Shayna Baszler. No one is impressed by that. They are the two worst fighters in any division in the UFC, who cares if she beat them. Her opponents have a combined record of 1-6 in the UFC, and the “1” is a win over Peggy Morgan who is no longer in the UFC after having one fight. I guess the UFC gave Bethe to Ronda to fight as a favor…that’s a pretty big favor. 

Lauren Murphy first official UFC weigh-In
Lauren Murphy first official UFC weigh-In

You’ve been at The MMA Lab for quite a while now. How do you find that you have settled in, and how are you finding that you have been evolving, whilst being under the tutelage of John Crouch and training with arguably some of the best athletes around at the moment such as Benson Henderson, Jocelyn Lybarger, Joe Riggs and Mitch Clarke? 

 I’ve been at The MMA Lab for a year! I love it there. The team is a family, everyone is very kind. When I got there I felt like the worst fighter in the room, and maybe I was, but because of that, I’ve come a loooong way. The training is difficult but the reason I love it so much is because I know I will never have an opponent as tough as my teammates, and no fight will be as hard as any fight camp I go through.

Once again according to MMA Odds for your upcoming fight against Liz Carmouche, it appears you are ‘The underdog’ – I know you have previously stated you ‘like being the underdog’ but just for once, wouldn’t it be nice to have the betting odds on your side? (although self belief beats betting odds any day in my opinion). 

 It doesn’t matter to me. The odds makers don’t know shit. They don’t know how hard I’ve worked, they don’t see the progress I’ve made. It doesn’t matter to me what they think. It’s just like the media controlled rankings. The rankings are a joke. The media decides who they like by who gives the best interviews, creates the most traffic for their site, and who they are buddies with, not by who fights the best. I decided a while ago that none of that matters.

Looking at Liz Carmouche’s record, she has 6 TKO wins, 2 Submission wins, 1 decision win and 5 losses, subsequently you also have 6 TKO wins, 2 decisions and the split decision loss to Sara McMann.  On paper this looks set to be pretty much a great striking battle with knockout potential, although, this is MMA we are talking about, therefore anything can happen.  Without giving your own game plan away, what do you hope Liz Carmouche brings to the cage On April 4th? 

I don’t know what Liz will do. Neither of us have ever been known as great strikers, all our TKO’s come on the ground from ground and pound. If it comes to a striking battle, it’ll be because we’re evenly matched as grapplers. It doesn’t matter, I’m ready for anything!

What challenges do you think Liz Carmouche may pose on the night and where do you feel that you will be stronger in this fight?

Liz is strong, and tough, and she works hard…But no one works harder than I do, no one is harder on themselves than I am, so no one makes the progress between fights that I make. I am not underestimating how physical she is, or how tough she is. Those are her biggest strengths. I’ve just been working on being a better MMA fighter. I think that’s where I’ll be strongest.

Liz Carmouche broke WMMA history in being one of the first women to compete in the new UFC bantamweight division, with obviously the title holder and current champion Ronda Rousey, for which she gladly asked for the fight. When news came through that the UFC were now having 1) a female bantamweight division, 2) Ronda Rousey was given the title, 3) Liz Carmouche offered to fight Ronda Rousey and in turn made WMMA history. Did this motivate you even harder in striving to becoming a better athlete yourself, for when you finally accepted the UFC’s offer this time around?

Yes.

In the eight months you have been ‘off’, as there have been no scheduled fights for you (not, that you have not been asking of course), have you been competing in any BJJ/Grappling competition’s at all just so you can sharpen up your arsenal of weapons in your ever-growing box of tools?  If so can you talk me through your achievements you have gained during this time competing.

I competed at no-gi worlds this year and won my division and placed in the open. That was pretty cool, but next year I’d like to do it again at a higher belt level. I also did a couple gi tournaments and stuff, just working on my grappling in general.

Lauren Murphy at the Atlanta Open
Lauren Murphy at the Atlanta Open

UFC Media Days! How do you think you managed your first one back in August 2014, for your debut fight against Sara McMann and how are you feeling about this one coming up for your fight against Liz Carmouche, is it a case of knowing what is to be expected from you now?

I haven’t been a part of any media days. I just give a couple of interviews to different outlets through the week, but it’s been like that for every fight for the last several years.

