“When I win Cage Warriors gold the UFC have got to see that my age is not a factor” – Scott Clist


This interview was conducted back in June 2016 and featured in the July/August issue of MMA Uncaged Magazine.

“Age is just a number. I will be in the UFC by the end of the year”

London, 2002 and the UFC held its first event outside of the United States for UFC 38. ‘Brawl at the Hall’ was held inside the iconic Royal Albert Hall.  Headlined by UFC Hall of Fame veteran Matt Hughes and Carlos Newton. Also on the main card was a 36-year-old Ian Freeman who faced and beat a 23-year-old Frank Mir by TKO, proving that ‘age is just a number’.

Fast forward to April 15, 2016, when European Promotion Cage Warriors returned home to London and held its 75th event.  Making his debut for the promotion was 38-year-old Scott ‘The Priest’ Clist facing 25-year-old Brad ‘The Crazy Kid’ Wheeler. Clist was the heavy underdog and after weathering an early storm where it looked like Wheeler was going to submit him in the opening minutes, Clist gained control of the fight (with 30 seconds to go) landing a head kick followed by a right hook which knocked Wheeler to the canvas against the cage and began to unleash a barrage of punches (16) only for the klaxon to sound the end of the round.

It was in-between rounds that Wheeler’s corner retired him from the fight as he had taken too much damage, declaring Clist victorious by way of TKO at the end of round one. Proving yet again ‘age is just a number’.

“Age is just a number. I will be in the UFC by the end of the year”

Born and raised in Bridgwater, Somerset but now residing in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, the nightclub manager first started out in the world of Martial Arts at the tender age of 5.

My dad would get me and my brother to throw punches and box train with him. He would show us how to twist our hips with the punches and lead with a jab” Clist recalls of his fond childhood memories. After briefly flirting with Karate, Clist settled on Kickboxing where he would start his Martial Arts career and held British titles in kickboxing and full contact Tae kwon do.

Clist was first introduced to Mixed Martial Arts by a colleague whilst he was working in Swindon as a barman at the age of 19. A doorman he knew lent him 3 video’s called “UFC” and after watching them decided he wanted to give MMA a try.

After watching the ‘UFC’ video’s I attended my first MMA class which was also run by the same doorman who gave me the video’s.  ‘Oz’, Michael Osbourne at ‘SVT’ Swindon Vale Tudo.  Although I really enjoyed the class due to my working schedule at the time I couldn’t commit to it.”

After spending some time training in different Martial Arts and balancing a full time job, Clist found classes run by Tony Childs who was teaching San Shou, JKD, Combat Submission Wrestling and Escrima to add to his Kickboxing and Tae kwon do background.

Finally, after experiencing success in teaching kickboxing, Clist decided it was time to open up his own gym.  In March 2008 The Revolution Gym in Trowbridge was born, all the while still competing as an amateur mixed martial artist himself from 2006 – 2009. In 2010 Clist turned pro finishing his first five opponents within two rounds. Although picking up his first pro MMA loss in 2013 to Dan Rushworth, that fight earned him fight of the night honours. Winning his next fight Clist then entered an 8-man tournament.

“I had no emotion in the lead up to the event and was spending a large amount of time teaching instead of focusing on my own training. Ali Maclean tapped my out with a north and south choke 4:34 seconds into the first round. It was the only time I had been stopped as a pro fighter. I was gutted.”

“It was after this fight that I realised I needed to focus on my own training so I shut down my gym and moved over to Dragonslair MMA in Melksham home to UFC athlete Bradley Scott.”

Scott 1
Photo Credit Adrenalin Fight Night

Now [10-2] as a pro and with the help and guidance of Head Coach Stu Pike at Dragonslair MMA, Clist is currently on a three fight win streak after winning his last fight against Brad Wheeler at Cage Warriors 75 where he was very much the underdog on that card.

“I kept the fight standing for a while and me and Brad traded some shots until I threw a kick and he caught it. Brad got the takedown but I managed to get back to my feet only for brad to get a deep double leg and take me down again, his ju jitsu is sleek and he managed to get my back and sink in the body lock quickly. I went into autopilot and 2 on 1 defence. I had done this so many times in the gym that I was never really worried about getting tapped, I just had to get the lock off. I tried putting pressure on Brad’s ankle but that didn’t work so I had to defend and try to turn into him but like I said Brad’s BJJ is something else and trying to get someone as good as he is off you is not the easiest thing.

“After a few mins spent on the defensive I felt the lock loosen so I stepped over his leg to avoid him getting it locked back in, I turned quickly and we got back to our feet.

“I threw a good uppercut to the body and Brad backed off. I saw my opportunity and threw the head kick followed by the right hook.

I saw brad fall and started throwing down some serious ground and pound. I could hear his corner shouting “10 seconds, hold on Brad”. I kept throwing punches thinking the ref has got to stop it but he didn’t and the buzzer sounded for the end of the round. Brad’s corner retired him in between rounds which gave me a TKO win coming at 5 mins of round one.”

The fight Clist had with Wheeler was originally scheduled for a lightweight bout but got changed to a catch weight bout a few days before. So will we be seeing Clist again in the lightweight division?

“I would like to fight against top 10 opponents. A fight with Chris Fishgold would be interesting and a fight against Andre Ward would make for a great fight. I aim to Keep growing as a fighter and I am in the right place and working with the right people to do that and keep winning. I want to be a successful UFC fighter.  I don’t just want to make it into the UFC, I will make it into the UFC and get some good wins.”

With a nickname ‘The Priest’ I did however wonder how it came about.

“My first sponsor gave me that name.   I told him he could pick my ring name.  He had just watched The Davinci Code on dvd and decided I looked like the psycho killer from the film (blonde hair, white skin) so he said it was great to call me The Priest. I kept it because it caught on after my first fight.”

As with any interview, I ask if Scott has anyone he would like to thank.

“Firstly, my wife and daughter as they put up with me missing time spent with them, being tired from training and weight cutting etc. I would like to thank my coaches Stu Pike, Bradley Scott for making me a better fighter. My boxing and s+c coaches Mark Kent and Smudger at contender gym. My teammates who let me learn and let me be part of their learning. Stu Mourant for making a massive difference and opening doors. My sponsors for helping me with fuelling my body, BadBoy Supplements (kalv Singh) and financially Nacho Cheese, Richard Henley (Heating and plumbing), Darryl Moore (Carpentry) and a massive thank you goes out to all my friends and supporters”.

You can follow Scott Clist’s journey on the following media sites.

https://www.facebook.com/scott.clist

Twitter

@scottThePriestclist

By Emma Bramford

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‘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