Featherweight in the UK, 4 fighters have stood out, Leigh Remedios is one of them,
after competing in the UFC in London he traveled to America to win, and later
lose, the Hook N Shoot 145Lb title. There's Neil
'Hurricane' McLeod, arguably the most exciting British fighter and star of
Extreme Force and Extreme Brawl. The others are, Manchester and Quannum Gyms http://www.quannumfitness.co.uk
Ian Butlin and French top Teams Emmanuel Fernandez from Cognac. These last 2 have
arrived in the final of the CageWarriors 4 man -66kg tournament and will meet
in the co main event on Cage
Warriors 7 for the title on the 9th of May.
to MSN Messenger I caught up with Ian Sunday night and managed to ask him a few
SFUKU: Tell us about
your MA background Ian, everyone thinks you come from a pure boxing back ground
but that's not true is it?
Butlin : No, I started with my brothers in Judo, which is where I competed
first and got my love for competing. I then went onto boxing and Muay Thai at
the local YMCA.
SFUKU: How long did
you continue in Judo?
Butlin : about 3 years, I always wanted to punch and kick but my parents
friend was the judo instructor. Ifinally found the muay thai and boxing place
locally about 11 years old and convinced them to let me go
Did you ever compete in Muay Thai?
Butlin : No, did some interclub stuff, lots of sparring but no fights.
although I do fancy doing K1 rules in the near future
So K1 Max is something that would interest you? Have you seen any of the UK events?
Butlin : Yeah I have, those guys are good. i just like to fight, competing
is a buzz. I want to try out K1 for sure
How do you think you stack up against the K1 Max guys?
Butlin : I train with good guys pro and amateur in boxing. I have done
6 years Thai and 4 years kickboxing (I also hold a blackbelt in that)
have to find out
SFUKU: I look forward
to seein it, OK, everyone knows that you've boxed amateur for a long time, can
you give us details... How long have you boxed for and what's your amateur record?
Butlin : I was at boxing clubs from around 11 yearsold as i said. Starting
at Huddersfield YMCA, then Dewsbury and Batley boxing club ending at Rawthorpe
ABC in Hudds. My senior record was 16 fights and 12 wins, including internationals
in Limasol, Cyprus and Mahe on the Seychelles. I won the British Universities
title and a couple of Yorkshire titles.
That's very impressive, so you've been boxing since you're 11, you've built up
a nice international record and all of a sudden you discover MMA? How did that
happen and why did you decide to make the crossover?
Butlin : It wasnt an all of a sudden thing. Since a young age
myself, Andy, Dave my friend Chris Drake and my other friend Stephen Quashie have
been 'sparring' (fighting) in my garage. We were all interested in martial arts
and did different ones. We have always trained and fought together. Chris found
a club on using the internet and we started training. When i boxed in the national
championships in 2001
Butlin : I was only training mma, no boxing at all. i had to box twice
in the same night against fresh opponents for the yorkshire and north east counties
titles, I got stopped on a cut (which was under my eye) with 30 seconds left and
was, as you can imagine, pissed off. I then decided to switch to competing MMA
and started with the sub league,
still all train together now
You've lead me right on to my next question, your MMA career started with the
sub league, how did that go? Then you competed Semi Pro and amateur a couple of
times didn't you?
Butlin : Yeah, I did ok, I won 1 and drew 1 then I grappled Roger Woodward
(Storm) from Barra Brum. He caught me with a triangle . It was a good learning
experience. I then fought Pete Irving on the Shotai kai Fight Night in Durham,
he tried to cartwheel passed my guard in the first minute and landed in my triangle,
I then fought Rob Hannis on UKMMAC and caught him with a *cough cough* triangle
Thus earning you the nickname Triangling brit...LOL Despite your strong striking
background almost all of your wins have come by submission, do you think this
is because opponents have been afraid to stand with you or is it just inevitable
that MMA fights will hit the floor?
Butlin : A bit of both. I have obviously got a lot of striking experience
and so fighters tend to want to take it to the floor. I had worked my ground game
and this is where the submissions came from. The big hole was the fact that I
hadnt really done any clinch since Judo at a young age. This is why wrestling
is the biggest part of my training now. Leigh and I wrestle 5 times a week now.
Hopefully it will give me the opportunity to show my striking.
