1. Tell us about your work with Combat Sports Clinic – do you have one piece of advice that stands out in your head to help our readers prevent an unnecessary injury?
I was motivated to train as an osteopath by my own experience of training injuries, as well as watching other people struggle with them. Although I treat people from all walks of life, it’s natural that my particular interest is working with combat sports athletes. I think my understanding of combat sports puts me in a relatively unique position amongst practitioners, and I’ve had people travel from all over the country for consultations. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from his kind of work; it’s a great feeling to help people get back to training and competing and doing what they love to do.
In terms of preventing injuries, I would say one of the biggest factors is to make sure you have a good strength and conditioning program. Too many people train MMA to get fit, rather than getting fit to train MMA – and in my experience that’s a recipe for injury. A good strength program in particular should help to increase resilience, improve muscle balance and biomechanics and reduce injury risk.
2.You get an awful lot of publicity with being on BBC documentaries, fighting on some of the biggest promotions in the world, writing numerous articles in top magazines – does the average Joe recognise you on the street and do you get asked for many autographs?
Ha! No, generally speaking the average Joe in the street doesn’t know who I am, although every so often I do get stopped by someone who’s seen me on TV or in the newspapers and once in a while I get asked for an autograph! To be honest, I’m quite happy with things the way they are – I wouldn’t want the publicity and media attention that goes along with being really famous, but at the same time I’ve had some really nice messages and emails from people saying that I’ve helped or inspired them in some way. Little things like that are what makes it all worthwhile!
3. You were recently out of MMA for a while due to a concussion, did this have much of an impact on your training and you personally?
I think any injury is bound to have some kind of effect. I did get a bit depressed for a while, but I used the time to focus on my grappling for a while, which overall has helped to improve my game.
4. How are you feeling about your upcoming bout against Aisling Daly on the CageWarriors promotion in June? Is it a ‘grudge’ match?
I’m looking forward to the fight. I think we match up nicely, and it’ll be a good scrap. I wouldn’t describe it as a “grudge” match, exactly. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Daly isn’t one of my favourite people, but I’m a professional fighter and there’s a job to be done – whether or not I happen to like my opponent is irrelevant.
5. Without giving too much away, how is your fight camp going?
Whenever you ask a fighter that question, they’re always “in the best shape of their life”, “feeling amazing” and “can’t wait to fight”, so let’s take all that as read!
Seriously, though, things are going well.
I’ve been working a lot on the technical elements of my game. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of specialist coaching in striking, wrestling and jiu jitsu with some really top level guys who it’s a privilege to train with! Thanks to Paul Rimmer, Danny Withington, Karl Ryan, Mo (Mohammad Ali Haghighatdoust), Steve Campbell, Pete Irving and everyone else who’s helped me train for this one!
I’ve also been working with Sean and Zoran at Strength and Performance in Stockport on my S&C program. We’ve been focusing a lot on speed and power work, which I think has been a weak area in the past. We’ve got some pretty big improvements, so I’m excited to see the difference this will make in the fight.