“The Best Lightweight” in European MMA: Terry Brazier

“The Best Lightweight” in European MMA: Terry BrazierBAMMA two-weight world champion, Terry Brazier prepares for his Bellator MMA debut against Chris Bungard at Bellator Europe 1 on February 9, 2019 in this mini-documentary video filmed at, NFM Windsor on Boxing Day.

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Terry Brazier (10-1) won the BAMMA welterweight and lightweight world championships by defeating Alex Lohore and Rhys McKee, respectively, in 2018 before signing for Bellator MMA.

Having made British MMA history in a relatively short professional MMA career over the last three years, Brazier who, previously served in the British Army, has set himself some serious goals for 2019 and beyond at Bellator, including: winning his Bellator debut before intending to beat former UFC champion, Benson Henderson in America and then becoming the new Bellator lightweight champion by defeating the current champion, Michael Chandler.

However, first and foremost, Brazier has to defeat Scottish MMA fighter, Chris Bungard at Bellator Europe 1 and in this video, we see Terry Brazier training and sparring with his his team-mates at NFM Windsor, before flying out to Phuket, Thailand for the remainder of his fight camp for his Bellator MMA debut.

Credits:

Edited, filmed & interviewed by, Anoop Hothi – Instagram @anoophothi
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Find Terry Brazier on Instagram @terrybrazier
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Additional footage courtesy of, BAMMA.

Dan Hardy: How Full Reptile Collective is Linked With UFC Return and Supporting ‘Grassroots MMA’

UFC veteran, Dan Hardy, elaborates on how the Full Reptile Collective is linked to his eventual UFC return and is focused on supporting ‘Grassroots MMA’ in the UK. Speaking at Victory Fights 2, Hardy also explains why Adam Amarasinghe who, will be making his Cage Warriors 95 London debut, is a “special athlete”, after his KO win over Andrew Mendes at Victory Fight 2 and much more.

Dan Hardy is launching the Full Reptile Collective in-partnership with former (The Ultimate Fighter) TUF contestant and British MMA fighter turned head coach at NFM Windsor, Dean Amasinger and strength coach, Oli Richardson. The aim of Full Reptile Collective is to support British MMA and other combat sports by giving the fighters exactly the support structure that they need but currently lacking within the UK.

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Dean Amasinger on Dan Hardy Partnership, Reacts to Darren Till and Yoel Romero Missing Weight

NFM Windsor heach coach, Dean Amasinger on his younger brother, Adam Amarasinghe’s KO win over Andrew Mendes at Victory Fights 2 and his partnership with Dan Hardy: Full Reptile Collective; Amasinger also reacts to Darren Till and Yoel Romero missing weight in the UFC very recently.

With BAMMA 36 London fast approaching, Dean Amasinger also talks about Terry Brazier vs Rhys McKee which, headlines the event in a clash of champions for the BAMMA world lightweight championship and more.

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Kenny Moyston Recaps Victory Fights 2, Sparring Michael Bisping and Brighton has a problem with MMA

Kenny Moyston and his partner Lily-May Gilbanks recap their second MMA event in Brighton last night, Victory Fights 2 which, was headlined by an emphatic KO victory by Adam Amarasinghe over Andre Mendes; and talks about sparring former UFC champion, Michael Bisping and the UFC veteran’s growing influence today. As well as the problems they encountered hosting MMA events in Brighton and much more.

Moyston is a former professional fighter (kickboxing and Muay Thai) now MMA striking coach to many MMA fighters including, Oli Thompson and BAMMA world champion, Terry Brazier.

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BAMMA champion Terry Brazier on fighting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alex Lohore

The stage is set tonight at Wembley arena for two former friends now foes in, Alex Lohore vs. Terry Brazier, headlining BAMMA 34 London in a much anticipated clash for Lohore’s world title. Terry Brazier is currently the BAMMA Lonsdale champion, winning his title against Walter Gahadza via first round submission at BAMMA 29; and emerging as one of UK MMA’s most prominent welterweights in recent years, with increasing popularity.

