Harry Brereton: “Training and competing has given me a confidence I never had before”

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This coming weekend BCMMA return to present their eighth installment, live from Charter Hall Colchester, and competing on the night is Isle of Man’s Harry Brereton. 

Since getting into the sport Harry has found himself really progressing at a quick rate and is ready to keep challenging himself against the best amateur’s around. 

He gets the opportunity to travel over to Colchester to take on Mareks Belevics and when you hear from him you can sense his passion for the sport. 

That passion will be evident to fans in person on Saturday but until then hear are his thoughts ahead of BCMMA 8. 

Thanks for your time Harry. I wanted to start by asking about your MMA development so far. What is it that first attracted you to the sport and got you thinking: ‘I wouldn’t mind trying this?’

“No worries, I’ve been involved in martial arts since I was young starting with judo and karate and I really love the body control and balance it gave to me as a lanky awkward kid. In regards to MMA I was flicking through channels one night and saw Robbie Lawler fighting in the UFC and just thought WOW! So once I came back from Uni and heard there was an MMA club on the island I threw myself into it”.

Looking back on your first few times training, what were your initial thoughts on actually doing the sport, as opposed to watching, and what made you want to continue doing it?

“The first few times training were overwhelming. There was so much going on. I couldn’t fathom how guys half my size could hold me down and tie me in knots. I remember trying to learn a basic armbar and it was just so alien to the way I was used to moving my body. I stuck with it because I hate being defeated in anything and as I got better I found I loved the challenge and the artistry in it and now it’s a huge part of my life”. 

MMA is a very well rounded and disciplined sport, in particular if you want to compete and be successful at a higher level, unlike other sports where you can turn up and hope for the best. What is it that keeps you motivated to head to the gym after a hard day working?

“Competitive drive and fear. I want to do the absolute best I can and at the same time if I’m not training my next opponent is so I need to be at or above his level. I think if you lose that fear it’s game over, plus I get grumpy as f**k if I don’t train😉 “.

Looking back on your time in the sport so far in terms of competing, as well as training, what are some of the biggest things you have taken?

“It’s changed my whole mental attitude. I’m a naturally shy introverted person but training and competing has given me a confidence I never had before. I’m still quiet but now I have that confidence to go for what I want and to back myself in my decisions and that’s all down to training and competing”. 

Next up is BCMMA 8 in Colchester. How good is it to get matched up on the show and how excited are you to compete?

“I can not wait to compete. As I have transitioned to the better levels in the sport there has been some long waits between fights and it drove me crazy, so now I am competing I’m ecstatic. At the end of the day that’s why I train, to compete and test myself”.

How much do you know about your opponent on the night and the challenges they may pose?

“Only what I have found on the internet. Sometimes it’s best not to look too hard at who you are fighting, you can only go in there and fight your fight”.

Where do you feel you will be the stronger fighter on the night?

“Everywhere hopefully🙂  but I’m sure that won’t be the case and we will fairly matched”. 

How long have you been training towards your match up and are there any parts of training camp which you tend to dislike? I know a lot of people don’t enjoy the weight cutting.

“I’m always training but I usually devote eight weeks solid to fight preparation. Weight cutting is never fun but you get used to it. I think the biggest hardship is just the lack of choice. You can’t do what you want when you want or eat what you want. Everything goes in to training and that fight at the end”. 

Are you hoping to have a good set of supporters behind you on the night and does it ever add any unwanted pressure having your friends and family there?

“Coming from the Isle of Man there won’t be hoards of supporters but there should be a few and what they lack in numbers I’m sure they will make up with noise. Once I’m in the cage I don’t see or hear the crowd so outside pressure is not something that bothers me”.

Obviously MMA isn’t all just about your fighting prowess, it also helps to be strong mentally. How much do you rate the mental aspect of the sport and are there anyways in which you keep yourself focused and positive?

“I think mental preparation and toughness is huge. You can have all the physical attributes in the world but if you are not in it mentally you can’t use them effectively. Like I said before I think a healthy fear is a good way to stay sharp as long as you don’t over do it. Having a definite goal helps a great deal as well”. 

For anyone who hasn’t seen you compete before, what can they expect from you on the night?

“An exciting fight I hope. I’d love for people to be talking about my fight at the end of the night”.

And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?

“Huge thanks to my coaches Andrew Lawrence (who unfortunately just broken his leg, get well soon mate) and Ben Corkish. Both put so much time and effort into my training, I couldn’t wish for anyone better. Also everyone of my training partners and team mates, they all bring something different to the table. Finally my girlfriend for putting up with me at my worst (usually when I am cutting weight)”.

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