working the guard against Suley Mahmoud at EB3
you are looking for a candidate for UK Fighter of the Year, then there's few more
deserving than Ewin" - from EB5 report
of Birth, 20/01/70
Height/weight, 5'10", 82-84kg
Mark Weir and Leon Roberts
Techinque : Not got one really even though most of my fights have finished by
Record, 9 wins 2 lose's 1 draw
in the last 12 months:
I started boxing
at the age of 15 and did that for 8 years. I then went on to do thai boxing as
I felt boxing was too restrictive. From there it was a natural progression. While
doing Thai boxing I felt that there were still ranges and areas not being covered.
I was fortunate to know Mark Weir and knew that he was involved in MMA, so I asked
if I could train with him because I knew it would be a good opportunity to further
myself . As soon as I started training with Mark I knew that this was for me.
Mark's philosophy is in order for a true martial artist to progress they need
to test themselves. This will enable you to: see how realistic and practical your
training is, what elements of your training needs to be worked and improved upon
to find your strengths and weaknesses and your unique style of fighting.
So after about 7 months of training I felt it was time to test myself at least
once. But then i got addicted to the whole process, of the training that we do
leading up to a fight, the feeling of being inside the cage and the fight it self
and of course winning is a good feeling also. During my first few fights, the
aim was to get experience in the cage and I fought opponents who had the same
relative fighting experience as myself. Mark and XFUK decided it was then time
to target top fighters in the country.
training regime is varied, during the week we cover stand up drills, submission
drills, striking on the ground, escapes, lots of sparring and also cardiovascular
and weight training.
: You've mentioned in your bio that you have a strong background in stand up fighting,
yet conversely you often fight like a wrestler, dominating takedowns and the top
game, plus most your wins have come from submissions. Your mentor, Mark Weir,
he's also from a stand-up background (TKD?)....so the question is, how did you
get your ground game so good? Is Gloucester a secret hotbed of submission wrestling?
Ewin : As
you have mentioned, I do come from a stand up background and that is where I felt
most comfortable. But my belief is to recognise your weakness and work on it -
which I did with the help of a great teacher (Mark Weir), coach (Leon Roberts),
training partner (Kris Hughes) and many others. After a while I started to feel
more confident in that area and the great thing about submission wrestling,you
can never know enough, just when you think you're in a winning position there
is always a new technique that can reverse it. Before training with Mark Weir,
I had no ground experience whatsoever, so I don't know whether it's Gloucester
but it's definatley down to a great team that I have behind me and the fact that
the more I know the more I want to learn.
: Which is harder, MMA or Boxing?
Ewin : MMA by far-more to think about with all the areas you need to
be aware of. I felt boxing was to one dimentional punching, punching, punching
and thats basically it, yes i know there is more to it but compared to mma, BORING.
: You mentioned Mark Weir's philosophy for martial artists - do you regard yourself
as a Martial Artist, a Fighter or Athlete?
Ewin : I regard myself as all three of the above, I am firstly a martial
artist as I follow many of the philosophies and principles which I believe define
a martial artist. I am a fighter, in order to be a good fighter and to step into
the cage you must have that within you and I am an athlete I train 5 hours a day
6 days a week and it's my life, my style of life has changed.
: You give generous
praise to your teacher, Mark Weir - you taught or teaches Mark? Do you 'Range
Fighters' cross train with other instructors (if so, who?) or do you just work
things out for yourselves with videos etc? I'm especially interested in how you
guys got so good at ground work - you have great takedowns for someone without
a wrestling background.
Ewin : Mark is
self taught. He has trained in many different types of Martial Arts-Thai Boxing,
Kick Boxing, Boxing and of course Tae Kwon Do, but he has been training by himself
for the last 12 years approx. Our ground work and takedown skills come from watching
videos and braking down what we see but also when we're training some techniques
will happen naturally and Mark would then disect them and within a couple of days
have a drill worked out.
: Can you tell us a little more about Leon Roberts, and his role in your training?
Ewin : Every
camp should have a Leon Roberts, can't say enough about the guy. Always first
at training, padded up ready to give me a hard work out whether he is injured
or not. Leon has been training with Mark consistently from the begining and for
the last couple of years he has held back on his own training in order to train/coach
and support me and other up and coming fighters, but you should really see the
guy, I have never seen a heavy weight fighter in this country as quick as Leon
on the ground and standing. potentially a great fighter. I would like to take
the opportunity to thank him for all his support.
: so will we be seeing him fight sometime soon?
Ewin :Leon Robert's
time is taken up by coaching at the moment. In his own words for him to fight
would take time away from his coaching which for him at the moment is his priority,
he feels a coach can not train for a fight and give 100% to the other fighters
: You have had an incredible year with wins over some of the UK's best known fighters,
most notably Sol Gilbert and Alex Evans. You definitely should be on anyone's
shortlist for UK Fighter of the Year - how do you feel being at the top? And are
there any more mountains left to climb in the UK?
