strikes Ricky Moore at MB5
Dave McLaughlin is known as the "thinking man's fighter". Dav'es been
around the UK MMA scene for years - he's one of our old skool. A consumate technician,
who fights with cold calculation, McLaughlin is a man of contrasts. He's one of
the quietest, nicest guys you'll ever meet, and yet a fearsome warrior in the
ring. 9 May 2003
of Birth: 27/02/76
approx 66k/5ft 7in
Ollie Batts, Julie Gabriel (CAMA), Pierre Guillet (My Fight Factory Team mate
and Striking Coach). I also trained under Scott Goddard before he left for the
states. And Various others on a seminar basis.
Record: (as of 10.3.03) 7 wins 3 losses (Pro) 15 wins 6 losses 5 draws (Amateur)
Technique: Any pick up & slam.
started training at CAMA when I was 16, 11 years ago. Starting out with Savate.
After a couple of years I added Fillipino Kali, and Close Quarters Training (mostly
joint locking from Korean martial arts, Judo, and some Shooto).
Close Quarters class eventually became Combat Sombo (we started wearing jackets,
and trained more leg locks). 5 years later I dropped the Kali, and started training
in Capoeira, which I studied for just over a year, eventually giving it up to
concentrate on MMA training. At some point (98 I think) I trained in Thai Boxing
for a few months at Cambridge Muay Thai (Now Cambridge
days I train 5 nights a week:
Submission Fighting (no more jackets, more shooting. pummelling etc). (CAMA)
MMA Training (FF UK)
Wednesday: Savate (CAMA)
Thursday MMA Training (FF UK)
Friday: Submission Fighting (CAMA)
I was training in a mix of styles from quite early on (as you can see from my
MA background). When I first saw the UFC, I was an instant fan, but not really
surprised at how Royce Gracie was dominating his fights, it was pretty much the
way I had thought it would be, as soon as the the fight hit the floor, it was
all over for the strikers. Anyway we had a grappling sparring session at the academy
every friday night (still do), and after the UFC appeared, we were doing a lot
more MMA type stuff, more guard work, adding strikes on the floor etc.
Sometime In 1998 Steve Jones (Animal Submission Wrestling) attended our sparring
sessions, and told me to enter the KSBO,
(as he had taken part the previous year) and that he thought that I would do well.
I had already competed in Sombo, Savate, and Full Contact Escrima (stick fighting),
but had not really found anything that suited my abilities, so I entered.
Before I got to the KSBO, I took part in Lee Hasdell's open trial matches, this
was my first real experiance of MMA, and I enjoyed it , I won two matches, and
drew two. Then I went on to the KSBO British Championships, I fought in the U70k
class, weighing in at about 60-61k (I originally competed in the U62k class in
Sombo), and got into the final, losing to Lee Remedios, after 23mins of fighting
(2x10mins regulation time, and then a 5min overtime).
Congrats on winning the Fist of Fury 2 4-man tourney in Massinger, Germany in
April - would you regard this as your biggest MMA achievement so far?
McLaughlin : Thanks, Probably my biggest achievement so far, but it depends what
you mean by biggest. I had my first pro fight at M-1 Russia Vs the World, and
was one of only 4 non Russians to win. Defending my KSBO International title in
a tough 8 man tournament in 2001 was a big deal to me (Old School KSBO is still
my favourite rules format). I also won a four man MMA tournament at Sudden impact,
fighting at Welterweight (u75k) while only weighing 66k, as a favour to the promoter,
also a big deal to me. As regards to the quality of opposition, my first opponent,
a French fighter, who I subbed in the first round, was relatively easy, but the
German fighter in the final, Robert Westerman was tough. In General the German
fighters are better at stand-up than on the ground.
SFUK: You've been around a long time now, and how do you feel the quality of UK
fighters compares to other countries you have experienced?
McLaughlin : From what
I've seen, fighters in the UK compare very well to fighters in other countries.
I hear people say that the UK is a long way behind the states for MMA, but I really
don't think that's the case.
Cambridge seems like a hotbed of talent now, with you, your training partner Pierre
Guillet, and the Cambridge Free Fight guys Mark Day & Robbie Oliver etc - so do
you think you can reach a high level of MMA skill outside of the big cities (London,
Manchester, Birmingham) - ie, can a UFC standard fighter be cultivated in Cambridge?
Or do you think you need to travel to supplement your training?
McLaughlin : I think
you've answered your own question regarding having to train in big cities, I don't
know why Cambridge should have so many good fighters, its a pretty quite place.