Let’s talk about ‘The Lauren Murphy Documentary’ – I heard it is now complete and you had your own private viewing so you could sit back and enjoy the moment. What was it like to finally see it on-screen completed and did it exceed your expectations?

A guy named Jay Clark edited the documentary and put all the footage together, and he did an amazing job. It was really well done. It just shows a small part of my story, who I am, what I’ve done. Maybe someone somewhere will be inspired by it.

I’m still not sure where it’s going to be released, probably at small theaters locally around Houston and Alaska, and then we’ll go from there. It might end up on YouTube.

Lastly are there any sponsors or Thank You’s you would like to give to anyone?

Always I want to thank my team, which not only includes my coaches and team mates, but also my husband, who is my rock, and my best friends, who are the peanut butter and jelly of the bread slices of my life. I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me for this fight, particularly MMA Signatures. AJ Hiller (the owner of the company) is a great dude and has a really cool business idea, so make sure you check him out.

Many thanks for your time Lauren it is always appreciated.

You can keep up to date with Lauren on her Twitter account here.

You can keep up to date with Lauren of her Facebook page here.

You can keep up to date on The Lauren Murphy documentary here.

UFC Fight Night 63, happens this Saturday, April 4th from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virgina. Headlined by Chad Mendes vs. Ricardo Lamas and free to air on FOX Sports 1, BT Sports in the UK.

If you have missed any of the previous articles on Lauren you can view them here:

https://fiveroundswithemma.com/2013/12/07/introducing-the-inspiring-lauren-murphy-a-true-fighter-in-every-sense-of-the-word/

https://fiveroundswithemma.com/2013/12/12/part-2-introducing-the-inspiring-lauren-murphy/

https://fiveroundswithemma.com/2014/08/07/i-like-being-the-underdog-lauren-murphy-on-ufc-debut/

Photo Credits: Lauren Murphy Facebook

Photo Credits: Altanta Open/Kill Cliff/Moskova

‘Park is a good kicker, but as soon as I am inside kicking range, he will go to sleep’ Chi Lewis-Parry on GLORY WS Debut


British athlete Chi Lewis-Parry will be making his GLORY World Series debut this Friday, April 3rd in Dubai on the Superfight Series 20 section of the card.

The 6ft 9in, 115 Kg heavyweight, who, is also still actively signed to Asian Mixed Martial Arts company ONE Championship, will be facing Yong-Su Park in his debut performance for GLORY World Series.

I caught up with Chi before he flew out to Dubai and all I can say is, we managed to cover, GLORY WS, Yong-Su Park, ONE Championship, Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, and much more, have a read.

Chi Lewis-Parry GLORY 20 DUBAI Photoshoot by James Law
Chi Lewis-Parry GLORY 20 DUBAI Photoshoot by James Law

I know you have had a family vacation in Canada, was there any ‘slipping off’, say to Tri-Star Gym to fit some training in or was it purely a family vacation?

I did think about it and it did cross my mind. I did contact Tri-Star but because I was only in Canada for seven days to see my family as it was my sons 2nd birthday, I would have been there a whole day. As anyone who knows me, family come’s first.

It was announced on 24th February 2015, that you signed to GLORY World Series, congratulations. Can you talk me through how that opportunity presented itself to you?

I got a call from my management (Mogul Fight Management) whilst I was in Canada on vacation, stating that GLORY World Series were interested in me.  I asked my manager to email me over the contract there and then so I could look it over, after going down to concierge to receive it, I signed it practically straight away and emailed back. I was more than excited to showcase my striking skills to the world.

Your opponent for your debut GLORY  bout has now changed and you will now be facing Yong-Su Park instead of Xavier Vigney.  How long ago did you know of the change and what was your initial reaction to the news?

I found out Vigney had pulled out before I had another opponent;  obviously I was disappointed. I’d been struggling to get fights and thought ‘oh no am I cursed’ but it didn’t take them [GLORY] long to get another opponent for me, within a week. It is a testament to GLORY as a promotion for how they got another opponent so quick.  I didn’t think for one second I wouldn’t get a fight, I knew I would get one.