Lohore on the other hand, doesn’t seem to enjoy as much popularity on British soil especially for his recent Twitter feud with UFC veteran and British MMA legend, Brad Pickett. However, the impressive French fighter is on a 10 win fight streak with victories over a who’s who of UK and Irish MMA including: Richard Kiely, Nathan Jones, Dan Vinni and Colin Fletcher.

We conducted the interview with Terry Brazier after an evening training session in early January 2018 which, was a couple of days before he’d fly out to Phuket, Thailand for his six weeks fight camp in preparations for BAMMA 34 London; and his eventual ‘clash of champions’ with, Alex Lohore. What stood out most from both, witnessing his second MMA training session of the day and afterwards was: Brazier’s enthusiasm, resilient mindset and ambition – traits he has in common with other world champions I’ve interviewed in recent years – such as GLORY Kickboxing’s undisputed heavyweight champion, Rico Verhoeven.

Terry Brazier, we were saying how there’s some interesting history at the top of the UK MMA welterweight division at BAMMA. Yourself, Alex Lohore, Nathan Jones; the three of you were good friends once upon a time, even training buddies. But then things took a turn for the worst. Fill us in for especially those who aren’t quite in the know, what was the good history between yourself and Alex?

“Me and Alex, we’ve known each other probably going on four or five years. The guys at New Wave Academy, New Wave Academy is a great gym and we know the coaches there. They used to come down on a Saturday, which is our main sparring day, to train with us to get some good rounds in and yeah so that’s how I know them.

“Got some good coaches down there, Colin, Christian and Pierre. So I know the whole team that they’ve got down there. Me and Alex were friends and it went south once he signed for BAMMA.”

You were at BAMMA, he joined. You’re good buddies, training together; going on training holidays in Phuket. But why do you say it went south?

“So basically we were friends, we used to go support Alex, me and all my fans, when Alex didn’t have many fans in the beginning. He’s been out on nights out with me and my pals. He’d been to Dublin to come and support me in my fights and when I won the British title, I called out Nathan Jones, who was the other contender for the world title at the time and out of respect for Alex, he’s obviously my friend in the crowd watching, so I didn’t want to call him out out of respect.”

Brazier

Credit: Photo by Marc Moggridge for BAMMA

“Called out Nathan and Alex took that to offense that his name didn’t get mentioned when all the lights and the cameras were on. So that’s why he took it, upon himself to really not mention my name in any of his post fight interviews. Although I’m the obvious contender for the world title, being the British champion.”

So out of respect, and friendship and camaraderie, you don’t call him out. He’s there as your guest in-effect. So you call out the most obvious rival at that moment in time, which is Nathan Jones, and you’re alleging that he got jealous because the limelight went on you two and away from him.

“Yeah, that’s it. Simple as that. It’s just childish. I’m a sportsman, Nathan’s a sportsman. Me and Nathan have trained together recently, but if it comes up that we gotta fight each other, we’ll fight each other. Because that’s what sportsmen do.”

“Unfortunately for Alex he takes things very personally. He’s very childish and he’s made it so he’s cutting relationships. So he’s burning bridges. Let’s just say when I beat him and he loses his winning record then he’s gonna have nothing going for him. I’m still gonna have all my friends, all my sportsmen around me that I train with, I haven’t upset anyone.”

Upsetting people, burning bridges; if we go back to when he fought Nathan Jones, there was a lot of allegations around homophobia, comments by Alex apparently?

“Oh it wasn’t apparent it’s on video. If you check on YouTube you can catch Alex saying Nathan Jones looks gay. I don’t know what gay looks like. It’d be nice for Alex to clear that up actually, if he could draw us a picture of what gay should look like. Be interesting. But that’s Alex for you. Very childish. Very, takes things to heart, takes things very personally. Each to their own. He’s not championship material. He’s not a champion. A champion should be a real sportsman.”

A role model?

“A role model to younger children; respect his opponents, respect everyone else in the division; and not call out two and O guys.”

