Martin Stapleton talks to AddictedMMA

After being out of action since September 2009 one of the UK's top Lightweights has returned with a bang this year. Having been serving with the Royal Marines including a tour of Afghanistan Martin Stapleton has been on a roll since June of this year. Five fights and five wins have elevated Martin towards the top of the UK rankings and has garnered talk of bigger things to come in 2013. We wanted to catch up with Martin and luckily for us he was only too happy to oblige.


AddictedMMA: Hi Martin it's great to have you on AddictedMMA. Congratulations on winning the Cage Contenders Fight Stars tournament recently. Many had you down as the favourite going in to the event; did that put any added pressure on you to perform, and did you feel you were the favourite beforehand as well?

Martin: Anytime guys, thanks for having me on! Yeah the weeks leading up to the tournament I had a lot of people making predictions about being the favourite to win but I don't listen to any of that, I don't really get affected by pressure in fighting. Compared to the pressure of being responsible for the lives of a full Troop of Marines in Afghanistan I'd barely class fighting as pressure!


AddictedMMA: You got the decision over Jamie Rogers in the quarter finals; subbed Arnold Quero in the semi's and bested Tommy Maguire over three rounds to win the tournament. Out of those three which performance pleased you the most?

Martin: I think the best victory on paper was beating Tommy as he is well known for being a seriously tough guy but as for excitement the Quero fight was probably the best! In all honesty though throughout the night I tried to stick to the game plan and not get into too much trouble as I knew I had three hard fights to get through. Next time out you'll see a completely different game plan!


AddictedMMA: The heel hook against Quero in the semi's was a thing of beauty. With it being so close to the end of the first round did you really think you were going to get the tap out of him?

Martin: Yes! I was waiting for about 20 seconds for the right time. I didn't know how long was left so I was waiting for either the clacker to sound or for my corner to tell me the time as I didn't want to sit back for the heel hook and risk losing position if there was a minute or so left. As soon as the clacker went off I just went for it!!


AddictedMMA: I know it's all "if's" and "buts" but if the other semi-final had gone differently you could have been fighting your teammate Uche Ihiekwe in the final. Were you mentally preparing yourself beforehand for this possibility?

Martin: We'd spoke about it in the weeks before and obviously prepared mentally for it. On the night though even though I didn't want to see Uche loose to Tommy I was relieved in a way because it meant I didn't have to fight a friend, it also gave me more motivation to fight Maguire as he'd just beaten two of my team mates.


AddictedMMA: That had to be the perfect end to 2012 for you? After being out of the cage for almost three years you've gone 5-0 since June. You couldn't have written a better script if you had tried could you?

Martin: It was a great end to a great year! I'm a big believer in setting goals and right at the start of the year I wrote down one of my mid-term goals was to win five fights in 2012 so I managed to tick that box! Also I've wanted to do a tournament ever since watching Ian Butlin in the Cage Warriors tourney in about 2007 so I've done it now and I'm happy.


AddictedMMA: Your commitments with the Royal Marines halted your career for the best part of three years. Was it always your intention to return to the cage as soon as possible?

Martin: Yeah I never really intended to have the time out to be honest but I had a few things go on that meant I couldn't train properly because of commitments out of the country then we went to Afghanistan which took up pretty much all of 2010 and then 2011 was pretty much taken up with another trip abroad and setting up my gym the Full Contact Performance Centre in Rochdale


AddictedMMA: When you returned to the cage in at FCC 3 in June was it like making your debut all over again? Were the nerves kicking in as fight time approached?

Martin: Yeah there were nerves but nerves are a good thing! The thing is I knew I'd trained properly, I'd done everything I could and I have a great team around me so even though I had nerves I was 100% confident. I just couldn't wait to get back in the cage.


AddictedMMA: The ultimate goal has to be the same as every single fighter worldwide, the get to the UFC. You're on an eight-streak win fight; how many more fights will it take to see you grace the world famous Octagon?

Martin: Who knows! All I can do is keep taking fights, keep beating people and keep getting my name out there! I feel I can mix it with anyone in the world at Lightweight and probably most at Welterweight, so I'm ready whenever I get the call and at whatever weight they want! If anyone wants to show some support and help me get to the UFC there's a Facebook page "Get Stapes to the UFC" and also follow me @Stapes_50Cal


AddictedMMA: Is there anyone you'd like to thank?

Martin: I'd like to say a massive thank you to my sponsors www.cross-deck.co.uk who have helped me out and supported me throughout the year. There a company that links people up with course providers and employers in the security industry, so if you're looking at getting into security look them up!


AddictedMMA: It's signature question time.... Aside from MMA what is Martin Stapleton Addicted to?

Martin: Making my gym the most bad ass facility in the UK!


AddictedMMA: Thanks for your time Martin and all the very best for 2013.

Martin: Thanks a lot guys!

Photos of Martin by Creative Camera in action at Full Contact Contender 3.

Creative Camera on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeCameraPhotography

Full Contact Contender on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fullcontactcontender.co.uk?fref=ts

Published by Steve Wickett - Mon, 17 Dec 2012 21:32

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