‘Iron sharpens Iron’ – Piotr Ptasinski on his UIC 16 K1 Title Fight

Piotr Ptaskinski will be making his return to the octagon this weekend after two years away from the sport at Ultimate Impact Championship 16 this Saturday, November 14th at GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester, in a K1 Title fight against Craig White.
The 33-year-old, originally from Poland who now resides in Worcester, Worcestershire has only been competing in professional MMA for the last five years, but I guess realistically you could actually say only three years with his last two years out of the sport due to injury and having no motivation or hunger for the sport during that time.

Advertisements

Piotr Ptaskinski will be making his return to the octagon this weekend after two years away from the sport at Ultimate Impact Championship 16 this Saturday, November 14th at GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester, in a K1 Title fight against Craig White.

Iron Piotr Ptasinski with Paul Sutherland and Matt Ewin

The 33-year-old, originally from Poland who now resides in Worcester, Worcestershire has only been competing in professional MMA for the last five years, but I guess realistically you could actually say only three years with his last two years out of the sport due to injury and having no motivation or hunger for the sport during that time.

Before his two-year hiatus, Piotr fought for established European promotion Cage Warriors for which he had a career that consisted of 2 wins and 2 losses which brought his impressive welterweight record to 5-4 inside the octagon for professional MMA.   Now fully healed, full of motivation and more hungrier than ever Piotr has decided to make his comeback in a K1 middleweight title fight.

“I have always liked stand up and although I have been away for two years I have been training in K1, Kickboxing and Muay Thai, so this to me was the perfect option for me to come back to with a great opponent in that of Craig White to showcase both our skills.”

Having watched several of Piotr’s fights myself, I for one know that he never takes a backwards step in the octagon and is always coming forward no matter what is being thrown at him.  I guess this is where his love of the sport definitely comes in and makes him a fan favourite to watch in whatever promotion he his competing in at the time.  Whenever Piotr competes you can usually guarantee there will be ‘beautiful violence’ involved.

Whilst competing for the promotion Cage Warriors I did get given the nickname ‘The Polish Zombie’ after my fight with Moshen Bahari, at one point there was just blood coming out of my eyes but the polish zombie is not my real nickname (infact it is current TUF 22 competitor Marcin Wrzosek nickname) my nickname is ‘Iron’ given to me by Paul Sutherland after my fight with Daniel Brzozowski who knocked me down in the first round, twice, and I came back to finish him in that round in 2 mins via Armbar.  That was when I was given my fight name of ‘Iron’.”

Although you may only recognise Piotr’s name from the MMA scene, you can be forgiven as although K1, Kickboxing and Muay Thai are the disciplines he prefers to compete in and for which he has done so previously in-between his MMA days,  his last competitive K1 fight was in Spain three years ago for which he won and then he promptly carried on with his MMA way of life.

Being blessed in both disciplines of K1 and MMA and seeing now that Piotr’s motivation and clear hunger for the sport had worked its way back to him and having a ‘rebirth’ into this forever evolving sport the question now is what is the ultimate goal for which he would like to achieve within the sport.

“I don’t know at the moment as I don’t look too much into the future. I’m just looking at this Saturday and taking this belt, this is my ultimate goal at the moment.”

Training out of renowned Cheltenham Trojan Free Fighters under the guidance of head coach Paul Sutherland and Conditioning guru Matt Ewin who is known for his crazy hill sprints, Piotr’s level of training just keeps adding more explosive sets of weapons to the ever-growing arsenal of tools that he has already and is forever expanding into his growing tool box.

The secret in Trojans being a really good teaching gym is the head coach, Paul Sutherland.  He is one of the best coaches in the UK and the gym has a great training programme for every person.  Paul Sutherland is the key to Trojans he is the Glue.”

For this specific training camp Piotr has travelled around a few places to get the ‘best of the best’ training and it all started in Poland where he trained at Tomasz Drwal gym who happened to be a pioneer of MMA in Poland and was the first Polish person in the UFC.  Piotr’s next part of his camp was then spent with UIC 15 WW K1 Champion David Willmot at Team Tieu Cheltenham and then finally onto sparring seasons with  former UFC and Cage Warriors athlete Chè Mills,  not forgetting his daily training sessions with Paul Sutherland at Trojans.

“I was over in Poland for ten days training with Tomasz Drwal at his school which was just really good, having around 7/8 sparring partners my size training in boxing and kickboxing, it was a great experience. Training with David Willmot for whom is a multiple K1 champion, well, you couldn’t ask for any better and as for getting to train with Chè Mills he is 6ft tall just like Craig White but I feel Chè’s striking is world-class, in my opinion.  If you want to beat the best you must train with the best.”

They say ‘Iron sharpens Iron’

As we start to talk about Polish fighters with the date being the 14th November when Piotr himself is due to compete, there is also another Polish fighter who goes by the name of Joanna Jedrzejczyk competing on the same night for a title belt defence, it would be rude of me not to at least test the waters on this subject.

“Joanna Jedrzejczyk is such a beast and I have been a watching her since I saw here compete in Cage Warriors.  We polish are very proud.  Although Valerie Letourneau may not be all together an easy fight, Joanna is still a different type of beast, her confidence is great and she will be unstoppable for a long time to come.”

Piotr would like give a shout out to his sponsors:

Poundout Gear and JGS Couriers Ltd

And also wanted to thank everyone who has supported him.  Who has helped him with his preparation, training, motivation and inspiration.

You can follow Piotr on his Social Media Facebook and Twitter @IronPiotr

UIC 16 takes place this Saturday, November 14th at GL1 Leisure Centre, Bruton Way, Gloucester, GL1 1DT

Doors open 5pm first fight around 5.30pm

Tickets will be available on the door and online here 

Photo Credits Main and 1st pic: Piotr Ptasinski Facebook and Cage Warriors

Video Credit: Stu Jotham

‘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