This weekend see’s Caged Predators host their first show, live from Audley Sports Centre, and competing on the night is Toby Leigh.
Toby is looking forward to testing himself on the night and meets a tough opponent in Elliott Maudsley, but he knows that he has trained hard and is prepared for anything that might happen.
He has found himself training with some experienced and knowledgeable people throughout his development so far and Ahead of the fight I caught up with Toby to get his thoughts and 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?
“Well I’ve been really into my sport and I’ve done a bit of everything but when I tried MMA I just loved it and haven’t been able to stop”.
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?
“Yeah I always knew I wanted to compete it was just finding the right time, as I didn’t want to start training then fight straight away. I love how technical the sport can be and when you think you know how to do something someone can show you a different technique, which works so much more”.
MMA is such an all round sport, that it takes so much dedication to develop at. Would you say you personally have to make any sacrifices to keep developing?
“Yeah I think the only sacrifice for me would be changing what I eat and drink which isn’t really a big deal because it’s made me a much healthier person”.
Also a lot of people work alongside training, especially if you want to be successful you have to put the hours in, unlike other sports where you can train once and turn up on the day. After a long day of working what is it that motivates you to head to the gym?
“I’ve struggled working long days then training straight after but I think the main thing that’s kept me motivated is I don’t want to disappoint any of my family and friends on the night and I want to be able to put on a good performance which everyone will enjoy”.
You train with a great team. Who have been some of the key players in really helping your development and who would you say some of the team jokers are who keep morale high?
“I would definitely have to say Leigh O’donnell and Dave Turner have been the key players helping me get ready for this fight. We all like a good laugh and all are really good at keeping the morale high finding a good balance between keeping it fun and intense”.
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?
“It’s a privilege to be asked to fight for the events first show and I don’t really know what to expect. I just hope my efforts prove to be enough for me to walk away with a win”.
On the night you take on home town guy Elliott Maudsley. How much do you know about Elliott, if anything, as I know he is making his MMA debut?
“I’ve been told he’s had boxing and grappling competitions before but apart from that I don’t really know anything about him or his fighting style”.
He had one boxing fight in the past, so has had the competitive experience. Can you see his boxing possibly being his strong point?
“I heard he lost it so no I wouldn’t say I see his boxing being his strong point but you never know so we will just have to see on the night”.
Where do you feel you are strongest when you compete and what can everyone expect from you on the night?
“I would say I’m pretty confident in all areas and I think everyone can expect me to do them all proud and put on a good performance”.
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?
“Yeah got a few people coming down to support me and to hear them cheering me on will mean the world to me and will give me the confidence and the adrenaline rush I’ll need to get me through the nerves”.
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?
“I strongly believe in having a strong mental approach, I never let myself get over confident and I have to respect that Elliott has been training as hard as I have so it’s not going to be a walk in the park, so I’ve got to make sure I’ve got a level head all the way through training and most importantly when I step into that cage”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Yeah well first thank you for taking the time to ask me these questions. I would also like to thank my old coach Bob Cassidy for putting the time in when I first started my training and my new coach Leigh O’donnell for being a great sparring partner and thanks to the rest of team flex everyone knows who they are who have helped me get to where I am today”.