Archive for the Fighting and Competing Category

Old Fight Magazine Article

Posted in Fighting and Competing with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2011 by matt12gauge

Came across an old Fight Magazine article written when I retired, thought i would share with you guys. This really touched me as i had no idea it was being written at the time, meant a lot check it out:

Matt T


Smash him in the face!!

Posted in Fighting and Competing with tags , , , on December 2, 2009 by matt12gauge

This weekend I taught a seminar on cage control and ring craft for a team of first time fighters, cornering fighters was disscussed and it got me thinking. Over the years I have seen some real poor corners, some fighters seem to believe just bringing your mate along to shout smash him in the face is all you need of a corner team!

I have been lucky from day one, I have had an awesome team behind me who have taken the time to learn how to switch me on and get me mentally ready to get in the cage and compete. This is key. Corners should know their fighters intimately so they can bring them to the boil and send them out ready to do the job. For years I’ve struggled with nerves and trying to switch from Mr nice guy, to wanting to punch someone in the face. Over time, the team behind me worked different corner tactics to find what suited me as a fighter and found solutions to the problems I was experiencing.

I remember when I fought Dan Hardy I was sharing my warm up room with another fighter whose corners gave my corner team a slagging on the forums after the event for how long my warm up had lasted and that I was knackered by the end of it. Yet I went out and had a full 25min fight that is still seen in many peoples eyes as one of the greatest UK fights of all time, and their guy went out and lost rather quickly! This is an example of an uneducated corner team, they didnt realise that it took a long time for me to come to a boil (sometimes over 1 hour) and that I liked to get rid of my first wind. They just thought one structure of warming up suits all!!

So the point I am trying to get across is that each fighter is individual and a good corner team should be able to recognise their fighters needs. In order for a fighter to perform to their greatest potential they need to be warmed up and primed correctly!!

12 Gauge Signing off!!

Aftermath of a loss!!

Posted in Fighting and Competing on November 9, 2009 by matt12gauge

It has been a while since I last updated my blog, for which I apologise, a lot has happened since my last post. First off Team England went out to Rostov in Russia to take on Team Russian Legion in the M1 Challenge semi finals. Unfortunately for us, the Team lost 4-1 against a highly skilled team who came out with a clear game plan to use against us. I took on the UFC veteran Ansar Chalangov. He came out to take me down, which is what I expected, we got tangled in the ropes a little, so the ref pulled us off. At this point he got the takedown, I went for a triangle setup and he dived for a heel hook and cranked!! Game over for me!!

Now a loss to every fighter sucks arse and it is one of the hardest things for us to get over. Your first feelings are of quitting and being embarrassed about letting everyone down that has helped and trained you. This is the hardest part to overcome! and to be honest there have been times in my career where these thoughts have been allowed to run away with themselves and I have nearly packed it all in. Fighters have to realise that there has to be a winner and loser within the contest and MMA is a sport with a hell of a lot of ways to lose!! If you take a look at the champions at the top of the sport nearly all have tasted defeat and the age-old adage of you learn more from a loss than a win is true. You have to pick yourself up get back in the gym, analyse where you went wrong and try and patch up that hole in your game. It is an never ending learning process!

The use of a sports psychologist and NLP experts have helped me considerably, especially after a loss and they are something every fighter should be using. The mental aspect of the sport makes a large percent of the game and yet fighters neglect to train this aspect! would you neglect to train your boxing but still think you can slip a shot, counter then pivot off?? No, so why is it fighters feel that the mental side of a fight is so important yet neglect to train it!! Go out find yourself a decent sports psychologist/NLP expert read some books and build yourself a mental training program. Here are a couple I would recommend to get you started:

Some books to read:

Mind Gym –

The Complete Guide to Sport Motivation –

Like I said at the start a lot has happened since my last post. I have started my class at factory BJJ, which I will discuss in a separate blog, and launched my website check it out!

For now

12 Gauge signing off!!