Leading up to a fight, there’s a lot of noise around Alex Lohore as we found out when the fight got officially announced.

“Yeah, that he didn’t know about apparently.”

Yeah. Let’s clear this up. When did you receive the contract to fight Alex? Because I know, because BAMMA told me, that he handed in his contract, signed, the night of BAMMA 33 up in Newcastle. So when did you receive your contract and hand it in?

“About a month before that and he’s the BAMMA world champion currently. He can’t pick and choose his opponent. If you’re a world champion of an organization, you need to be willing to fight anyone in that division.”

“You can’t pick and choose, calling out a two and O guy, and then I’m the obvious contender for the world title being the British champion and he thinks that I’m not worthy or he stated that I’m not worthy enough to fight for the world title, although he called out a two and O guy. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.”

Two and O guy is obviously Richard Kiely who he fought in Ireland not too long ago. You say he’s two and O,

“Two and one now.”

Two and one yeah, to be correct. Has experience as a kickboxer, but then it’s like, you fought a kickboxer not too long ago,

“Yeah, Niklas Stolze


Who is quite well rounded with his MMA game and had a lot more experience.

“Yeah a lot more experience. I think he was a lot more decorated as a K1 fighter. A lot more rounded as an MMA fighter and he had a better record than me. He was eight and one at the time. They were the people I fought to get to where I am. He’s at the top of the BAMMA tree as such, and he’s fighting people at the bottom or he wants to fight people at the bottom. He’s running scared from me. BAMMA basically made him sign that contract and told him he’s gotta fight me. So here we are.”

Have you got it on good authority he was told he’s got to fight you?

“I believe so. I believe so. Being a world champion you can’t pick and choose your opponents. Who else did he want to fight in that division? Or he didn’t, he was willing to leave the welterweight division to fight someone else and not fight me. Just says it all. He’s running scared. He’s trained with me. I used to beat him up in training, I used to get the better of him in training and I’ll annihilate him on March 9th, Wembley arena.”

Brad Pickett and Linton Vassell have both given their opinions about how Alex initially reacted to the announcement – to touch upon that they reinforced – You’re a champion, you fight whoever you’re told.

“Yeah, I’ll fight anyone in the welterweight division. I’m the British champion. I’ll fight anyone in the welterweight division because I believe in myself and I believe that I’m better than where I’m at right now. I believe I’m better than beating Alex and I’ll prove that within the next year. I’ll win it and I’ll defend it. A couple of times, gainst real opponents.”

It sounds to me like, when it comes to mental warfare between the two of you, you’re footing, your trenches are dug quite deep and well connected to get around him and get in his head because you know him so well from the past.

“I’m not really interested in that. I’m not really interested in getting in his head. My skills and by ability in the cage is enough to beat Alex. I don’t need to get in his head. He gets in his own head. He gets upset with himself.”


“That kid takes things so personally that he’s gonna wind himself up to the point of exhaustion. So I don’t have to do anything in terms of that. I’m just gonna train to be the best that I can be on the night and I’m gonna turn up and get the job done. Mental warfare towards Alex is unneeded in this fight I believe.”

When it comes to actual warfare, you know about that from first hand experience. For anyone doesn’t know, can you give a little snap of your military background for us?

“Yeah I was in the army for a number of years. Tours of Afghanistan. I was with Irish Guards Regiment and then moved on to Power Street Regiment. Worked on my tour and then on leaving the army come straight into MMA. I got asked to leave the army for having PTSD.”

Yeah that’s something I was saying to you before, what you and I have got in common is dealing with PTSD. When you left a handful of years ago in the army that would have been 2013?

“Yeah, about that yeah.”

Was getting into mixed martial arts is that way of dealing with the emotional turbulence?


“Not intentionally. I just walked into a gym in Windsor, met Dean Amasinger, fought in an interclub four days later and at that point Dean said what I’ve got, he can’t teach, so stick around. And I haven’t looked back since. Dean’s actually helped me personally. My other coach is Eddie Kone, Kenny Moyston, they’ve all helped me mentally and physically, get to where I am today and yeah it help with the PTSD massively. Nothing any of these fighters say or do phase me one bit from what I’ve had to deal with mentally do you know what I mean?”

