In just two days time Full Contact Contender will host their 11th show, with an exciting line up of amateur and professional action, and competing for the amateur bantamweight championship is Ben Dearden.
Dearden trains out of HAMMA, in St Helens, and after recovering from injury he returned to the cage at BAMMA in August, where he defeated James Reece. He then followed this up with another victory at PFC in Blackpool.
With two wins in quick succession, Dearden is confident heading into his FCC championship match up and can’t wait to test himself against a very tough opponent in Robbie Fallon.
I caught up with Ben to get his thoughts on the previous two fights and his opponent this weekend.
I wanted to begin by looking back on the two fights you have had this year. Firstly you took on James Reece at BAMMA, winning by armbar. Looking back on that fight did it go how you imagine it too and what did you take from it?
“It went exactly the way envisioned it would. The plan was basically use MMA to beat him. Stand for a little while, use the fence and then ground game. If I felt he was weaker in one area than the other then keep him there. I took away from that to not fight your mates becusss it’s hard”.
Was there anything about James which surprised you or through knowing him did he do exactly as you expected?
“He did exactly what I thought he would do and that’s stand and bang. Unfortunately standing still and throwing hands is fun for the crowd but risky for the fighters. So mixing it up was the best option for me on that day”.
Pitbull FC followed where you got another armbar victory, in the third round. Looking back at that fight how do you feel you performed and how much did it mean to you to get back to back wins in such a short space of time?
“On the night I thought I performed very badly and was almost disgusted with my performance. When I had the chance to watch it back I feel I performed better than I realised. It was brilliant getting back to back wins but it’s not about the winning it’s about the performance and I didn’t perform to my potential”.
Looking back on those fights, how much confidence do they give you going into FCC 11?
“Winning gives you a great boost and I’m hoping to ride this wave! I took a very big chance taking two fights so close together just before my big fight. I feel as though I can beat anyone in the bantam division and most at featherweight so it wasn’t as much if a gamble as some people think. The second fight was a little last minute but I want injured in the Reece fight and I’m an eager lad”.
FCC 11 gives you the chance to compete for the championship. How much would it mean to you to win the FCC belt and where would that rank in your career if you were to win it?
“It means everything to me at the moment and it’s all I think about day and night. I feel it will be the pinnacle of my amateur career and will really sum it up. FCC is the too amateur show in the country and quickly becoming a top pro show! I’m looking more for the performance than the belt; if I preform, the belt is a bonus”.
You are no stranger to championship fights, but also to the FCC show as well. Do you think that experience stands you in good stead for your upcoming fight, as you have felt that pressure before?
“Unfortunately I don’t know how other people react to pressure and stressful situations but fortunately for me I don’t get stressed. So from my prospective it’s just another fight so I can only assume he will be the same. I never assume I have the upper hand and that keeps you hungry”.
On the night you meet the very talented Robbie Fallon. How much much have you been able to see of Robbie and what are the main challenges you see him posing you?
“I feel Robbie is a very talented fighter in all areas but we don’t get too see this in his fight because he’s either been knocked out or subbed them in the first. Fallon’s biggest X factor is the unknown and that’s the area I want to see”.
Robbie is known for having very good BJJ. Do you feel he will want to take the fight to the ground?
“If he’s smart he won’t go straight to the ground, because that’s what everyone thinks he will do. Not me I know he’s ready and willing to mix it up in all areas and so am I. Don’t be surprised if I’m the one who takes it to the ground, I fear man nor beast anywhere in MMA regardless of their background”.
With all your experience in the sport so far, and what you’ve been through, do you think that you will be too hot to handle on the night?
“I feel with me having a a variety of wins ko/tko submissions and decisions gives me an advantage over a lot of fighters. Like I said before it’s the unknown about Robbie, I want answers too. Everyone knows he has subs but does he have striking/wrestling and the ability and calmness too do 5 full rounds whilst another person is trying to hurt him. We don’t know but like I say those questions will have answers on the 18th”.
How do you find competing on the FCC show and how good is it to return to the show?
“I love FCC and all the teams such a lovely bunch of people and a family run business. They always make you fell welcome and treat you with respect. FCC feels like home too me and always love the crowd and atmosphere!”
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Firstly my sponsors:
Makomedia for creating my website bendearden.co.uk
HAMMA nutrition for sorting all my supplement needs
Fight equipment for all there on going help
Would also like to thank our newest sponsor O2!!
Thanks to all my coaches:
Sean HAMMA Martin-head coach
Steven Heyes -jui jitsu coach
Jay Gavin -striking coach
Dave Faulkner – MMA coach
Micky Stanno -boxing coach
Eddie Johnson -wrestling coach
ALL OF MY HAMMA BROTHERS!!!!
Caroline Martin -super star
Also like to thank the two love birds Jeff and Pottsy for their support.
Last but not least my beautiful wife Paula Dearden for her continuing support”.