Thomas Denham is a 21 year old full-time mixed martial artist fighting out of Hardlife MMA. He brings to the cage a 5-2 record and on March 9th, he steps into the BAMMA cage once again to take on professional debutant, Brett McDermott, in a light heavyweight bout.
We caught up with Tom ahead of the bout to see how things are going in the lead up.
You train out of Hardlife MMA what’s it like training down there with all those guys and is there anyone to look out for?
Training at Hardlife MMA is great, we have some quality sparring partners and some up and coming fighters. It’s not a well known gym at the moment but give it a year and it will be on the map.
You are taking on Brett McDermot at BAMMA 12, do you know much about him?
I am, I don’t know too much about Brett, I know he’s a really tough fighter and a good fighter, I don’t tend to look my opponents up too much I just go to fight my fight.
He is a debut professional, however has quite a bit of amateur experience having become the FCC champion, does it give you any confidence knowing you have more professional experience, or does his amateur experience make up for it?
I don’t think experience is a big factor, he’s still fought in front of crowds, he’s still fought tough guys, and he has still won fights, so experience is nothing really.
The fight is taking place in Newcastle, so it’s a local show for you, how excited are you to fight on a big show locally?
I love fighting in the North East, I think we have the best MMA fans and with it being in the Metro Arena it’s going to be huge, and with all the local lads fighting too, the crowd will me massive.
You’re known for being a wrestler, whilst he he comes from a rugby background. how do you think you match up with him?
Yes he plays rugby; he’s a big, strong, powerful guy, rugby and wrestling are 2 worlds apart – it’s mixed martial arts and I’m sure he’s not “just a rugby player”.
How has training been going so far?
Training has been great; I had a fight 3 weeks ago on Supremacy FC so I have just been doing the same thing as I did before that fight minus cutting weight, which I hate! (Laughs)
Have you been trying anything different for this camp?
I’ve only had 3 weeks since my last fight so I have just maintained my fitness and brushed up a few things.
This won’t be the first time you fight on BAMMA, how do they compare with other shows?
No, my last BAMMA fight was against Mike ‘The Nightmare’ Neun, BAMMA is a very well ran show, they look after their fighters very well and I hope to continue fighting for BAMMA in the future.
What are your goals within the sport, on the whole?
I’m in the sport to fight, I don’t pick easy fights, I want to fight the best guys out there and up until now I have, so I’ll continue to do that.
Lastly, why do you fight and what motivates you to do it?
I fight because I love it, I love the training, I love the adrenaline and I love the fact it’s one on one and there’s no one else to blame but yourself.
Thanks for your time mate, any people to thank??
Yes I’d like to thank Mike Clarke of TFL sports agency for his continued support, all the lads at Hardlife MMA and all my sponsors for their support too, and yourself for taking the time to ask me a few questions.