It’s well reported, everyone’s seen it on the news. We’ve either grown up in the 90’s or revisited.

“It’s hard for anyone imagine how hard it is on people and their families. It’s not something you get used to. It’s something I’ve mocked myself personally. It’s probably Karma coming around and bit me in the arse a little bit how I’ve got it now. But I’ve mocked people in the past, you know, ‘man up’ and get my mini violin out and them sort of comments. But when you’re actually dealing with it, you realise how serious it is. Just because you can’t see it, it’s actually a life changing injury.”

The invisible injury.

“Yeah exactly.”

So it wasn’t planned it just happened randomly, getting into mixed martial arts, and a handful of years later yourself and Dean Amasinger are stronger than ever. Better than ever, things are great at MFM. Moved gyms and everything like that as well; and you are a BAMMA champion.

“We’re growing, we’re growing as a team.”

And you’ve got a clash of champions come March. But you said you’re going as a team. How has that team shaped up, do you reckon the last couple of years, to coincide with your emergence at the top of the domestic scene?

“I put everything every minute of every day into what I do. I wake up in the morning, I commute, if I’m not commuting I’m training. I commute to Eddie Kone’s. The way I see it, in England he’s probably the best Jiu Jitsu coach in MMA; Kenny Moyston’s the best striking coach for MMA; Dean’s the best MMA coach for MMA, do you know what I mean?”

So I’ve got the dream team of coaches. I’ve got to commute for it, don’t get me wrong, it’d be amazing to have them all under one roof. But such is life. It’s like today. I drove up to Spirit Dojo Legacy in Nottingham, trained with Paul Daley, one of Dean’s connections. I’m going out to Thailand on Friday to train with Eric Uresk, Phuket Top Team, another one of Dean’s connections.


So no matter where I go in the world, or where I go in the country, it all stems from my initial coaches and them putting me on to people and helping me grow. So as I’m getting better, my coaches are expanding, teams are expanding, I’m mixing it up with different teams, just adapting really.”

Yeah to go from Berkshire, Windsor from the M4 all the way to Nottingham then down to Brighton and then into East London, that’s a big, massive triangle Christmas tree in itself. You mentioned the commute there. How do you balance that with family, cause you’ve got kids now as well; and being in-partnership here NFM and anything else you’ve got going? How do you make this all a viable career? Because it’s a dream for everyone.

“The answer is I honestly don’t know how I fit so much into the day. Obviously my wife Amy, she’s amazing. If I’m training and we’ve got the kids, we’ve got four kids between us and a newborn son, which is from Amy, and they’re all supportive. Sometime the kids come and train.”

“The other week I couldn’t get a babysitter so Dean was holding my 8 month old baby whilst coaching me. You just make it work. We’re all family men, we’ve all got kids, and we’ve all got a dream and if you pull together you can make anything work. Team work makes the dream work as they say.”


For anyone, whatever age they are, whether it’s something to do with martial arts or in other fields in life and they feel that something’s holding them back, that taking that risk because they’ve got responsibilities, they’ve got a job that’s making ends meet, to pursue that dream, what would you say to them from your experiences?

“It’s an excuse. If you want to make anything work, you can make it work. Life’s too short to “if that, maybe”. A lot of people sit in the pub when they’re 60 year old saying “I’m gonna do that” or “I wish I’d done that.” Just do it. Everyone finds it hard. To be successful or doing anything you like’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. If you believe in it and you believe that you can make it successful and you’ve got a good family around you, good friends, then you can make it work.”

“I’m not the only person that does it. A lot of other people do it. I know UFC fighters that are still working. They work a nine to five and then train in the evenings. People don’t get the pay everyone thinks you get. I’m very, very lucky.”

