Darren Wardle, (4-2), is a professional, middleweight, MMA fighter who makes his BAMMA debut at BAMMA 12. He takes on Paul McBride, with both fighters holding good winning streaks. It is going to be a great fight and Darren took some time to answer some questions on the upcoming fight and his MMA journey.
Hi Darren, thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you tell people a little about yourself?
“Your very welcome, I’m Darren Wardle from South Shield UK. I have a beautiful girlfriend Ashleigh and 22 month old daughter Levi. I’m ex army and full time MMA fighter”.
I see that you are making your BAMMA debut in Newcastle. How does it feel to get the chance to fight on BAMMA?
“Yeah this is my first fight on the big stage but I’m sure it wont change anything about my fight. It feels great to know I’m getting looked at by the big shows. So overall I’m very happy”.
You are fighting Paul McBride. He comes into the fight with a two fight win streak. How much do you know about him?
“Paul is a tough guy and has won two fights going to the judges so I know he can grind guys down. Other then that I don’t know a great deal about him. He fights out of a great well known gym, Team Kaobon, so he’s gonna be well prepared”.
What do you see as your best skills?
“Well I’ve won my last three fights all in the first minute of the first round by sub! But I came to MMA from boxing so i’m a pretty good all rounder”.
How is your training going? Is there anything you’ve had to change for this fight?
“Training’s going great thanks. I always train with some of the best guys in the UK so i’m constantly being tested in all areas! I always work on all aspects of MMA”.
Last time out you defeated James L’anson by submission. And that was only a few weeks ago. Fighting so close together, do you think that will help you more?
“Yeah it feels great winning last week and fighting three weeks later will keep my body ready. Winning in 49 seconds with no injuries was great too”.
I hope i’m right in saying you have never been to decision in your pro career? If so, how much does this help you in the fights? Especially when judging can be harsh sometimes.
“Yeah i went to decision in a semipro fight and lost so I try my hardest to get the fight finished asap”.
I will never experience getting into the cage and fighting. And for that I have so much respect for everyone who does it. What’s the feeling like when the cage door is shut and it’s just you and your opponent?
“Never say never! People say it doesn’t bother them but its the feeling of not knowing whats gonna happen that we do it for. The feeling is a mix of being happy, nervous and scared but it lasts about 10 secs then its just another day at work. People who say they don’t feel it are lying. Simple as that”.
What do you find as the most challenging aspect of MMA?
“Most important thing to me is making sure I have enough time for my training and family. Being a dad is everything to me”.
What is your favourite martial art to train?
“Jiu Jitsu as I love having to think about what I’m doing and also always learning something new. I love that feeling of achieving something. But I love everything about MMA”.
What is the best thing about fighting and what motivates you to fight?
“The best thing of fighting is not knowing whats going to happen. MMA is 50/50 chance anything can happen in this sport. My daughter is my motivation, I found a new love for it when she was born. Well the lack of sleeps not good though!”
Thanks again for taking the time. Anybody you’d like to thank?
“You’re very welcome, thank you. I would like to thank all my training partners for always helping me and making me a better fighter. My family: Ashleigh Fontaine and daughter Levi for the love and support. The gyms that allow me to train for free: the fight-pit and sixth sense MMA. Last but not least my sponsors for making it possible to train full time: smugglingduds.com, Made4fighters.com, Gladiator nutrition and Select group security. And also my management: Made4thecage fighter managment.