I first saw Nathan Jones at Fight Scene 4, where he took on Tom Glinski. I was amazed at the support this man was getting with what sounded like half of the venue cheering for and wearing their ‘Bag & Tag’ t-shirts.
When I checked the UCMMA 31 fight card a few weeks ago, I noticed that Nathan is turning pro with the show and taking on Mohammad Ali on December 1st. So I thought it would be the perfect time to grab a word with the man they call ‘Bag & Tag’ to see where the name came from, why he is turning pro and to announce him onto the UKMMA scene!
Here’s what he had to say;
For those who don’t know, tell me a bit about yourself?
“I am Nathan Jones, 25 years old, 6ft tall and 84kg of pure pedigree. My fight name is ‘Mr Bag & Tag’ and I fight out of Combat Company, Richmond. The gym is like my second home, I am there all the time. It is close to where I live and work – I have been local to the area all my life and I work full time as a youth worker. I have worked with young people since I was 18. ‘I serve the community in the day and train to fight bad guys at night’. I have a semi- professional MMA record of 3-2. Check out my website www.mrbagandtag.com”
Where did Bag & Tag come from?
“My fight name is Mr Bag & Tag, as in body bag. It started as a bit of a gimmick – I really wanted a fight name and could not wait to be given one, so I brainstormed… I was inspired by great fight finishes – go with the flow and get the job done – convincingly! BAG and TAG. I did not take the name seriously… until my crowd started shouting it at one of my fights. I was flagging – and it really inspired me because I knew they were calling me! The chants gave me the strength to not only finish the fight, but take control and WIN. It is rather catchy and quirky, so now I have run with it.”
I was at your fight at Fight Scene where you took on Tom Glinski, he showed pretty good wrestling, took you down, although didn’t do much when on top, have you altered your training to sharpen up on you takedown defence?
“No – it took a round and a half of constant attempts for a wrestler to take me down… Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means an expert and Tomasz is a solid wrestler – that is his strength and that is what he does, but that is testament to my defence… He laid and prayed on me for the remainder of the fight. In most situations the referee would stand up for inactivity, but hey – so I would work on escaping side control. It was a tough fight for both of us – we spoke afterwards. I thoroughly enjoyed the fight He has my respect, and I took mine!”
Have you adjusted your training in any other way for the change from ammy to pro?
“Not majorly – I have kept the intensity – any more then I would burn out, what with my current commitments… I have added more cardio and strength and conditioning sessions for the third round. I tailor my training each time for my opponent. So yeah just training to BAG and TAG (make of that what you will)”
You’re coming off a loss in your last ammy fight, why do you think it’s the right time to turn pro?
“I have 5 reasons why: 1) I don’t think I lost! I lost a decision yes – but that is an opinion. I believe the fight ended at a round each and I feel that it needed a third round to decide a winner. This is why I am stepping up – to get my third round! 2) Tomazs Glinski is a tough opponent and is at the upper crust of semi pro – staying in that division would be a back step. 3) Fighting people with his style and his specification at a professional level works in my favour – with pro there’s a 3rd round, 4oz gloves and elbows. 4) I am spending all my time training and facing pretty much all the same risks – why not take it to the next level with the opportunities of sponsorship and exposure?? 5) I believe in myself”
Taking on Mohammed Ali on UCMMA, who has fought the likes of Iain Martell, do you know much about him?
“I know that Mohammed Ali is tough, but anyone at this level is tough. I am told he has power; I cannot wait to find out and show him mine. I don’t want easy fights, I want to make them look easy – fighting chumps will not test my ability. I want to fight opponents that will bring the best out of me and give MMA fans what they want – an exciting fight!”
Your pro debut on UCMMA, not many people have a chance to fight as a debutant on such a big show, how thankful are you for the opportunity?
“Yes UCMMA is a big show, one of larger shows in Europe, broadcast on Sky Sports with an audience of 2.3 million!! Of course I am grateful for the opportunity, I believe that my performance on WCMMA 6 showed my hunger for more. And as such I have been signed to Colosseum Sports. This is my professional debut and I am excited to get it in. This is my time to demonstrate my skills and make a statement. I have nothing to lose and everything to prove for this fight – that makes me a big threat. Plus I NEED FEEDING!”
You are a middleweight, and that division has a few monsters in it at UCMMA, with the likes of Ben Callum & Jason Radcliffe, who will compete for the title probably next year, is that something you are aiming for?
“Yes they are monsters, however I will drop to welterweight next year, although there are monsters there too. I believe it to be my correct weight class at this level. MMA is a competitive sport, so yes I am aiming to be the best and the title would be nice. But first I have to get my next fight out of the way, and then I’ll see what’s good and take it from there.”
Why do you fight? What motivates you?
“I fight because I love to compete. I love the sport, I love the art and I love the way of life – I could not be happier (except for making weight, road work, core work and shark tank sparring). I thrive off being the underdog, I love proving people wrong, and I love representing my club and my family. I also love2fight because when I left school, I promised myself that I would not be a victim again for anybody.”
Anyone to thank?
“I want to thank everyone that has helped me get to where I am – on and off the mat! to my coaches at Combat Company, Peter Simon – boxing, Gabriel Rainho – BJJ and Judo, Moss Houdini – wrestling, Wez Lucas – K1 and kick boxing, Mike Rosenstock for strength and conditioning and Ashleigh Grimshaw for stringing it all together. I would like to also thank my team mates, friends, family, and my fans who believe in me come rain or shine. Ouss!”