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MMA Thread Interviews Pro MMA Fighter Harry Hardwick

Take a look into the life of an up-and-coming mixed martial artist…

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This week MMAthread.com sat down and had a chat with  up and coming Professional K-1 & MMA Fighter Harry Hardwick. We talked about weight cutting, referee’s controversial decisions and life as a fighter.

MMA Thread: So Harry, give us a bit of a background on you, how did you get into mixed martial arts?

Harry: I started out in Muay Thai training and exclusively trained in that for around 3 years, going 3-0 in C-Class rules fights. I started training MMA when my Muay Thai coach Steven Long switched camps and started teaching at Middlesbrough Fight Academy, it’s mostly an MMA gym, so myself and several other students followed him there and that’s when I first got into MMA.

MMA Thread: So are you more of a striker than you are a grappler, or do you prefer to say both?

Harry: I take whatever approach that can facilitate a victory for me.

MMA Thread: A short and simple answer, which gym do you train at and who are your coaches and training partners?

“I took the fight on about 2 days notice and I won via unanimous decision dominating the 2nd and 3rd round after being controlled the entire 1st round.”

Harry: I train, fight and teach out of Middlesbrough Fight Academy under MMA and Wrestling coach Abdul Mohammed, BJJ coach Jamie Taylor and Muay Thai coach Steven Long. I also do some of my training at Akurei MMA under Nathan Boyce and some training at Spartan Gym Sunderland under Warren Oliver.

MMA Thread: How long after training in MMA did you get your first fight?

Harry: I’ve been training around 7 years MMA only in the last 4 years though and I had my first MMA fight when I’d only been grappling 6 months against a BJJ blue belt who was 1-0 in MMA. I took the fight on about 2 days notice and I won via unanimous decision dominating, the 2nd and 3rd round after being controlled the entire 1st round.

MMA Thread: Which promotion did you have your first ever MMA bouts on?

Harry: My first amateur fight  was on as show called Apex MMA ran by Peter Irving and my first professional fight was on Combat Challenge North East card ran by Anthony Frankland.

MMA Thread: We know you’ve held an amateur title in the made 4 the cage promotion in MMA, do you hold any other titles?

Harry: I currently hold a Pro K1 title in the Combat Challenge North East promotion.

Credit: Made4TheCage

MMA Thread: How many amateur fights did you have before you turned professional and was it an easy decision?

Harry: I had 5 fights with 4 wins and  1 loss, yes it was a pretty easy decision to be honest.

MMA Thread: Did you lose as an amateur if so, how did the feeling differ to winning?

Harry: It was frustrating and motivating but I’m not a guy who gets down about stuff losing is part of any

MMA Thread: Your last fight in ICE FC was against BJJ black belt Robbie Fallon what was your game plan for it?

HarryDon’t get submitted.

MMA Thread: He took you down in the first round and you seemed to be in a spot of trouble, did your own BJJ experience help you remain composed to escape his submission attempts?

Harry: We have excellent guys at our gym where I have to survive the whole round with them so I have experience surviving and using my awkward physical traits to avoid submissions.

MMA Thread: You finished him in the second round with an impressive TKO and he was out cold, did you think it was a late stoppage from the ref?

Harry: Absolutely not I think the fight was stopped at the appropriate time.

MMA Thread: You seemed a little bit concerned about your opponent and the referee ushered you away, what was said between your and the ref?

Harry: It’s a little embarrassing, I kind of just freaked out a little bit due to it being the first concussion I’d seen that close-up and I don’t remember what was said but the ref was just doing what he’s supposed to do.

MMA Thread: Referees come under fire quite a lot in mixed martial arts, due to early and late stoppages, do you think it’s fair for them to be criticized with fighters being told to protect themselves at all times?

Harry: I absolutely hate the increasing trend of early stoppages, if a fighter is going to get brain damage it’s going to be from training like an idiot, 4 or 5 extra shots in a fight isn’t going to harm you if you aren’t taking 4 or 5 hundred hard ones in the gym every month, whereas a taking a few extra shots on your way out of a bad position could literally save your career in this sport if it leads to victory. Herb Dean is getting terrible for it his stoppage in the Uriah Hall vs Brunson fight was abysmal, stopping the fight after a couple of ground strikes that missed while Hall was working for an under hook, terrible.

Credit: Combat Challenge North East

MMA Thread: Whilst speaking of controversy/criticism there’s been a lot surrounding weight cutting lately, what are your views on it?

Harry: A lot of fighters cut weight in a really stupid over the top manner and starve themselves ages out from competition. I tend to just manipulate electrolytes and eat a little less on fight week.
Whilst preparing for a fight do you make sure you’re on weight well before the fight or do you cut a week before like some fighters?

Harry: I only really start to cut weight the week or so before the fight I don’t carry much excess weight anyway so to make weight it’s basically all water weight.

MMA Thread: Weight cutting can be quite grueling and takes a toll on the body, do you follow a specific diet?

Harry: I make sure I stay carb’d up and hydrated as much as possible.

MMA Thread: You currently fight at bantamweight, have you ever toyed with the idea of moving up or down a weight?

Harry: Bantamweight is pretty perfect for me at the minute.

MMA Thread: What do you do in your spare time when your not training for fights?

Harry: Studying fights, eating, playing on my PlayStation from time to time.

MMA Thread: So you’re also a coach as well as being a fighter, do you implement your own game plan for your students?

Harry: Gameplans change just like the opponents, there is no such thing as an absolute or timeless game plan. The gameplans change just like the sport over time.

MMA Thread: Have you got a fight booked before the year is out? If not when will you be next fighting?

Harry: Nope I have absolutely no idea when I’m fighting next gotta sort out a stable source of income that fits around my training first.

MMA Thread: Like most fighters you’ll want to fight in the biggest promotions and test yourself against the best fighters, so what are your plans for the future?

Harry: I’d just like to continue to fight good tough opponents and continue to put effort into coaching. I love being a coach and I’m fairly certain once I’m done competing I’ll enjoy a career in coaching

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