“I’ve got some amazing sponsors that pay for all my training, my trips, my flights and all that. I am very lucky. But I’ve gone out there and got that. Or my wife has sent my sponsor packs out and she got my sponsors. You need to be proactive. People’s not gonna give it to you. They’re not gonna knock on your door and say here’s a sponsorship, go and train for six months. You’ve gotta go out there and get it.”

I remember an old interview of yours when you touched upon that. You said how you and your wife send out 100 media packs, and only one person got back to you.

“Yeah, they’re still sponsoring me today. They’ve just paid for all my flights to Thailand. All my accommodations, everything. So it pays.”

“So yeah I’ve got a few sponsors that are really good to me. A few sponsors that chop and change, but primarily it’s about just going out there and getting it, do you know what I mean? That’s important. People are not gonna knock on your door to support you. You need to ask them. You need to get out there and be proactive. That’s what I’m doing.”

Social media, where can everyone find and follow you?

“Terry Brazier on Facebook, I think Terry Brazier on Instagram and Twitter as well.”

Instagram’s your main thing isn’t it?

“Yeah Instagram and Facebook are my main things. I’m not really a tweeter but I’m sure I will be.”

BAMMA

How to watch BAMMA 34 on ITV4 & Unilad | Image via BAMMA

Linton Vassell warns Liam McGeary he’ll “choke him out again”, wants ‘King Mo’ rematch

Bellator light-heavyweights, Linton Vassell and Liam McGeary, have been fuelling a potential rematch between themselves on Twitter recently and Vassell spoke to K1ANOOP about returning to action as swiftly as possible at, Bellator 191 and BAMMA 33  in Newcastle; warning the former Bellator champion, “he’ll choke him out again” and that he wants a rematch with, ‘King Mo’ Muhammed Lawal  in 2018 too.

Linton Vassell vs. Liam McGeary rematch in London, March 2018?

“I wanna fight, I wanna get back in there and right this wrong from November. Liam tweeted me and said he wants that rematch. I’m more than welcome to have that rematch but there’s other guys out there as well. Obviously, Bellator whoever they got for me I’m gonna sign that contract.”

Last month, ‘The Swarm’ had lost by second round TKO to defending Bellator light-heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader at Bellator 186 and had been unbeaten for, two years and two months prior-to that defeat; including, a third round submission of Liam McGeary at Bellator 179 in London which, handed the former champion his second career defeat.

Vassell

Bellator 186: Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell | Image via Bellator MMA on Twitter

Vassell’s “shortlist” includes Gegard Mousasi & Phil Davis to kick-start 2018

“There’s a shortlist but a lot of them are taken-up but there’s still names like Mousasi, Phil Davis, they’re not taken. Bellator have just gotta come up with a name that I want fight and take them out. These are the people I gotta fight then so be it. I wanna fight in that London show, March. I want that world title back, well not back, I want that world title!”

“Liam knows I want it. We’ve been tweeting back and forth. I said again, I’ll choke him out again, simple tingz. He thinks it won’t be so simple but it will happen.”

“I’m no joke, people do underestimate me and you know, I’m always the underdog. Yeah, I’ve lost a few fights. Just because you’ve lost a few fights it doesn’t mean you’re not where you should be or where I’m at.”

McGeary

Liam McGeary def. Egidijus Valavicius at Bellator 122 | Image via Bellator MMA.

“I was the first person to beat him, not beat him, first person to choke him and finish him. Phil Davis fought him and laid on him for 25 minutes, you know what I mean? He laid on him for 25 minutes and couldn’t finish him. He came up against me and I was able to finish him.”

However, McGeary is currently recovering from hand surgery from breaking his thumb, after withdrawing from Bellator 185 against, Bubba McDaniel for was initially reported as “an undisclosed injury”.

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Unfinished business with ‘King Mo’ Lawal still lingers

Vassell’s previous loss was in September 2015 against, Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 142: Dynamite 1,  a joint MMA and kickboxing event with GLORY KickboxingDespite losing a two (not three) round, semi-final against Lawal via unanimous decision, Davis was unable to fight in the 4-man tournament final due to injury; and was replaced by, Francis Carmont instead of Linton under controversial circumstances which, ‘The Swarm’ is clearly not happy about.

