Graham Turner is one of the hottest prospects in the UK today. Ranked third in the UK rankings, behind Andy Ogle and Conor McGregor, it shows how good the Dinky Ninjas fighter is. With a wealth of experience behind him and the skills to dazzle, Graham is destined for the next level. He took some time out to answer my questions on his fighting career so far.
Hi Graham, thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you tell people a little about yourself?
“Hi my name is Graham Turner, I fight out of the dinky ninjas, I have a fight record of 22-7-0. my coach is James Doolan, my fight management is Intensiti FM and I live in Lanark Scotland”.
You have just been named as 3rd in the UK featherweight rankings, behind two current UFC fighters. How does it feel to get to number 3?
“It feels amazing to be ranked number 3 in the UK behind Andy(Ogle) and Conor (McGregor) who are both signed for the UFC. I just hope I can join them someday.
You have a lot of experience in your MMA career to date: 30 fights and your only 25! How did you get into MMA and how much does your experience help you in your fights?
“Well I have trained with James since I was 14 and followed in his foot steps. I watched UFC, Pride, CageWarriors and Cage Rage back in the day and loved it. As soon as James started to compete in the sport I was just waiting for him to ask me if I wanted to compete and I didn’t even have to think on it and I jumped at the opportunity. MMA has been a massive part of my life ever since! Yeah I have had 29 pro fights now and I am sure its the most fights out of all the Scottish fighters and having that many fights does help me in the cage in a way! I don’t get really nerves before fights it just feels natural now”.
You are on a current 4 fight win streak which has boosted you up to be the number one contender for the Cage warriors featherweight title. How does it feel to be in that position?
“To be in the number one spot for the CageWarriors title feels amazing as it was not that long ago I got it taken away from me due to a loss. So I will be taking this opportunity and grabbing it with both hands”.
Being a champion is something which you have experienced with OnTop and VisionFC. How different isn’t it fighting as the champion, with a target on your back, and climbing the ladder to fight for the title!
“Well to be honest I haven’t had the opportunity to defend any of my titles. I was looking forward to defending my On Top title but it did not happen. I feel like there is always equal pressure whether you are going for a title or defending a title”.
Last time out, you defeated Fouad Mesdari. It was a quick night for you. How did you feel your performance was in the fight?
“I feel like my last outing on CW 52 went exactly the way I wanted it to go. I was happy with my performance and executed my game plan that I had been working on for that fight”.
What is your career highlight to date?
“My biggest highlight of my career is been given the opportunity to fight on one of the biggest shows in Europe and that’s CageWarriors as it was a show I watched as a kid”.
How far do you want to go in MMA? Do you think the UFC will come calling soon?
“I want to go all the way and to me all the way is getting into the UFC! I hope they come calling at some point and all I can do is keep performing well and winning fights”.
Do you have any pre fight rituals or any songs you listen to that get you motivated before a fight?
“I always do the same thing: get the weigh in out the way, go get re hydrated/refueled, go chill and get my head in the game! As for my music choice my shuffle is full of rock songs. There is no better way to get me fired up! Especially the likes of Slipknot”.
I will never experience getting into the cage and fighting. And for that I have so much respect for everyone who does it. What’s the feeling like when the cage door is shut and it’s just you and your opponent?
“As soon as that cage door shuts and I touch gloves and step into my stance it all becomes second nature to me every thing just falls into place”.
Psychology in sport is big and there are lots of techniques. How do you mentally prepare yourself for a fight and how easy/hard is to switch off the crowd when you are fighting?
“Well to be honest listening to my music helps me get mentally prepared for my fight and I just switch on when I am warming up and getting ready to go out there and do what I love”.
What is the best thing about fighting and what motivates you to fight?
“To me the best thing about fighting is getting to compete and also test your skills out against fighters from all over the world”.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
“The biggest influence in my career has been my coach James Doolan! He has done so much for me and has been there for me all the way through out my career and always guided me in the right path. I can’t thank him enough. He is so passionate about the sport and coaching his fighters”.
And finally is their anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my management Intensiti FM and my new sponsor Uk Fightworks for all their support!
Follow me on twitter @AfterburnerDNFT”.