James Brum: “I know I’m better than him and want the chance to prove it”


James ‘Job Done’ Brum is a very talented fighter who backs it all up in the cage. Training out of Gym01 in Portsmouth, he has took the MMA world by storm and this is all down to his dedication in and out of the cage.  He is currently on a six fight win streak and is looking to get himself a title shot. His passion for MMA comes through and he is one of the best fighters in the UK. James took some time out to answer our questions here at Split Decision MMA UK.


Hi James, thanks for taking the time to speak to us at Split Decision. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“I’m 26 years old and have been training in MMA since 2008 after I graduated from University with a 2:1 in Sport & Exercise Science. In this short period of time under the Coaching of Brian Adam’s I have amassed a 12 and 2 record, fought on several shows on the domestic scene including Shock N Awe and now I’m fighting all around Europe and the Middle East for Cage Warriors”. 

In regards to your MMA journey, how did it you first come across the sport?

“I was in the sports section of a DVD shop looking for some pro wrestling DVD bargains when I came across UFC 46 on reduction. I thought I’d buy it and watch a real ‘cage fighting’ event to see what it was actually about as it was still real taboo back then. I remember watching it and just being blown away. The feeling of that first experience, watching head kicks, submissions and takedowns for the first time I think is part of the reason this is the fastest growing sport. I think that initial feeling I felt is what people experience when they go to a live event for the first time or watch their first MMA fight. It is what makes them become fans, train like a fighter or become a fighter. That day I no longer wanted to be a professional wrestler but decided I wanted to pursue a career in mixed martial arts”.


When did you first think “I want this to be my career?

“As soon as I watched that DVD. I soon found South Coast Submissions whilst I was still at University. I told Bri I wanted this as a career (which he had probably heard several times before) but he agreed with me when I said I had to focus on my exams and nailing my dissertation first. After my last day of University I got a bar job to pay the bills and would make the trip back and forth, training every evening. It wasn’t long before I ditched the bar job and made a move to training as close to full time and my first trip to the U.S.A for 3 months to see if training 2 to 3 times a day was what I really wanted to do. I’ve not looked back since”.

 As a pro you have put together a great record of 12-2 so far! What has been the secrets to your success?

“It sounds cliché but put simply: Hard work, Sacrifice and a determination to succeed. Like I said, when I first started I jumped on my pushbike then a ferry then cycled to the gym 6 days a week. That explains my rapid progress in the sport. The other important thing is you can have the best facility but if you don’t have the support network of coaches and fighters then what’s the point? Training under a great Coach in Brian Adams and with a great team of hard working fighters with no egos have helped me in achieving my success. Looking back at the S.C.S days conveys my point, look at the success we achieved in a spit and sawdust facility. Now at Gym 01 we have all the components for success in a brand new and fully equipped facility. Still it is no secret looking on the mat. The guys that are progressing are the ones you see day in, day out, eager to learn”.

You have fought on so many great shows, including shock and awe. With it being based in Portsmouth, like yourself, how well do you think the show is doing and what was it like to fight on their shows?

“Shock N Awe has set the bar in terms of MMA shows on the domestic scene especially down south. I always tell people if you have never been to a live event before, go to the next Shock N Awe and have a true reflection of the sport. Rather than a promotion put together overnight with unfair match ups by a promoter looking to make some quick cash. I say to people it is the closest thing you will get to a UFC on your doorstep. Huge Cage, lighting rig, big screens, great match ups including BAMMA, Cage Warriors and UFC veterans and the best local talent. 

Look back at fighters that have been successful on Shock N Awe and you see that they go on to do bigger and better things in their MMA career. Shock N Awe is proving to be the breeding ground for future home grown stars. For me it was a fitting end to that stage of my career competing and WINNING in the Main Event of Shock N Awe IX”.


You also have fought for BAMMA, when you fought Erik Perez at BAMMA 7. Even though it was a defeat for you, how was it to fight on the show and how much did you learn from the fight?

“I did not enjoy my experience fighting for BAMMA, not because of the loss but because of the way I was treated. That is all I would like to say on that subject.

I think the important thing when you lose is that you take something from it. I honestly believed I could have won that fight otherwise I never would have accepted it in the first place. After that fight I focused on becoming a more well rounded fighter and making sure I would never go to sleep via a rear naked choke again. Belief is a strong thing too. And I believe with a proper fight camp that, that fight would have gone down very differently and at least I had the balls to step in their on two weeks notice. If the opportunity to fight him came again in the future I would take it again and make sure he knows what its like to fight the real ‘Job Done’!”