“I’d love a rematch with Mo, somewhere down the line that will happen. I want that fight. Same as when I lost to Newton, even though I lost, straight back to the gym, had that rematch and I got that win. So that’s a fight that’s got to happen, for myself, we had a two round fight. That wasn’t enough, ended-up breaking his ribs, he wasn’t able to continue. Unfortunately, the commission said I wasn’t but I was but anyway that’s another story.”

“It’s a combat sport, these things need to happen so yeah a rematch against Liam. Obviously, he wants that rematch so that will happen, I’m up for that and definitely a rematch against Mo.”

UK MMA is growing in strength & Aaron Chalmers impresses ‘The Swarm’

Whilst enjoying the fights at BAMMA 33 after Bellator 191 was done and dusted, Geordie Shore reality TV star, now professional MMA fighter, Aaron Chalmers stood out for Vassell along with, Ryan Scope who, defeated UFC veteran, Mikael Lebout for the BAMMA lightweight championship via split decision.

“There’s some good fights. I can’t remember his name but the Geordie shore guy…Aaron Chalmers won in a great knockout. Ryan Scope won as well. It’s a good event. I missed the Bellator, I turned up late but yeah its good so far, you know, I’m enjoying myself.”

Later today, Aaron Chalmers will guest on, The MMA Hour with Aerial Helwani along with fellow Britsh fighters: Darren Till, Stevie Ray and Pietro Menga, a clear sign that UK MMA has established itself now as a real force to reckon with on the global stage – something that Vassell reinforced too.

“When I was here fighting in the UK, I felt like it was slowly going up but I feel like us boys fighting over States and all over the world are bringing names; brining the spotlight onto us.”

“They had the ‘British Invasion’ Bellator did, UK won. They had me, Page, Daley and Cheick Kongo, all the top boys fighting, we won. Obviously Liam was on there as well.”

Daley

Paul Daley, Image via Bellator MMA

K1ANOOP will report again in due course as the situation develops further.

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Featured Image: Original images via Bellator MMA.

UCMMA 50: Main card and UK1 on February 4, 2017

UCMMA 50 goes down at The Troxy, London on February 4 with a fight card that features four UK1 kickboxing fights including, Mike Neun vs. Andy Cunningham as the co-main event for the latter’s UK1 heavyweight title. The headline fight is, Arunas Andriuskevicius vs Denniston Suthlands for the UCMMA light-heavyweight championship.

UCMMA events are always MMA focused, however, they do feature a small volume of UK1 kickboxing bouts, especially as a fair amount of UK MMA fighters come from striking backgrounds. For example, UFC heavyweight Jimi Manuwa and BELLATOR welterweight, Micheal ‘Venom’ Page – both of whom fought for UCMMA, before signing for two of the world’s biggest promotions.

UK1 is basically K1 rules with either, 10oz boxing gloves or sometimes, even 4oz MMA gloves, in a MMA cage instead of being fought in a usual boxing ring.

Interestingly, BAMMA welterweight Terry Brazier will be making his UK1 debut at UCMMA 50 against, David Round for the 84kg UK1 title. Also Paul Dash takes on Dontel Forrester in a 72kg match-up under UK1 rules and Daryl Field vs. Tommy Kelly will also feature as an 80kg bout under UK1 rules too.

UCMMA 50 is available to Pay Per View (PPV) via MMA TV.


UCMMA 50 – Main card and UK1 match-ups:

Arunas Andriuskevicius vs Denniston Suthlands – Light-heavyweight MMA Title

Mike Neun vs Andy Cunningham – Heavyweight UK1 Title

David Round vs Terry Brazier – 84kg UK1 title

John Blamire vs Tommy Gunn – 77kg

Ben Earl vs Paul Webster – HW MMA

Marian Constantin vs Beau West – 93kg MMA

Dontel Forrester vs Paul Dash – 72kg UK1

Daryl Feild vs Tommy Kelly – 80kg UK1

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