Combat Challenge are known as one of the UK’s most consistent and finest promotions, normally based in Yorkshire but this weekend they host their first show in Hartlepool with a night of K1 and MMA action.
Getting the opportunity to compete on the night is Akurei MMA’s Matthew Batty, who takes on Robert Hardman in a very well matched up fight.
I first saw Matthew compete at Combat Challenge in Bradford, just over a year ago and he truly impressed that night with a quick knockout, showcasing the power he has.
As the clock ticks down to Saturday’s action, I caught up with him to get his thoughts ahead of the night.
Thanks for your time Matthew. I wanted to star by looking back on the last time I saw you compete which was a year ago at Combat Challenge in Bradford, when you Knocked out your opponent in just 15 seconds. We spoke after the fight, but looking back on that experience now, would you say that was the perfect win for you?
“I have only been in this sport for two years and I still feel pretty inexperienced in what to expect from myself. A knock out in 15 seconds was a good way to win but doesn’t teach me anything about what sort of fighter I am or will be”.
A lot of people say they would prefer to have more cage time, but a win is also a win. Do you wish it could have gone on a bit longer or where you happier to get the win?
“The three fights I’ve had have ended early in the first round and it feels like I haven’t settled into a competitive fight yet. So I Don’t know if I am any good or not”.
That was November 2013 and its been nearly a year since that match up. How much do you feel you have developed in the past year?
“I think I have improved slowly and surely. I think I am stronger and faster than I was a year ago”.
Have you had the chance to compete much this year and how much do you feel those experiences have helped you?
“I haven’t fought as much as I would have liked as most shows have been on when I had work commitments, but I managed to fight on Ian Freeman’s show in the summer where I won in the first round with a TKO stoppage.
I think any competitive fight had to be good for a fighter whether it’s a win or a loss. Once that match up is confirmed and you start to study your opponent months before the fight, you get that bit of extra motivation the drives you to improve”.
Next up combat challenge branches to the north east. How have you found your time on the combat challenge show and how does it feel to be offered a chance to fight on their first show in a new region?
“Combat challenge is a great show run by Saif Khan who is a gentleman and Combat challenge north east is being run by the owners of my gym. As I live in Middlesbrough this is the closest I’m going to get to a home town fight. And it’s great to be part of the journey that my coaches and gym are on at the moment”.
On the night you take on Robert Hardman. How much have you managed to find out about Rob and his abilities inside the cage?
“I watched Rob’s last fight on combat challenge where he looked like a good strong fighter with good base on the ground. He seems to be cutting alt of weight to get down to middle weight. Will this have an effect on him? He is obviously an experienced fight being the title holder at light heavy weight”.
How well do you think this one matches up for you?
“This is a good match up because I think this is going to be a tough fight for me, which is exactly what I need. It won’t be a first round stoppage like my previous fights so I’ll get the chance to see if I’m any good”.
With a win in this one, what do you think that would do for your developing amateur career?
“My coach has said to me he thinks I’m ready for a title shot on combat challenge . I don’t really know if I’m that good, so I just do as I’m told and fight who he says to fight. I really enjoy the sport and will just keep fighting on, whether I win or lose”.
Without giving too much away, what can the fans expect from you on the night?
“Fire works, bombs, explosions, blood sweat and a knock out. Haha, I wish. I’ll do what ever I need to do to win, so if that’s a knockout punch or taking the fight to a grueling conclusion in the third round with a points win that’s what I’ll do”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Thanks to all my coaches and members of Akurei MMA”.