Since that loss you have gone 6 fights undefeated which includes, 5 fights under the Cage Warriors banner. How did it feel to be signed by cage warriors and does it add any extra pressure going into fights unbeaten?

“It was great, it felt like the hard work was starting to be recognised and after seeing my team mates fight on Cage Warriors I knew it was where I wanted to be. Every fight there is pressure. For me the pressure is because of how much I have put in and how much I have sacrificed to get to where I am and I feel I am in touching distance of achieving my next dream. How you handle that pressure is what is important”.

Your last fight was at Cage Warriors fight night 8! You won by unanimous decision. How did you feel your performance was on the night?

“I would have liked to have got the finish but I have to give credit to Pastor for having a hard head and fighting the best in Europe at his age. I know he is an inspiration to a lot of people getting into training at a later stage in their life that want to compete at some level”.


What have been your personal career highlights to date and your toughest fights?

“Signing a multi fight contract to Cage Warriors after an up and down year was a real highlight along with achieving my goal of going unbeaten in Cage Warriors in 2012 against Europe’s top opposition. Not to mention being nominated the Cage Warriors Fighter of the Year 2012 and the AddictedMMA Domestic Fighter of the Year as a result of my performances. Toughest fight to date has to be against James ‘Scraps’ Saville. I loved being in that fight and I love watching it back”. 

You train at gym01 in Portsmouth. What is a typical training camp like for you and is there anyone in the gym who likes to play the joker?

“The gym is full of jokers including Matt ‘Short Fuse’ Hughes, James ‘Power Weasel’ Pennington and Coaches Brian Adams and Gareth Johnson which helps mood of the gym. When the guys are in fight camp though it is all about business. You can’t succeed without the help of your team mates. Everyone pushes each other to succeed, no easy rolls, no easy spars. Put simply, iron sharpens iron”.

Your nickname ‘Job Done’ is a great nickname. How did that come about?

“I found it hard to choose a moniker and people would always come up with silly names. I fought for along time without one with the idea that someone would comment on me or my style and something would just stick. Ben ‘Boogeyman’ Farelly was talking to me one day and said something along the lines of “No matter the opponent, no matter the challenge, you get in there and go to work and get the job done’.”

Does your epic beard also help with getting punched in the face? Like Roy Nelson, his beard seems to cushion the blows he receives. 


“God blessed me with a solid chin, something you can’t train in the gym. Maybe the beard helps somewhat, if anything it is like my war paint. Striking fear into my opponent before we even enter the cage!”

With everything going so well in your career, what aims do you have for the future?

“Ultimately I want to keep beating the best and I want the gold. Right now I want to fight David Aranda, hence why I have called him out in several interviews. He is unbeaten in his pro career and considered one of the top bantams in Europe. I know I’m better than him and want the chance to prove it. I’ve never been very good at asking for things but since I want to beat the best and I want the belt I’m asking Cage Warriors for both. Since he is unbeaten and I am on a 6 fight WIN streak and were 2 of the top 50 bantams in the world. I feel it makes sense to make it a title fight. 

I want the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Title but I believe they have a tournament in mind for the belt so will have to wait and see what Cage Warriors and Intensiti Fight Management has in store for me. The other crucial factor is I don’t think he wants to take the fight. If he is not claiming to be injured then he’s on contract with another promotion. I don’t know which promotion has a fighter on contract to fight once a year. 

Ultimately I want to make a living out of this sport and change my life. For those reasons I want to get into the UFC and start whupping the best fighters in there to prove I am the best. That’s why I feel it is important to beat Aranda to cement myself as the number 1 unsigned bantamweight in Europe!”

What motivates you to keep training and developing?

“I love this sport. I love training and I am determined to succeed and be the best. I keep training and developing so that one day I can be a complete full time fighter, changing my life rather than living pay check to pay check. Ultimately I want to give something back to my parents. When I make it to the UFC and I WIN my first UFC bonus it is going to them”. 

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. Is their anybody you want to give a shout out to?

“You can catch me and some of the Gym 01 Monsters at the UKMMA Expo 20th – 21st July 2013 (www.ukmmaexpo.co.uk)
Thank you: 
  • Bri and the #Gym01Monsters and Coaches for all my fight preparation (www.gym01.com). 
  • I would like to thank my good friend and Strength & Conditioning Coach Lee Waite (@LeeProedge). 

Photo Credits: James Brum

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