RAGED X – The rise of the MMA fight scene in Swindon


Saturday 5th October 2013 will probably be a date most hardcore fight fans now have ingrained on their brain, after all, it was the debut of the ‘Fight Club’ hosted event ‘Caged’, a taster event with a mixture of White-Collar boxing, K1 and MMA being held in Swindon.

The brainchild of former ‘Fight Club’ promoter Gary Turland and fight matchmaker Michael “OZ” Osborne of Swindon Vale Tudo/Scorpion Gym. Also, one of Swindon’s first athletes to compete in a mixed martial art event back in the ’90s decided the town needed a fight scene.

It was safe to say that the taster event went down as a massive success having had two white collar boxing bouts, one K1 bout, three amateur MMA bouts and two pro-MMA bouts; in total eight fights to the delight of the Swindon crowd.

On Saturday, March 7th, 2015 ‘Raged UK MMA’ put on their first official mixed martial arts show after their first taster event back in 2013, with a host of amateur and professional bouts on the card.

Fast forward to Saturday, May 25th and ‘Raged UK MMA’ will be hosting their tenth event at their new venue, The Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon.

Firmly putting Swindon on the map as a ‘fight town’ the promotion has gone from strength to strength with athletes competing from all over the UK.  Not only content with being one of the South West’s most prominent MMA events but also implementing two new weight divisions as fighter safety is paramount. The promotion has added in a light welterweight division at 73kg and a super featherweight division at 68.5kg.

“Adding new weight divisions opens up a wider range of fights for matchmaking, however, more importantly is fighter safety” said promoter Gary Turland adding “I’ve seen a few injuries along with fighters becoming dehydrated after cutting a lot of weight so as a promotion we are trying to make things a bit safer”.

‘Raged X’ takes place this Saturday, May 25th at The Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon.

Limited tickets are still available from www.raged.uk or at the venue itself which will incur a surcharge of £5 each for paying on the door. (cash is accepted on the door).

Ticket prices: Standard £25 (£5 extra on the door)

                          Ringside £35 (£5 extra on the door)

Doors open 6.30pm first fight 6.45pm

Under 18’s must be accompanied by a guardian

Please note the venue is CARD PAYMENTS ONLY at the bar

 

RAGED X FIGHT CARD*

Amateur

Ricky Norman vs Lukasz Pierscinski

Rich Lukacs vs Jack Bryant

Matthew Thorn vs Steve Ridgway

Rikki Wyatt vs Maro Roznovjak

Christopher Whitfield vs Jesse Mccann

Rio Joseph vs Gary Trevett

Ben Ay vs Grant Ogborne

Vacant Featherweight title – Kirk Heely vs Dean Hart

James Prenderville vs Stephen Todman

Vacant Welterweight title – Chris Connolly vs Tom Enstone

Professional

Daryl Grant vs Constatini Radoi

MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE – Tommy Cook vs Luckas Marcinkowski (c)

Matthew Thomas vs Craig Rawlins

VACANT SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE – Ben Rees vs Paul Reed

VACANT LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE – Terry Doyle vs Bernie Gomm

VACANT WELTERWEIGHT TITLE – Wes Murch vs Lawrence Jordan Tracey

*Fight card subject to change at anytime

‘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