As for UFC standard, who knows? Access to training info is easier now than it
has ever been, with Internet sites such as SFUK,
Instructional tapes, Magazines, Books, etc
on weight cats - there's some debate as to which weight categories should be adopted
by UK promotions. Boxing style cats as championed by Jardine, Extreme Force, UKMMAC
and Paddy Mooney or UFC style weight cats as proposed by Dougie Truman & Cage
Rage etc. What do you prefer and why?
McLaughlin : With the current number of fighters in the UK, having bigger weight
categories, like the UFC use, seems to make the most sense. However, as the sport
continues to grow, and there are more fighters, there would be a strong case for
introducing further weight categories. Personally, as long as I know what weight
I have to be for a fight, I will try my best to hit the top of my division, it
really doesn't bother me.
Dave on Strength & Conditioning
McLaughlin : I don't do any pure exercise training sessions, no weights, no running,
swimming cycling, whatever. I hate exercising for the sake of it. If I have the
time to train, I prefer to work technique, or sparring drills. If I have more
time, I spar more, I don't lift weights. My cardio is a product of long sparring/padwork/technical
grappling sessions, and my strength comes from lifting, throwing, and controlling
people a great deal heavier than myself.
on mental prep. - You always seem frighteningly relaxed both pre and post fight.
Is this just the way you are or do you have a mental preparation routine? Come
to think of it, you always seem to fight with a cool head too - very methodical
- is that training or your laid back nature?
McLaughlin : Partly the way I am, I'm generally a calm person, partly by design,
I meditate a lot, and when I train/coach I always emphasise staying relaxed (burns
a lot less energy). In terms of dealing with fear, I take care to think carefully
about the negatives involved, Losing, getting hurt, ko'd whatever, and accept
the risks involved in competing. I don't put any pressure on myself to win, as
long as I get in the ring, and fight I have kept my word to myself, and the promoter,
and what happens, happens. Once I'm in the ring, I'm not thinking at all. Everything
I do is a product of my training. I don't lose my temper, as I understand that
mma is a sport, its really nothing personal.
style of fighting
Dave McLaughlin : If I had to describe myself as a fighter, I would say that I
am a Technician, as opposed to a Brawler.
Dave on roids
McLaughlin : Personally, I really don't care if Fighters use roids, or not. I
don't think it gives any real advantage, due to the nature of our sport, and if
someone wants to damage their health this way, then that is their choice. I don't
think its that widespread (not at my weight any way), but how would I know? As
far as the sport goes, if MMA promotions want to be viewed as legitimate professional
sports, then they need to introduce testing, as in every other professional combat
tips for the top
McLaughlin : I'm impressed by everyone who gets into the ring/cage, and fights,
as I know how hard it is.
McLaughlin : Favourite promotions (in no order) : Ultimate Combat, for general
organisation, and efficiency. A very fighter friendly promotion. & Extreme Brawl/Milleniumbrawl,
Andy Jardine is a great matchmaker, and a lot more approachable than his posts
on the forum suggest.
Dave's quick thoughts on a few names.
Batten - Probably
the best Lightweight in the UK
McLeod - Great
Guy, Great Fighter, one day we will get to hit each other.
Kavanaugh - Always
Oliver - Scary
to have in your guard.
Day - Fought
Alex Reid "For all the Ugly people" (direct quote), what more can you say.
Guillet - My team-mate,
Coach, Student, Friend, and the best fighter, I have ever trained with.
Hasdell - God father
of British MMA, Hopefully I will fight for him one day.
Dave on Levo's tapes
McLaughlin : Nathan's Tapes
are awesome, and I can whole heartedly recommend them to anyone training in
MMA. I have quite a few instructional tapes, but they really stand out. Also if
you don't have the Fighters Notebook, you should have, its really well put together,
and a great source of Ideas.
So who is the best lightweight in the UK? Where do you rank yourself? Do you think
you can be the top?
McLaughlin : Top five in no order: Leigh Remedios, Danny Batten, Robbie Oliver,
John Kavanagh (I know he's Irish, but he competes in the UK), Neil McLeod. I'm
somewhere outside of the top five, but where exactly depends on the day I'm having.
& yes I think I could be top, but I've got a bit of work to do yet.
McLaughlin : Keep fighting, Keep winning, Build the Fight Factory UK team, Coach
Pierre to more victories. Phew. Good Questions. I'm off to watch Buffy the Vampire
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