You mention Leigh Remedios , both of you have recently made the decision to give
up jobs and train MMA full time, without giving away too many secrets, how has
that changed your game, and your training
Butlin : It has meant that we can train 3 x a day Monday to Friday,
the '3 hill' run on a Saturday and then rest for 2 whole days without having stuff
to do. It is a lot more focused, we wrestle and box everyday, which is what we
It is also good that we are
the same weight and obviously good sparring partners for each other. It is a great
compliment that he gave up his life down South to come and train full time here
You match up well together as training partners in that your strength is your
striking and his grappling, you must have seen a jump in the learning curve for
both of you since you started training together?
Butlin : Definitely, the sparring is starting to even up in our weaker
areas. I think you will see us both as different fighters in our next fights.
We are both very focused on conditioning and the science behind training and this
has seen a huge jump.
SFUKU: You have
a sports science degree don't you? How has that helped your training?
Butlin : I do, I also have 5 years experience as a personal trainer,
working in gyms and constantly learning through experience. I am a member of the
American College of Sports Medicine and keep up to date with the latest studies
in sports journals. It has helped training a lot, it is a science. You here people
say 'train smart not hard', well we aim to train smart AND hard. I am sure it
will pay off
SFUKU: One of the things
you advocate and seem to have gotten down to a science is Weight cutting. You've
had some problems because of that recently and vented a little at CageWarriors.
Well here's another chance to vent,
Butlin : lol, to be honest I have calmed down about it now. I am getting
on with my training. It is frustrating but as I see it there are guys competing
at 'pro' who are training and professionals and others who like the image of being
a 'pro' fighter but are really hobbyists. This isnt wrong but for me, I
train, diet and use supplements, this costs a lot of money. When the fight is
then cancelled at late notice it means I am out of pocket and I dont get
to fight. I was matched up for a lot of fights and wanted to stay busy. Hopefully
by picking my fights a bit better I will get the opponents who want to fight.
I know Emmanuel does and I am really looking forward to it.
Leading on to one of the main reasons for the interview, your upcoming fight with
Emmanuel Fernandez for the Cage Warriors title. Because of people pulling out
on you it's been a while since you've fought, do you think this will effect you
in your fight.?
Butlin : I have fought twice this year, one quick sub and 2 weeks later
a good long tko fight on Cage Rage. I have had more 'ring time' this year than
emmanuel has had pro in total. I dont think lack of fight time will be a problem.
I feel sharp.
SFUKU: You said to me
before that Emmanuel is the first opponent you've gotten excited about fighting
in a long time, why is that?
Butlin : I saw him and thought he was a dangerous opponent. I was just
kind of coasting along before and taking fights as I could. I saw Emmanuel first
when I had my pro debut on Cagewarriors 4, I believe it was his pro debut as well
against Robbie Olivier.
Robbie is a great fighter and Emmanuel did really well. When i saw him again on
Cagwarriors 5 against Pete Tiarks I really wanted the fight, with my title fight
on that show being postponed and then Paul
McVeigh relinquishing the title it has left a great opportunity to have the
fight I wanted for the title. I feel lucky lol
: Despite all of that, we almost lost you and the fight to boxing. Do you still
plan on turning Pro' this year?
Butlin : It is a possibility. However, Leigh coming up to live with
us has changed things slightly. I am now training MMA full time and we have the
gym with great facilities to do our cardio, weights as well as spar in the cage
and ring or on the mats. My focus for the moment is Fernandez, I am not looking
past that with regards plans for the future. Pro boxing has always been a dream
of mine, Andy has just signed his pro contract and makes his debut in Sept after
he gets back from a boxing tour of Americas west coast in June. I think my boxing
is getting back to a level close to when i was competing, but i want to beat Emmanuel
and that is my focus.
brought in a few different guys to train specifically for this fight haven't you?
Butlin : Yeah, I have made some good friends since entering MMA. As
discussed earlier Leigh is living up here, Paul McVeigh has been down, John
Kavanagh has been over this week and he is awesome. We call him the horrible
hedgehog because rolling with him is so horrible, everything hurts!! He has helped
me a lot and I am grateful. We also have Eddie Bravo coming over the weekend before
the fight, which should be interesting. Striking wise I am training at Wayne Barkers
fighting fit Pro gym in Manchester, he has great boxers and this is where Andy
will be doing his pro career. I have great sparring partners for my thai and Billy
Cooper who is on the British wrestling team helps with wrestling. As I said we
do that 5 times a week.
like you're doing everything right and as you said, you feel sharp so Can we get
Butlin : I will win
Thank for the interview Ian, anything to say before I go to the pub?
Butlin : lol, no, I think Ive said enough. thanks
You got any sponsors you want to mention?
Butlin : Yes, Aquatech hydroponics www.aquatech.fsnet.co.uk
A + A supplies www.ultimat.co.uk