Grapple Nation 3: Superfight Focus – Kameron Atakuru (Interview)

It’s Grapple Nation 3 this coming weekend, live from Manchester, and one of the superfights on the night features Kameron Atakuru. 

Kameron is well respected in the martial arts world and is one of the best coaches in the UK. I was lucky enough to see his MMA return at CSFC 8 earlier this year and he showed his dominance on the ground with a first round Submission (North South Choke) victory. 

With his wealth of experience he is a match for anybody and this weekend he will look to keep on developing when he takes on Chris Regan and I caught up with him to get his thoughts.

Hi Kameron, thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions. What was it that first peaked your interest in BJJ and led you to begin training in the art?

“A friend of mine brought round old video tapes of Vale Tudo fights back in 2000….and I was just in awe, and pretty much just wanted to be a bad motherfucker like Rickson”. 

Once you first got on the mat and started rolling, what was it that made you want to continue learning?

“Its one of those things you cant really put into…but its the very thing that everyone who wrestles, can relate. Its an addiction. And it is life changing”.

You are one of the most respected practitioners in the UK and alongside competing, coach as well. How much does coaching help you with your own BJJ?

“Thats very kind of you to say Simon. Coaching all aspects of MMA, and especially emulating the coaching styles of the people I look up to in this game has massively improved my own game as an athlete. You get the chance to break things down systematically and get a chance to really understand each and every scenario that you teach”.

You also compete in MMA, with BJJ a big component in MMA. Going into a superfight focused solely on grappling, does it make it easy as you dont have to worry about the striking aspect?

“Honestly…its just like training. In fact its not…I get more nervous driving to ASW on a monday morning, wondering what the gaffer has in store for us. So competing at any level, be it grappling, boxing or MMA…I dont really get that nervous. Just a healthy state of readiness”.

Next up is Grapple Nation 3. How much do you know about Grapple Nation and the first two shows they have put on?

“Well I was involved involved in the first event, and in the 2nd I had a lot my lads place for medals in the second event they put on”.

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?

“Yeah, its a great compliment. As its the opinion of your peers in this game that I value. Plus I just love to compete as often as I can. Win or lose…I’m always developing”. 

Your opponent is Chris Regan. Have you had chance to check any footage out on Chris and what are you expecting from him on the day?

“Honestly. I really haven’t. All I know is that he is a “competitive” Blackbelt in Jiu Jitsu. This means he’s very good….There’s lots of Blackbelts out there that dont, or have never competed, which to me, isn’t worth a wank.

So im expecting a very game competitor, ready to win at all costs. Which is exactly how I’ll be”.

I see from GN that you have 4 more years experience that. Do you think that experience could prove a factor in the match up?

“Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see on the day”.

And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?

“As always my Coach Daren Morris. My training partners, especially Lee Chadwick who also competes at Grapple Nation 3, we’ve done countless hours of training together. He is a massive part in my development as a player. Progress Jiu Jitsu for all their support. And Glyn Powditch for buying me a lovely pair of Cuban Heeled Oliver Sweeney shoes. Legend. Haha”.

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