This weekend Combat Challenge hosts it’s first event in the North East of England, live from Hartlepool, and the main event of the evening features Norway’s Tommy Claussen.
Claussen is no stranger to fighting away from home and is looking forward to getting into the cage to test his skills against home favourite Perry Goodwin.
With not much information available on Tommy, I thought it would be good to speak with him to learn a little more about him and his thoughts ahead of the night.
Thanks for your time Tommy. I wanted to start by looking ahead to Combat Challenge, who are putting on their first show in Hartlepool next week. How does it feel to be offered the chance to compete on the show and be given the chance to showcase your skills to a new fan base?
“I am very happy that they give me the opportunity to fight on this show, even though they don’t know so much about me”.
Your match up comes in the main event. How does it feel to be given the chance to take the headlining fight?
“People expect a bit more on the main card and I will try to deliver”.
On the night you meet local favourite Perry Goodwin. How much have you managed to find out on Perry and what do you make to him as an opponent?
“I don’t know much about him. I have seen one MMA fight of him on youtube, but that was some years ago, so I believe his style has changed since that time. I believe he is a tough guy, and together I hope we will put on a good show”.
Coming over to compete in Perry’s backyard, with him having the crowd support, do you think that could be intimidating to yourself or be more helpful as most people will just be expecting him to run through you and you can just focus on surprising them?
“I am a Norwegian, MMA is illegal in Norway, all my fights I have had the crowd against me, but he crowd is not in the cage, in the cage it is only me and my opponent”.
Where do you feel you will be stronger in the fight, without giving too much away of course.
” I like the ground game”.
For anyone who hasn’t seen you compete before, what can they expect once you step into the cage?
“I am no big talker, but I can throw a punch. I believe they will see a bit of everything, striking, clinching and on the ground”.
Looking back on your 2014 so far in terms of competing and training, how much do you feel you have developed since the start of the year?
“I am more secure in my style, and I now know where my strongest positions are. My coach always tell me where and when I was bad during a fight and we try to correct them in training”.
All the build up to a fight takes place behind closed doors and you come from what looks a fantastic set up and team. Whats it like learning from those guys on a daily basis?
“They are good fighters and I also train with guys who only do grappling/wrestling and guys who only go k1 fights, which is very good because they are specialists in one style and can give me advice on where I need to work both standing and on the ground”.
One thing which many people outside the sport don’t understand is the dedication needed to develop your skills and push yourself to the next level, but it can also take up a lot of time.. What is it that keeps you motivated to continually hit the gym on a daily basis?
“My biggest motivation is knowing that I will get my ass kicked if I don’t train”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“I would like to thank Fit for fight Norge, sigis fight team, Prestige mma fight consept, Luna solstudio, perfect sun studio UK”.