MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Fighting, also known as Cage Fighting, is becoming a popular sport in the UK. The full contact combat sport originated from Brazil and is now popular all over the world. The well known UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is based in America.
Professional MMA Fighter, Lee Taylor, talks to Jobulo and explains how he has made the sport into a career.
Tell Us About Your Career Background
I started playing Rugby at about ten. I then joined the Army at 17 – I have always been quite physical! Then I boxed in the Army and learned Judo and eventually left to become a Personal Trainer. Then I saw a notice in the Gym advertising for M.M.A (Mixed Martial Arts) Fighting. I called them and it went from there.
What Is M.M.A/Cage Fighting?
It depends on where you go – it started out in Brazil, Japan and places like that. Brazilians would do something called Rio Heroes, and it was literally bare-knuckle fighting and anything could go. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) started with a family in Brazil who said that no one could beat their Jujitsu and they put money on it and the competition stemmed from there. For it to get sanctioned as a sport they introduced certain rules including referees, judges, gloves and weight categories and it has become the M.M.A as we all know it now.
How is M.M.A Structured in the UK?
There are weight categories and promotions. The rank structure means you start from the bottom and work your way up and the different promotions all have different fights.
Why Did You Want to Become a Professional Fighter?
I just like competing. Everything I have done is quite a physical sport and I just like competing.
How Often Do You Fight?
It varies; I can have fights every four weeks depending on what I have planned. It is normally every couple of months and I will train two or three times a day. I have a morning run and then do strength and conditioning and technique or a sparring session in the evening.
Can You Name Your Best Fight?
Probably with Kenny Moyston – he is a good fighter and comes from a Thai Boxing background and so do I. It probably made a good fight as there wasn’t much rolling around and grappling – which I do appreciate and I do enjoy – but I do prefer to stand up and fight. I took a bit of a beating in the first round and then I came into my own to finish the fight.
What Is The Hardest Part of the Job?
I enjoy the training side and I don’t mind how hard it gets. It’s more the dieting I don’t like. For breakfast I have a protein shake and oats, then chicken and broccoli for lunch then it might be a protein shake in the afternoon and chicken and rice for dinner. It can be pretty boring!
What Advice Would You Give to an Amateur Fighter?
I’d say get a good amateur background in everything – Jujitsu, Boxing, Kick Boxing, Wrestling and then move on.
What Does it Take to Become a Professional Fighter?
Hard work, knowing the right people and luck. I was a late call out for BAMMA (British Association of Martial Arts) as someone had pulled out and I had just finished a fight so I was fit, strong and fight ready. So I would say it’s not always what you know but who you know.