As for Vigney it would have been a one-sided fight if he was still my original opponent,  he would have had nothing to trouble me with. When our paths cross meet again, and they will, he wont trouble me. I also see no problems with Park, ‘he is a good kicker but as soon as I am  inside kicking range he will go to sleep’.  Everyone has got a punchers chance. Every fight starts standing on their feet. I do not see any of these fights lasting [Vigney and Park].  You can read that anyway you want. I am not arrogant  or cocky in that way.  Buy the fight you will see.

Yong-Su Park brings a lot more wealth and experience than your original opponent.  I for one know you will welcome that, having said that, do you feel that there maybe any pressure on yourself now?

There is never any pressure.  I feel pressure to hurry up and get a flight to Canada and go and see my son, watch him grow up. Everyday, is a day lost not watching him grow up.  This is a guy fighting for whatever his reasons are, just like I am. His skillset vs. my skillset although, my skillset is ultimately better.  He is a good kicker for which I am excited about and that is a good scalping for me, coming from a Taekwondo background and saying I knocked you out with my hands, I didn’t kick you, what good were your kicks when you got knocked out?!

MMA fans know you for being signed to Asian Mixed Martial Arts company ONE Championship, now that you are also signed to GLORY World Series can you clear up the confusion between the two organisations and set the record straight?

I’m still very much with ONE Championship. I’m an active fighter within their promotion and I am very happy with them. I will be fighting for the title very soon, I don’t doubt that for a second, they are fully aware that I have signed with GLORY WS and vice versa. They are both totally different promotions one in Kickboxing and one in MMA , ultimately both great promotions. I feel this is the dawn of a new era, not just for fighters, but for british fighters coming out and with that I am saying we can fight on the biggest kickboxing shows and the biggest MMA shows side by side.

You have always stated that you have a great friendship in Alistair Overeem who has been a wealth of support and knowledge to yourself. With you now competing in both MMA and Kickboxing do you see yourself aiming to achieve what Alistair has already achieved in both sports thus far?

Absolutely. That’s exactly what goes through my mind. No one has done it since Alistair. It has come full circle.  Alistair has been my inspiration, from watching him in the sport to becoming my friend and training partner.  I am in the position where I can repeat what Alistair has done for which  there has already been a mapped out plan and it is running its course, that is the penultimate, that is where I want to be. It’s not like it can’t happen, I have to get through some tough guys, guys who are worthy of being champion, but I am not focussing on anybody else, I am just focussing on me.  I’m not even thinking about Park and what he can do, I am thinking about me and what I can do, where I am going and where I am going to be in a year from now.  I’m not doubting that  I can achieve the greatness on the level that Alistair Overeem has previously  shown, that will happen. I will get a shot at Rico Verhoeven [current heavyweight champion] and I will be the ONE Championship Heavyweight champion.

Talking of Alistair Overeem, the performance he gave at UFC 185 was in my opinion reminded me of the old Alistair Overeem and what he is still truly capable of. What were your own thoughts on his performance that night?

Brilliant. I spoke to him after the fight and said “Dude you were a scary man before, but you looked monstrous out there despite you were caught in the third round you looked very elusive”. Being down at Jackson’s MMA you can see he is absorbing a lot of other styles in him, you can see Jon Jones in him a lot, he looked like an animal.

His [Overeem’s] knees are hard, I know having sparred with him plenty of times, now I have to look for new patterns in him!

Being amongst one of the most mentally focussed athletes I have met and interviewed, where do you see yourself going  in the ranks of GLORY World Series and ONE Championship?

In the title mix for GLORY and I will be the champion of ONE Championship. I will earn my stripes for GLORY World Series but I will definitely be in the mix  as a title contender. The promotion is bigger, it will take a bit longer, but I am willing to earn my stripes, but I will be in the mix. ONE Championship it is a lot smaller division and I will be Heavyweight Champion.

In ONE Championship it appears Brandon Vera is hot on your list of opponents for whom you would like to respectfully challenge next, also it appears this is one the fans would also like to see, but he appears to be somewhat maybe, avoiding you?

I’ve had enough trying to be diplomatic about it, he is fat when he fights, he is out of shape when he is not fighting so he is probably super fat and super out of shape, therefore thinks this……This guy is on it, younger than me, he’s hungrier than me, hes game.  Eventually he has 3 options    1) Drop down the division and go to Light Heavyweight, 2) Retire or 3) Face me.   I’m ready to face him.

