Matt Inman is a 26 year old mixed martial artist with a professional record of 9-4. He trains out of SBG Mainline Manchester and aside from coaching at the gym, he is a personal trainer, does security work and is also a part time student. In his next fight, at Cage Warriors 52 on March 9th at the Forum in Kentish Town in London, he takes on experienced UK MMA veteran, Jack Mason in a welterweight bout. We caught up with Matt to get a few words on how the preparation is going.
You train out of SBG Manchester what’s it like training down there with all those guys?
“SBG Mainline in Manchester is my home, it’s a lovely place to hang out, always funny stuff going on and plenty of good guys to train with. Head coach Karl Tanswell is at the top of his game and my conditioning is handled by Jon Bond, he’s not one to shout about it but if you ask anyone in the know they will tell you this guy is legit.”
Last time out in MMA, you lost to Ali Arish at FCC 4 via split decision, how would you assess that fight?
“I feel like I won the FCC fight, in my mind it is a fight and the guy who does the damage should get the nod. Even from my back in that fight I was more active, threatening from guard. I had kind of accepted before the fight that I was going to get taken down so I focused in doing work in the time I was on my feet and also having an active attacking guard game on the ground. One judge saw it right; the other two got it wrong.”
You are next taking on Jack Mason at Cage Warriors 52, do you know much about him?
“Jack Mason next, very experienced guy, in my opinion that is one of the most dangerous qualities a fighter can have. He’s from a good team, and very active so I’m expecting another stiff challenge. Preparation has gone excellent so far though so I’ll be bringing my A game. These last 2 fights I’ve had the benefit of notice, which is a luxury I’ve not always been afforded in the past. I understand now what a difference 10 weeks of preparation focused on a known opponent can have.”
The fight is taking place in London, have you ever fought in London, did you enjoy?
“Yeah I have fought in London a few times. Last time out funnily enough was on one of the Prize Fighter undercards at the York Hall in a boxing match. Got stiffed with an “away decision” that night as well, but that’s another story! I’m a big city kind of a person, so I like being in London, always a good buzz about the place. I cornered Wilko when he fought on Cage Warriors last time, they put a show on there, cracking venue as well.”
How has training been going so far?
“I don’t think it’s any huge secret what each of us are looking to do, I think he put in his blog that he’s looking to take me down and put it on me from top and obviously I’ll be looking to stay on my feet, but I’ll go with the flow, I’m happy to be on my back in an MMA fight, I trust my Jiu Jitsu. I might pull out a few little surprises as well.”
Have you been trying anything different for this camp?
“Yeah I’m always being given new ideas by my coach who is a great innovator and I’ll often find myself watching things that I like and trying to bring them in, I don’t watch a lot of fights but I do have a few guys who’s style I really like and I’ll study them, I picked up a few tricks from watching stuff recently so let’s see if I can bring some of that stuff in, it’s always hard to remember new things under the bright lights though, there is a tendency to go back to your bread and butter.”
This will be the first time you fight on Cage Warriors, are you looking forward to fighting on their show?
“Yep, excited to be fighting on Cage Warriors. Signing with them came as a total surprise and I was eager to get going as soon as possible so I’m glad I’m on their first show of the year fighting against such an established guy on a completely unbelievable card. It seems like when you’re reading about other shows struggling with dropping fighters etc. not a week goes by when Cage Warriors doesn’t announce something new and exciting, so I’m looking forward to being a part of that going forward.”
What are your goals within the sport, on the whole?
“I don’t set goals in fighting I think that perpetuates a tendency to look past the task immediately in front of you. I believe in knowing what my next step is and doing everything in my power to prepare fully for that, because you can never know what’s just around the corner. Obviously my immediate future right now is in Cage Warriors so I’ll be doing my best to make an impression there.”
Lastly, why do you fight and what motivates you to do it?
“I think I fight nowadays because that’s just what I do, for the last 8 years I’ve woken up every morning and gone to the gym and trained, it’s as much a natural part of my life at the minute as anything else. I’m thankful that I’ve met the right people and had the right opportunities so that I can do that.”
Thanks for your time mate, any people to thank?
“Thanks to Cage Warriors for letting me be a part of their thing and to my coaches and team mates, past and present, without whom I wouldn’t be doing any of this, and thanks for your questions.”
Photo: James Crowder / Full Contact Contender