In nine days time Caged Predators hosts its very first show, live from Audley Sports Centre in Blackburn, and making his MMA debut on the night is Elliott Maudsley.
Elliott is no stranger to competing though, as he had a boxing match up a while ago and that really helped in showing him what its like to compete in front of an audience, but also how to deal with pre fight nerves.
With a great team in Blackburn Predators behind him, we can all expect to see a very well rounded competitor and someone who is looking to give their all on the night.
Ahead of the action, Elliott kindly took some time out to answer my questions and give us all the chance to learn a little bit more about him.
Thanks for your time. I wanted to start by asking about your Martial Arts development so far. What was it that first got you interesting in the sport and made you want to begin training?
“The first thing that got me interested was the ufc. I had been a fan for about three or so years and thought it would be interesting to learn something new. Also my good friend Dean was training at the time so I went along with him”.
Looking back on your time training so far, was it always your intention to compete and what is it about the sport, in your opinion, that is so addictive?
“I never really thought about it to be honest as I was so raw when I first started. I trained over at the old east lancs predators for a couple of months but went to Canada for the summer so stopped training for a good 6-7 months but I knew I wanted to carry on learning but struggling to get to thee gym with my job at the time. Now I feel bad if I miss a session lol”.
Picking up a new sport is always fun, but also challenging. After training for a while which parts of the sport did you really enjoy and were there any areas that frustrated you?
“Yes all aspects of this sport can be frustrating at times especially when your team mates may pick things up quicker than you but very rewarding when you pull off something you just learnt. I love all aspects of training but if I had to choose it would be the wrestling side I enjoy the most”.
You train with a great team. Who have been some of the key players in really helping your development?
“We have got a great team down at predators and obviously I have to say Rob Freedman my coach has been a key part in my development over the past 12 months, also I used to train at UK alpha males under Declan Williams so I feel I have also got to mention him for my development too.
All the lads at preds are killers so you never get an easy round so you cant help but improve. Ben Singleton also is my main sparring partner as we are both pretty much on the same level so we are always very competitive with each other that has helped me improve also”.
Next up you head to Blackburn for the Caged Predators first ever show. How does it feel to be asked to compete on a shows first event and what are you expecting from the night?
“Yes its an honour to be asked to fight on the show as its my coach Rob’s show.That says he believes in me enough to get me matched. I don’t know what to expect on the night other than getting my hand raised at the end of the fight”.
Your opponent for the night is Toby Leigh How much have you managed to find out about Toby and the challenges he could pose you?
“The only thing I know about Toby is that he trains at flex mma. Other than that I haven’t seen him looked at him or know anything about him. I think its his first time fight like myself so I just hope he is ready to put on a good show for all my fans in Blackburn. I don’t know what his strengths are or weaknesses all I know is that i’m ready for any situation on the night”.
Where do you hope to be stronger on the night and what is it about this match up that you think will really test you?
“I don’t really want to give anything away but I feel ready in all aspects of my game. My sparring has come on so much and I’m ready to go. I think any fight is a big test but I had a boxing fight about 18 months ago and one thing I took away from that fight was how to calm my nerves as I had a big adrenaline dump in the first round and couldn’t perform to the best I could, but now I know what that feeling is and I can control that and perform at my best”.
Are you hoping to have a lot of support on the night and how much does it mean to you to have them cheering you on?
“All the crowd will be on my side as I’m from Blackburrn but yes my good friends and some family will be coming to cheer me on on the night. If I’m honest it makes no difference as once the cage door shuts your on your own anyway. But it will be nice when I win everyone chanting my name hahaha”.
One part in the build up to events and on the night is the psychology and mental approach, which some people can disregard. How much do you believe in having a good mental approach to your match ups?
“Yes the mental game I believe is one of the most important things as I’ve seen it first hand. I’ve seen fighters on certain nights were they probably could of performed better if they were thinking differently. Its a fight your going to be nervous if your not your obviously a serial killer or one of my training partners Wayne (the guys more relaxed than bob marley) haha I just think you have got to accept that fact and embrace it then let your training and your hard work take over”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Id firstly like to thank my coach rob freedman for believing in me and pushing me to my absolute limits. All the lads at preds its been really buzzing in the gym at the minute and everyone seem to be peaking at the same time so thanks to all the lads for pushing me. Special thanks to big kev as he always forces me to go that extra mile. Like to thank my fiancé Jenny for having my healthy meals ready for me and for putting up with my grumpiness when I’m tired from training. Just want to wish all my team mates the best of luck on the night, I hope we all smash it boys as we definitely have earnt it”.