James Brum; I Know He Is Going To Bring The Fight, He Always Brings The Fight.
So on a bright blue bank holiday Monday I hopped on the Isle of Wight passenger ferry and headed over to catch a few minutes from the man they call 'Job Done' in between his training and cardio sessions.
With less than a week before his CageWarriors fight against the dangerous Olivier Pastor in the United Arab Emirates, James was his usual upbeat self.
Now everybody knows Olivier Pastor is a dangerous fighter, the very first question that I was keen to ask James was his feelings on the man and the threat that he posed:
Yeah he's a great guy, he`s a veteran of the sport and been around for a long time. I think the biggest danger when you think of Olivier Pastor is the fact that he is up for a fight! He fought just under a month ago in Russia, basically in his opponent's back yard, he's not afraid of anything and that fight was also at a heavier weight category. Fair enough he lost the fight, but he still gave as good as he got. As we saw against Liam James he is a very dangerous opponent, he likes to look for that guillotine, so that is something I have trained for a lot. You know I have got pretty good guillotine and choke defence on the whole, but yeah! That is something I have worked on with the GYM01 monsters.
So with that perspective I asked James if he feels that guillotine will be his biggest threat, he replied:
I think it's just one of the tools in his arsenal, it's also to his detriment that he always works for it. I think the real biggest threat from Olivier Pastor is he is obviously a veteran of the sport and he has very heavy hands. He has knocked out some very tough competition. But I have good head movement and I'm light on my feet, and it's not like I'm not training with guys who haven't got heavy hands every day. People like James Pennington and Phil `Billy' Harris, so I'm pretty confident when I get in there, I just want to mix it up and put fist to chin.
I wondered if James had a message for Olivier ahead of the fight, he did, and he also had a surprise for me with his admission that he was not happy with his last performance from Christmas Eve in Dublin:
Let's just go out there and entertain the fans, I was disappointed with my last performance and I want to prove to the fans that I'm still here. I want to show everybody what the GYM01 monsters are all about. I know he is going to bring the fight, he always brings the fight. He can play his mind games at the weigh ins and beforehand, but on the day it's going to be two guys that walk into that cage , and one guy that walks out with his arm raised. That man will be me.
I was surprised by James statement that he was disappointed by his last performance against Moktar Benkaci. A fight James won via unanimous decision cementing his position as not only the CageWarriors UK fighter of the year, but our own AddictedMMA's as well. I asked him to summarise why he was not happy:
I had a great year in 2012, but I almost feel like I ended the year on a loss because I didn't give the fans what I wanted to give them when I was in Dublin. I didn't just want to win my fight, I wanted to entertain as well. But due to an illness, (eye infection) I wasn't able to have a good weight cut, so I wasn't able to have a great performance. Fair enough I got the win and that's what matters, but for me it's almost as if I'm coming off a loss and I still have something to prove. I have to show all of the up and comers that James Brum is still here, and that I have a lot more to show.
So with that in mind the fact that 2012 was a great year for James' career is still unavoidable. I asked James how he planned to emulate that success in 2013. How is James' fight game coming along and what are we likely to see from him this weekend?
I think the secret is, every time I come back to the cage is to bring something new with me, something they haven't seen before. Changing things up is important, I can't just be the same old James Brum, I have to add new tools to the skillset so I can throw my opponent off.
I feel right now I am more well-rounded than I have ever been, I am the best James Brum that I have ever been, and if we can go back to what I was saying about Olivier Pastor, I have to be. The fact that he will fight anybody, the fact that he is coming off a loss, I think these are dangerous things, and that's why I have to be the best me, I need to be sharp and on top of it. Coming off a loss he will have something to prove, he has been around for a long time and he has had several wins and losses. He wants this win just as much as I do. But I am ready, and I will fight to the bitter end of every last second.
So escaping James harsh critique of himself, I asked him what his high point was in 2012? James told me:
I always come back to the fight with James Saville simply because I loved that fight, and it was one of those fights that we are able to talk about how far I have come and what I can bring to the table. I was put in some dangerous positions and places in that bout and Saville brought a great fight. I think it shows us how much I have evolved and how far I have come since the early days of my MMA career. You know previously I have been put to sleep from the rear naked choke, Scraps has got an excellent ground game, he took my back and I was able to escape that, I took some real tough shots standing as well, but ultimately my conditioning showed and I was able to win that fight.
James has always embraced the travelling element of fighting on the CageWarriors promotion, so I wanted to know what other than the fight was he most looking forward to about on this trip to the Emirates?
I'm just looking forward to meeting the CageWarriors fans, I love meet and greets and having the opportunity to travel around the world. I always joke with people when they ask what is it like travelling so much? I tell them I get to see some lovely airport lounges and hotel rooms. But hopefully afterwards I will get to celebrate next to the pool with some of the fans, it's all about meeting the CageWarriors fans for me.
With my time with James drawing to an end I asked him our usual signature question, James has been asked this a few times now and always has an interesting answer. So what is James Brum Addicted to right now?
Do you know what? Today I have been looking at all of the cookies and cakes around town and those are the things that I am usually addicted to, but they are things I can't have right now. So right at this moment I am addicted to Wheat Grass and Spirulina. (Laughs)
I had one last sneaky little question for James before it was time for him to continue with his schedule, I asked James are we likely to see his patented "South Coast Leg Kick" again?
Hell yeah! You are going to see a few kicks in this fight. Not to give anything away but you may even see a shin kick to the head as well.
Like I said it's always fun to interview James, and we can only wish him a great fight with Olivier. Make sure to check CageWarriors Fight Night out this weekend live on FaceBook and the CageWarriors website: http://www.cagewarriors.tv/
This is just one of many fantastic fights set to go down on the night.
James would like to thank Ecto-Muscle his supplement sponsors, look out for the fighter V-pack. His strength and conditioning coach Lee Waite find him on twitter @LeeProedge, he is a close friend of James and helps him keep in awesome shape. James would also like to thank the GYM01 monsters who help him perform. AddictedMMA, Little Red,Brian and Gareth and obviously his mum, dad and Liz all get shout outs.
Images by the amazing Little Red Creative.
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Published by Boogeyman - Thu, 9 May 2013 09:50