“I don’t put pressure on my self, I never have, I just go and enjoy it”.
Chesterfield’s own Craig Humphreys has made a whirlwind and very impressive start to his amateur mixed martial arts career so far, putting together four wins in four and all via finish. His most recent came at FCC 10 last June when he knocked out SBG mainline’s Jim Ratcliffe in just nine seconds, to showcase his power.
However made his debut on the FightStar Championship promotion, in Halifax, when he defeated Tayyib Ali via a beautiful second round triangle choke in May 2014. Then just two weeks later he took out Tom Tynan via TKO in just 17 seconds at Say Uncle 01, before returning to FightStar Championship’s fourth show and submitting Kevin Dixon via rear naked choke in 41 seconds.
With FightStar offering the chance to make his debut last year and then compete on their last show in September, Craig has seen first hand how they are advancing.
“FightStar is a brilliant show, very well run” Humphreys told me.”All the staff are very professional and they are getting bigger and better all the time. Plus they give first time amateurs a chance to prove themselves and show their skills”.
This weekend FightStar heads to the Midlands, for their fifth installment, with a bumper card in Coventry which see’s Craig feature in the co-main event of the evening, when he fights for the FSC British Middleweight Championship and the first title of his rising amateur career.
A fight of this calibre could add more pressure to some people, but not Craig. He is taking it all in his stride and approaching it like he would with any other fight.
“I don’t put pressure on my self, I never have, I just go and enjoy it. I enjoy the moment and what will be will be. Winning a title would also be brilliant and would make all my sacrifices worth while”.
Standing opposite him on the night will be Daniel ‘Pork Chop’ Cassell who is one of the country’s more experienced Middleweights, having over ten fights and last year competed for team UK in Las Vegas at the IMMAF Amateur World Championships. He came away from that with a bronze medal and a lot more experience, so he will definitely be the toughest test for Craig so far, but he doesn’t focus on his opponent.
“To be fair I know nothing about Dan Cassell only his record, which is good as I’m not one for watching videos of my opponents fights.
“I hope it’s a good fight and to have a good record like Dan’s he will come with more than just wrestling skills I’m sure. So we will see what happens”.
Both Craig and his opponent are good all round competitors and it is something which Craig has focused throughout his development. He is somebody who is as comfortable off his back, as he is standing up and trading in the centre of the cage.
With each fight that he is involved in, you can see him just getting better and better. His development is something only his team will see on a daily basis and he makes sure that he is constantly training and never sits still.
“I believe to be good at combat sports I have to train every style I can and pick things that work for me. I am always trying to improve and get better”.
Craig is still in his infancy in his amateur career but he has achieved some great moments so far and I have been able to see him compete first hand in all his amateur match ups. Some people don’t really stand out, but Craig definitely does. He competes with a calmness about him and nothing phases him inside the cage and this calmness, mixed with his improving skill set, could see him leaving Coventry with gold around his waist.
Craig would like to thank:
“My family and friends, my coach Mark Ellis, Andy Marlow, Willis, my main training partners Jodie Mawbey. Harri Key and all the s18 family”
(I would also like to thank Craig for taking the time out to answer my questions and give me the opportunity to put this piece together)