Chi Lewis-Parry GLORY 20 DUBAI Photoshoot by James Law

Chi Lewis-Parry GLORY 20 DUBAI Photoshoot by James Law

Who would you like to face next at GLORY World Series? Is there anyone that you already have on your ‘respectful achievement list’ so to speak?

I’m happy to earn my stripes. I’m happy to face whoever GLORY World Series put in front of me. I’m sure they a plan for me.

At GLORY ’10’ Nick Diaz’s good friend ‘Joe Schilling’ was taking part (for which he won) and he was quoted on saying “For me this is a little more of a hardcore sport than MMA or Boxing” with that in mind, what are your thoughts on the two different sports; MMA and Kickboxing?

You’re going to come across a different level of striker in GLORY as that is all they do, for a guy to come from a MMA world to go against a 100% striker you will be naive to think you can out strike a guy who does this all the time, everyday.  I have to break my training up, wrestling, jiu jitsu, striking so everything flows, my timing will be impeccable,  so in that respect, yeah you’re just standing there taking a beating, especially if you’re losing, you can’t take the guy down so you better man the fu*k up. Take care of business.

Your legendary training videos with best friend and training partner Danny Brennan; for people who do not know you or have not met you, can you describe the movement and motivation behind them?

I have a great relationship with Danny, we are the best of friends aswell as training partners. I was born a kid, I am still a big kid, I just like to have fun. When you’re in the gym everyday, all day, just battering your body you need to have a bit of a laugh. That is the method behind my goofy antics.

Your training camp for your upcoming GLORY World Series debut, has that solely been based here in the UK or have you managed to train anywhere else at all?

I will eventually move it to the US at the end of the year. All my camps have been here. Nothing is broke. I’ve have not needed to fix anything so I’ve stayed here.

Lastly, is there any sponsors you would like to give a shout out to and anyone you would like to thank at all?

Golds Gym UAE, Hooligans United, JYNutrition, Danny Brennan, Nick Chapman, Ollie Beard at Uniq Physique Gym.

Thank you for your time Chi, as always I appreciate it.

You can keep up to date with Chi’s movements by following his Twitter account here.

Chi’s website page here.

You can help support Chi by heading over to his clothing line here.

GLORY 20 DUBAI and GLORY Superfight Series 20 take place on Friday, April 3 at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The former airs in the US on Spike TV at 10pm ET while the latter airs via tape-delay on the CBS Sports network on Saturday April 4th. 8pm ET.

Uk viewers follow the link below:

Click here on how to watch GLORY 20 DUBAI from their LIVE stream from around 2.30pm on Friday, April 3rd, for only £6.74 ($9.99).

For the full fight card on GLORY 20 DUBAI click here.

Photo Credits: James Law

“I’m Putting Him [Ed Arthur] To Sleep In The First Round” Michael Cutting


From the Archieves on 6th June 2014, I spoke with Michael ‘GIP’ Cutting before his debut BAMMA fight against Ed Arthur.

Saturday 7th June 2014 at the O2 Guildhall in Southampton, Michael ‘Gip’ Cutting (5-1) will make his debut for promotion BAMMA for part of their ‘Fight Night’ Series.

Cutting a 23-year-old father of two who lives in Andover, Hampshire, started Mixed Martial Arts at the age of 17 “I started because I had anger issues and liked watching martial arts films. I wanted some discipline from the sport”.

Michael Cutting Respectfully Bowing in the Cage
Michael Cutting Respectfully Bowing in the Cage

In May 2008, he went down to his local club, KYOUKEN MMA in Andover and started channelling all his aggression into the new found love of Mixed Martial Arts, training in traditional jiu jitsu and MMA. Training for two years, he then had his first amateur fight in 2010 which was against Nick Parcker for which he realised he had a talent for the sport.

Speaking of Cutting’s fighting career, like with all things, you learn not to believe everything you read on the internet as it is not always correct, so I ask Mike to break down the record that Sherdog.com holds for him as a fighter, which is 4-2, and the one thing he states is that, it is in correct, he is infact currently 5-1.