Ewin : I
know that this will sound strange to some, but I don't feel that I'm at the top
yet. I feel that I have proven my ability to myself and others but still have
the hunger to keep on climbing. I feel that still have a lot to learn with Mark
and the training that I do teaches me knew things every day. I have fought all
the top names in the country for the moment, but as you know there is always up
and coming fighters but my focus for the next couple of years is to make a name
for myself in Europe and hopefully America.
: You were probably regarded as underdog in some of those fights. For example,
Alex Evans was on a huge unbeaten streak and fighting in front of his home crowd
- can you talk us through you game plan for this fight?
Ewin : I
put a lot of pressure on myself for the Alex Evans fight, I felt that i had to
prove myself especially with what happened with the Alex
Reid fight (on EB1). I didn't have a game plan as such, I have always been
told by Mark that you take every fight as it comes, anything could happen so be
prepared for everything. A gameplan can limit you sometimes, if your gameplan
doesn't work it can effect your focus for the rest of the fight. For example Tito
Ortiz has an effective style of fighting which has defeated all the top names
in MMA but when he fought Randy Couture his style was ineffective against Randy's
infighting style and takedowns, Randy cancelled himout which seemed to through
him and he didn't have an answer for. Every fighter fights differently with different
: Later you beat Cage Warrior's own Ross Pettifer and then Ultimate Combat's poster
boy, Sol Gilbert. Which pretty much makes you a champion right across the board.
Which fighter gave you the hardest time and which was the most satisfying win
Ewin : I
was impressed with Ross, very strong fighter, good balance and sure to be a big
name. I enjoyed my fight with Sol Gilbert,
reading on the
before the fight, a lot of people were saying how he was going to beat me, the
way he was going to knock me out etc... people were so sure that he was going
to beat me, so as you can imagine it gave me great satisfaction to prove them
: Pre-fight rituals.... I've seen you many times before an event sitting
outside in a car with your cornermen. Is this a secret Range Fighting Mind Technique?
LOL. You obviously work well as a team - what do your cornermen do to prepare
you on fight day?
Ewin : We always try and detach ourselves from whats going on around,
sitting in the car helps me to remain focused and keep my mind on why i am there.
I'm always going over fight situations in my mind, how to counter that if this
happens and so on. On the actual fight day my corner men keep my mind focused
on the fight. We have a warm up routine where we go through certain drills and
reversals and just before we go in leon always has a few words of encouragement
: Do you ever suffer from nerves or fear?
Ewin : Of course i do if i didn't i wouldn't be human. Its just knowing
how to use this to your benefit and not let the nerves overwhelm you.
: Would you like a rematch with Alex Reid?
Ewin : On a personal level of course I would, but as Alex has said
for him to fight me wouldn't do anything for his career nor mine.
: You've made yourself a star on the UK circuit and you mention that you will
now focus on making a name in Europe and the US - do you feel you can get yourself
to that next level whilst remaining in Gloucester?
Ewin : I dont know about being a star but yeah i do want to compete
internationally. I feel that i have a great team behind me that offer me great
training, lots of support and feel that they can give me the tools that i need
to do well on that level. We still have a lot of things to show yet.
: Is one of your secrets to success the fact that you have been so active in the
Ewin : That definately helps, you always learn new things when you
step into the cage, you also learn about yourself, although I always experience
the same emotions you learn to recognise them and deal wth them.
: Do you think as you have reached the pinnacle of the domestic scene that you
will become more picky about opponents and therefore fight less often? And if
so, will it have a detrimental effect on your fighting?
Ewin : How
often and who i fight is as usual down to XFUK and the promoters. I would still
like to fight as regularly as possible as i feel i have a lot more to learn and
things i want to try out. It's common sense if you are not fighting on a regular
basis you are not as sharp and relaxed when you are in the cage. As a fighter
im happy just to fight but XFUK are my management team and want me to have a successful
career so they will be seeking fighters that will be most beneficial to my fighting
: By the way are you Britains Hardest? ;+) You have apparently entered that gameshow
on Sky One - can you tell us more about it?
Ewin : Very
funny! XFUK were approached by Zeal TV about me and Mark competing in the show,
it was a laugh really, something to test ourselves with, such as being hung upside
down in water, dragging a 250kl chain etc... I enjoyed the experience, I won my
heat but lost my cool in the final, shame about the prize money!!!
: So is Mark Weir 'Britain's Hardest' then? ;+)
Ewin : I dont know if he's the hardest but i wouldn't like to meet
him down a dark alley! "Can't tell you".
: Which is the event you like fighting on most and why (other than your sponsers'
XFC of course!)?
Extreme Brawl is where I have had the most fights, so I feel more comfortable
there I guess, but where ever I have been, I have fought fighters on their own
event or in front their home crowd
: Talking of XFUK, what is your relationship with them?
XFUK management team are based in Cornwall, they manage all fighters from
the Range Fighting programme, they have guided me through a successful path to
get me to the top of the ladder, by doing that, they helped to get the best deals
and better opponents to get me recognition.
: thanks very much indeed for taking the time for this interview
Ewin : thanks for the chance to put my thought's and ideas about mma
and training across.