Grapple Nation returns this weekend, as they host their third installment and competing in one of the superfights on the day is Liam Corrigan.
Liam has been training for seven and a half years and has found himself getting many opportunities within the sport and has traveled far and wide to get lots of experience under his belt, (pardon the pun!).
This Saturday he will face Josh Camm in a no-gi superfight and it is one to watch out for, with both Camm and Corrigan having terrific skills on the mat.
Ahead of the superfight I caught up with Liam to get his thoughts on the event but to also learn a little more about his journey in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
What was it that first peaked your interest in BJJ and led you to begin training?
“I first got interested in grappling through a guy I knew at work. I actually wanted to try muay thai but he got me into watching some of the earlier UFCs when Chuck and Tito where in their primes and then introduced me to a BJJ gym in Leicester. Unfortunately after six months the gym moved on until a while later when I found Leicester Shootfighters”.
Once you first got on the mat and started rolling, what was it that made you want to continue learning?
“When I first started at LSF everyone there was much better than me and I was determined to not be the whipping boy which ultimately you are when you first start. Once I started improving others would improve and everyone begins to chase each other to get as good as possible or learn the latest moves that nobody else has seen yet. It becomes infectious”.
Who have been some of the bigger influences on your development?
“The biggest influence is obviously my head coach Nathan Leverton. He has been my coach from day one and a lot of my learning has come through him for grappling and mma. Other people have influenced my game too that have either come and taught at Shootfighters like Dean Lister, Roli Delgado, Kenny Johnson and more plus I learnt from books and videos. Brandon Quicks Fade to Black DVD and BJ Penns closed guard book for example had a big influence on me early on”.
When you first started training was it always your intention to enter competitions and how have you found testing your skills against over competitors to date?
“I think I always wanted to test myself even early on but it wasnt easy at the beginning as most competitors will vouch for. Once you get the first few competitions out of the way though you begin to find your ‘A Game’ and also what your weaknesses are which gives you valuable feedback to take back into training.
There’s other things you learn about yourself too especially from a psychological point of view. I feel I’ve done well over the years at a fairly high level but as long as there is another level to reach then the competition journey is ongoing”.
Next up is Grapple Nation 3. How much do you know about Grapple Nation and the first two shows they have put on?
“Grapplenation is a very well organised show and it was a good experience to compete on the last event. The level is good and I haven’t heard anyone say anything negative about it”.
On the day you are involved in a superfight. How does it feel to be asked to compete in a superfight and how much are you looking forward to being involved in it?
“Its always good to be asked to do these Superfights. It proves that I’m doing something right competitively as I’m there on merit not because I’m friends with a promoter or something. I’m looking forward to it as I do with every competiton/fight I take”.
Your opponent on the day is Josh Camm. How much do you know about him and his skill sets?
“Josh looks like a good all rounder he did well against Marc Morrell who I rate pretty highly having seen him on the grappling circuit for years. He comes from a good gym so I expect him to be a high level opponent which is something I’m used to facing”.
Josh has been involved in a GN superfight before and is a brown belt. Do you think his experience is something to watch out for?
“Not really I’ve been in superfights before fought in Brazil, USA, Europe at World Championships, Europeans and Grapplers Quest plus more. I’ve subbed black belts and lost at Purple belt level. I’m pretty experienced myself and I don’t feel that belt ranking will have any influence in this nogi fight”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Yeah as always I wanna thank Levo and everyone who helps me get ready for competition at Leicester Shootfighters and everyone who makes it possible for me to train and do what I do on a day to day basis. Plus I’ve been getting a lot of help from my sponsors Protein Fusion, SJ Langton and Crossfit LE3”.