Mike explains, “The fight with Russell Peacock was a Semi-Pro fight, therefore should not be on my Pro record. On October 5th 2013 I fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mansfield in Swindon on a show called CAGED for The International CAGED Championship Title for which I won due to a Verbal Submission of an armbar 3mins 06secs in the 3rd round, the promoter of that event still appears not to of sent the results of to Sherdog.com to get my record updated so unless people actually ask me for my record you will only ever get what is on the internet”.

Throughout Cutting’s fighting career, he has fought at various weight categories including 70kg, 66kg, and 61kg but now has his sights firmly on the bantamweight division “This is my home till I reach the top of the rankings”.

Michael Cutting vs Jason Jenkins at Painpit [Wales] (c) Huw Fairclough Short & Round
Michael Cutting vs Jason Jenkins at Painpit [Wales]
(c) Huw Fairclough Short & Round
Being able to train full-time, as a full-time fighter is a privilege in itself, especially when you have a team member like Alexei Roberts to train with. Getting to find out that they will be on the same card together, must also be a comfort knowing that both of the athletes will be in training camp together, being able to push and motivate one another “It’s awesome when you have the ‘BOOM’ in the room and on camp with you”.

Winning Gold in The English World Jiu Jitsu Championships in 2013 in the 67kg Division appears to have put Cutting back onto a winning streak. Since his last loss to Aaron Blackwell on May 18th 2013 when Blackwell won the ITC 8 Bantamweight Title after a five round fight, he then won the International CAGED Championship Belt against ‘Sugar’ Shane Mansfield due to a Verbal Submission of an Armbar and his most recent win was against Jason Jenkins who he defeated via Inverted Heel Hook 2mins 28secs Round one, which was very impressive and yet another submission win on his record.

Next up for Cutting is Ed Arthur on June 7th 2014 in Southampton at The O2 Guildhall for promotion BAMMA, for which he will will be competing on one of the UK’s biggest promotions “It’s a true privilege to be fighting on a big platform”.

Ed Arthur is not only unbeaten in his pro record [3-0] he has also won all six of his amateur fights, is there any added pressure on Cutting? “It doesn’t bother me, I’m better than him, in all areas, this is my fight and I’m taking the win”

It’s pretty fair to say that Ed Arthur definitely is not one to hang around come fight night, he usually comes in fast and the majority of his fights are over within the first round, with the exception being his last fight which went into the third round. I wondered if there was any chance of this fight going the distance? “I’m putting him to sleep in the first round, sleep tight”.

For the first time BAMMA will also have Amateur fights on the same fight card to start off the show, this will include another Team KYOUKEN Member Andy Hannon, it appears Team Kyouken will be having their own little family unit up in the O2 Guildhall come fight night, let alone family and friends.

In closing Cutting does not mince his words as he offers “I would like to thank my sponsor IMPACT LPA, all the team at kyouken, my family and friends and thanks to ED ARTHUR for the easy win”

Fight News Update

Unfortunately Michael Cutting did not get the Win. Ed Arthur Won Via RNC 1 min 58 secs Round Two.

 

PHOTO CREDITS: Huw Fairclough at Short & Round

“It will be a quick 1st round finish, or it will be a long drawn out back and forth battle” Helen’Hellraiser’Harper


British MMA athlete Helen Harper [3-0] today faces American, Cortney Casey at PXC 47 in Guam for her fourth Pro MMA fight.

The forever professional Harper, has flown thousands of miles across the world, from her home in the UK on her own, just so she can still keep on competing at top-level.

Here I get to speak with Helen (today, on the day of her fight), about her last victory, competing for PXC, up and coming female MMA athlete’s and that ONE contract she turned down!!

Helen Harper PXC 47 Profile Picture
Helen Harper PXC 47 Profile Picture

It’s been awhile since I’ve caught up with you, last time we spoke you were due to fight Simona Soukupova, which, unfortunately got cancelled due to Simona sustaining an injury, but I do believe you did manage to get another fight scheduled for a few weeks later.  Can you talk me through what that event was and how that went for you?

I did indeed get another fight, which was actually my last fight back in October. The fight was at ‘Say Uncle Fight Night’ in Sheffield, and I fought a girl from Gran Caneria called Nayra Acosta.

