BCMMA present their eight installment this coming weekend, live from Charter Hall in Colchester, and competing on the night is Blackdog MMA’s Niayl Jones.
Niayl returns to the cage for the first time in over a year and he cannot wait to get back in there and test himself again and show just how far along he has come in that time.
Hearing from Niayl you can tell his passion and dedication towards the sport we all love and with Blackdog MMA and the Isle of Man behind him, you know he is going to continually push himself to be the best.
Ahead of a cracking night of fights down in Colchester, I caught up with Niayl to get his thoughts on his last outing inside the cage, his development at Blackdog MMA and the all important match up with Danny Hodgson this Saturday night.
Thanks for your time Niayl. I wanted to start by asking about your involvement with the UK MMA league and becoming their bantamweight champion. Firstly how did it feel to take home that belt?
“The UKMMA LEAGUE is a great way to compete often and gain experience, Winning that belt meant everything to me It was all I could think about for weeks before I won it. Nothing was going to stop me taking it home with me”.
Looking back on those match up’s, what were some the key things you took away and how did you find the whole experience?
“I took away a lot from the bouts I had all of them went well, in my second fight I was tested by a tough opponent that was the fight that made me realise I have to ability to succeed in MMA it also really made me step up my training having such a hard fight made me want to be so much better so I don’t have close fights I seek one sided domination”.
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’m so happy to be fighting again it’s been more than a year since I last fought and I can’t wait to return to the cage on Sep 27th,BCMMA is a great promotion and I’m honoured to be fighting on it”.
How much do you know about your opponent on the night and the challenges they may pose?
“I’ve watched my opponent’s fight once and that’s it just to get an idea of the way he fights apart form that I have been focusing on what I’m good at and drilling thing I want to use in this fight. From what I’ve seen Danny seems to be fairly well rounded “jack of all trades master of none”.
Where do you feel you will be the stronger fighter on the night?
“On the feet is where I like to be and it’s where I think I’ll have the advantage. My reach is going to be an issue for anyone in my weight class however if we tie up and I see an opening for a takedown I’ll take him down and punish him there the way I win really doesn’t matter”.
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 in “training camp” I don’t stop and ever since the fight was confirmed I’ve been pushing myself to the limits everyday .Everyone has their bad sessions but there’s nothing I particularly dread except hill sprints EVERYONE hates hill sprints! As for weightcutting I walk around at 67KG I only have to drop 2KG to make my weightclass so it really doesn’t affect 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?
“Being mentally tough is the most important thing if your weak you’ll half arse sessions not push yourself and ultimately not succeed in this sport. The mentally weak wouldn’t survive my training schedule”.
Also with MMA you have to be so dedicated, especially if you want to be successful. What is it about the sport that keeps you going back for more and how do you keep motivated after a tiring day, to hit the gym?
“I love the sport I love improving everyday alongside my training partners. As for motivation I have a lot I want to make a career out of this and then won’t happen without hard work and dedication, if I’m tired and don’t want to train after work I think about my opponent who’s probably training hard while I take the night off if that doesn’t send me down to the gym I just picture the things I want to achieve that won’t be accomplished by sitting at home watching TV”.
You train out in the Isle of Man with some great guys. How good is it learning from them each day?
“Training in the Isle of Man is great I’m surrounded by people who inspire me and who want me to succeed .I have great teammates to steal setups and combinations of. Everyone at our gym wants to improve and compete at a high level which creates a really good atmosphere to train in, 3 of my training partners Harry Brereton, Olly Dunne and Vladimir Dvorak are also fighting on BCMMA 8 so everyone’s working hard together”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Yes! I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone at MANX ABC for improving my boxing so much and giving me high level boxers to spar with. Also thanks to Andrew Lawrence my MMA coach at BlackdogMMA for getting me to where I am now. And last but not least a huge thanks to Ben Corkish and Kristie Ryder, two former professional muay Thai fighters who have done so much for me and brought my striking and fitness to a new level”.