How did it feel to win in such a spectacular style in another TKO victory, in 4 minutes 37 seconds of the first round in that event on the evening of October 11th 2014?

I was pretty pleased with the win, obviously.  I was completely relaxed going into the cage which I think helped a lot. 

I’ve heard that in between your fights, you took part in some grappling competitions and that you had also been doing some training with Bryony Tyrell and Molly McCann.  Can you talk me through the grappling events and training with other like-minded female MMA athletes.

I have done a few grappling comps, although not as many as I would have liked as they are generally a little out my price range sadly. Training with Molly and the other girls was awesome, Molly is the next big thing in WMMA!  

Helen Harper Jiu Jitsu on the Beach Win via Armbar 2013
Helen Harper Jiu Jitsu on the Beach Win via Armbar 2013

You’re now 3-0 in your professional MMA career thus far and are set to face American Cortney ‘Cast Iron’ Casey (3-1) on Friday 13th March for your debut at Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) 47 in Guam.  How are you feeling about this new exciting challenge?

To be honest it’s all been a bit of a dream. Ever since I accepted the fight I’ve been telling people where and when it is but I don’t think I ever quite believed it would be happening. Now I’m sitting in my hotel room on fight morning and it really is!!

You’ve recently signed to PXC, can you talk me through how this came about?  Was it due to you being well-known through the Asian community, having spent 2 years at Phuket Top Team Training and living there before moving back to the UK?

I have been in contact with the guys from PXC for a while, and I would have loved to have fought for them back when I was in Phuket (it would have been a lot easier to get to then!).  I was struggling for fights so Ken (matchmaker) messaged me and offered me this fight with Courtney. I accepted the fight before knowing the opponent, although I knew who she was as soon as he said her name.

Helen Harper Weigh In PXC 47
Helen Harper Weigh In PXC 47

I also read somewhere, that you were offered a contract with Asian MMA promotion ONE? Firstly is this correct, secondly if so can you talk me through your reasoning as to why you felt it was not the right time to sign with ONE.

I was indeed offered a contract with ONE. My main problem was the lack of girls on their roster. It was an exclusive contract (meaning I could only fight for them) and at the time they only had 2 girls at 115 lbs (Ann Osman, who has now moved up to 125 lbs and Sherylin Lim who refused to make-weight and now doesn’t fight for anyone). On that basis I didn’t want to sign an exclusive 3 fight deal as I felt it would inhibit the progression of my career.

Looking back at that decision, is it something that you still stick by to this day for those reasons or is their just a tiny bit of you thinking ‘ I wonder where my career would be now, if I took that option’? 

To be honest, if the deal was the same (exclusive, 3 fight) I still wouldn’t sign. I believe unless there is a significant amount of fighters at your weight, signing an exclusive contract would not be productive. If it was non exclusive or a 1 fight deal then I would consider it.

On Friday 13th March, its fair to say that you will face your toughest challenge to date in that of  American Cortney ‘Cast Iron’ Casey at PXC 47 in Guam.  Have you managed to study any tape on Cortney, if so, have you and your team seen any holes in her overall game that you can exploit to your advantage? 

I’ve watched quite a few of Courtney’s tapes, she has a lot on YouTube. She’s very quick, and has some amazing submission transitions. Obviously I can’t give anything away on my part, but I will just say I’m more than ready for this.

Where do you feel that you will be stronger in this fight and where do you feel it may end up?

I have a feeling Courtney wants to take it to the ground, but who knows where it will end up!

Cortney has only seen the third round once and that was her second pro fight which resulted in a submission (Armbar) loss, back in October 2013, you yourself have only been to the third round once which was in your first pro MMA fight back in May 2013 for which you won.  You both have very similar styles.  Do you see this fight going all three rounds in an all out war or are we going to see a quick finish?

I can see it going one of two ways. Either it will be a quick first round finish, or it will be a long drawn out backwards and forwards battle. I’m happy with either, as long as I get my hand raised at the end of it!

Helen Harper vs Sammy Donnely at UIC
Helen Harper vs Sammy Donnelly at UIC 11

When you came back from Phuket, you made a new home at ‘ Andy Roberts BJJ’.  Can you talk me through how it feels to come back to the UK and to be accepted at a top UK Gym and also be treated like family?

Andy’s is amazing, I’ve made some friends for life there. I’ve also been training at Shinkick for Muay Thai and Urban Kings for some extra grappling. All three gyms have been nothing but supportive, kind and pushed me in the right direction. I’m very lucky to be able to train with such wonderful people.

I have to ask, your nickname ‘Hellraiser’ how did it come about?

The name Hellraiser actually started out as a bit of a joke. A friend of mine in Phuket used to shout ‘Hellraiser’ at me every time he saw me, and I didn’t even realise he was talking to me to start with. After a few weeks I started responding to it so it just stuck. When my first fight came around it made sense for it to be my nickname.

Since fight day is Friday 13th, are you superstitious at all, if so by what and what superstitions do you believe in?

I’m not really superstitious, I believe life is what you make it. Everything that seems ‘bad’ at the time usually happens for a reason (you just might not know the reason at the time). I’m all for walking under ladders with black cats, you only live once! 

Lastly, is their any sponsors or anyone you would like to Thank?

Absolutely! Firstly my sponsors: Xbrain (supplements), Battle Balm (herbal muscle relief), Str8 Cheer (sports bras) and Pony Club Grappling Gear (fight wear). Secondly the gyms I’m lucky enough to train at: Andy Roberts BJJ (Farnborough), Shinkick (Woking), Urban Kings (Kings Cross, London) and Mad Hatters (Chichester). Also, I’d like to thank each and every person that has sparred with me; gone over a bit of technique with me; pointed out a mistake of mine. Collectively you have all pointed me in the right direction! Finally, I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my insanely awesome family and my gorgeous boyfriend.  

Thank you for your time Helen, I really appreciate it.

You can watch Helen Harper take on Cortney Casey at PXC 47 today from 11.50 am UK time here.

 

Fight Order for PXC 47

Fight Order for PXC 47

You can keep up to date with Helen on her Fan page Faceback here.

Helen’s Twitter account here.

Helen’s personal webpage here.

Photo Credits: Helen Harper via her  Personal Facebook (Pics 1,2,3)

Photo Credits: Seth Bates – Ulitmate Impact 11 (Pic 4)

‘If I remember right he said he had “perfect stand-up” – Alex Brunnen


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.

Alex Brunnen

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.

Alex Brunnen

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!

Alex Brunnen
Alex Brunnen

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?

A war.

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 are £20 and £40 VIP available from all fighters, The Forum, The Khyber; alternatively  you can buy online at  www.swindontickets.co.uk or  click on their social media pages Facebook/Twitter.

Tickets will be available on the door (subject to availability)

RAGED UK EVENT POSTER
RAGED UK EVENT POSTER

 

Photo Credits: Alex Brunnen/Tear-up/Knuckle-up

 

 

 

“I’m not here just to make up the numbers I’m here to win fights” – Adam Little


Adam Little is a 26 year old amateur fighter from Swindon, who at the weekend will be making his home town debut at local MMA promotion RAGED UK.

Adam who is currently 2-0 and trains out of SVT/Scorpion Gym in Swindon and works full time, decided to push his own career one step further and co-train in London at Titan gym at his own expense to get the best out of his training, it also happens to be the home of UFC fighter Brad Pickett and Joseph Duffy, along with BAMMA fighter Ashleigh Grimshaw.

I got to speak with Adam about his up coming fight this Saturday, where we talk about his boxing, wrestling, Brad Pickett, plus some other exciting stuff…..take a look!

Adam Little and Brad Picket

Adam Little and Brad Picket

It’s been a while since I have caught up with you, which was when I last saw you fight at ITC 8 against Wayne Alden where you won in a stunning 0.48 second TKO (GnP) victory.  Can you talk me through what you have been doing since then.

Since ITC 8 I felt that my boxing and takedown defence was lacking leading up to that fight so I went  away and worked on that area of my training.

I have  had a couple of white-collar boxing fights in which I have won, in turn I feel that my stand up game has improved massively.

I now feel confident in myself in the areas that I have been working on, especially my wrestling aspect of my game. I just feel like I have managed to evolve my whole fighting style adding in a lot more technique to my arsenal of weapons, to fully complement what I already had in my skillset.

Working full-time, training here in Swindon at Scorpion Gym/SVT and finally finding another home at Team Titan in London.  How do you find enough hours in the week to fit everything in?

It can be an extremely long week but I’m thankful that I have a good employer who lets me take time of when I need to, especially when I am in a fight camp. I also try to fit in my runs, cardio before work in the mornings so I can focus more on technique and actual fight training in the evening.

For you then, this ultimately is a long-term career plan?

For sure, I’m not here just to make up the numbers im here to win fights. I’m looking to get a few more wins under my belt and compete a lot more regularly.

You’re now 2-0 in your amateur MMA career.  When do you think it will be a good time for you to turn pro and when do you think that will happen, realistically?

If everything goes to plan and this time next year I’m still doing well then I will speak to my coaches and see where we are all at.

You’re facing Reece Pearson this Saturday, March 7th on RAGED UK at the MECA in your home town Swindon, which will also be your first time fighting in front of a home crowd. How are you feeling?

I’m feeling brilliant leading up to this fight. My training has been the best it ever has been.  I can’t wait to get in there and show everyone watching what I can do.

Adam Little Tear Up
Adam Little Tear Up

Being the home town fighter, on home soil, how much does it mean to you to have support behind you?

The support is brilliant. My other fights have been out-of-town so it obviously makes it a lot harder for people to attend. This time I will have all my friends and family there and I’m sure they will raise the roof for all of the homes fighters on the card.

Training out of Swindon’s Scorpion Gym and SVT, you get to train with a wealth of combined knowledge in Michael ‘Oz’ Osbourne and Dan Hughes, along with Saturday night’s two main event fighter’s Phil Wells and Alex Brunnen.  What is it like training with all that combined knowledge in your local gym?

It’s brilliant training with guys like that. They’re not just coaches they have been there and done it. I’m learning more with every session and I can not thank them enough, as well as the other lads for the time and effort they’ve put into my fight preparation.

You also stated Team Titan is part of your home aswell, which is also home to UFC fighter Brad Pickett, newly signed UFC fighter Joseph Duffy and BAMMA fighter Ashleigh Grimshaw amongst many other elite athletes to say the least; Is it quite fair to say that this training camp for your upcoming fight is going pretty well then?

Yes the training camp is going brilliantly. Everything has gone to plan and the lads in London are all at elite level. Even the amateurs down there are champions and as far as I’m concerned being on the mats with people like them is priceless.

Being mentally prepared for a fight I would say, is as paramount as much as the physical aspect of training, if not, more so.  How much do you believe in having a strong mental attitude for your fights?

I think that mental strength and toughness is a massive part of the fight game. With the lads that I train with at both SVT and Titan I don’t think you have any choice but to be mentally tough and ready. Oz and Dan wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you know much about your opponent Reece Pearson or the challenges he could pose on the night?

I don’t know a great deal about Reece, I leave that up to my team to research him but I do know a lot about myself!

Where do you feel that you will be stronger in this fight and where do you feel it may end up?

I know that I will be stronger and better in any area where ever this fight goes, therefore I know that I will win this fight where ever it ends up!

Lastly, is there any sponsors or anyone you would like to thank?

I’d like to say a massive thanks to Oz and Dan down at Scorpion/SVT, as well as all of the other lads in the gym. Also want to say a big thank you to Brad Pickett for looking after me and making me feel so welcome down at Titan. Dave Pixton, Pat Reeves and Jaime Murkin at Gracie Barra Swindon.

Lastly I want to say a massive thank you to Picture House Tattoo Studio in Chippenham for giving me some great tattoos, Better Option and Platinum Security for helping me out with equipment.

You can keep up to date on Adam on his Facebook page here.

Adam’s Twitter page here.

RAGED UK takes place this Saturday, 7th March at Swindon MECA.

Tickets are £20 and £40 VIP available from all fighters, The Forum, The Khyber; alternatively  you can buy online at  www.swindontickets.co.uk or  click on their social media pages Facebook/Twitter.

Tickets will be available on the door (subject to availability)

RAGED UK EVENT POSTER
RAGED UK EVENT POSTER

 

Photo Credit 1 and 2: Adam Little/Tear Up

Photo Credit featured picture: Point 5 Photography