Danny Welsh is a 25 year old independent mixed martial arts journeyman who has a record of 16-31. He is a full time dad to his children as well as working part time. He is known as Wolverine, and is without doubt one of the most known faces on the UKMMA circuit. This is definitely a Q&A I’ve been wanting to do for a while and it’s as interesting as I thought it would be.
So your background is in thai boxing where you were a quite high level fighter, what’s the highest point you’ve reached in Muay Thai?
Highest point in Thai… not sure really, had a few titles, fought in Thailand, beat Jordan Watson.
Now in MMA, I think you are probably one of the fighters that utilize their elbows the most in the UK, how have you adapted the elbow techniques from Muay Thai for MMA?
I don’t think they have been adapted at all to be honest. An elbow is an elbow regardless really. I used to like to throw them when I used to train and fight thai so it’s something that comes quite naturally. They seem to work well on the floor.
You fight very often; some people think it’s dangerous for you to fight so often, what’s your thinking behind it?
It’s as dangerous as you allow it to be. If you are sensible and fight intelligently I don’t see it being dangerous at all. I have only ever been injured once to the point it has had an effect on future fights.
Do you get nervous still before fights? Or are you immune to it now after over 50 fights?
I’ve never had nerves. I fight for myself, I think that’s why. There is no pressure that way. I think a lot of people’s nerves are down to not wanting to let the team down and added pressures from selling tickets etc. I just turn up, go to work and that’s it, job done, no need for nerves.
From fighting MMA, you managed to pay for an amazing wedding; did it make it that much sweeter knowing that you had literally put your body on the line for your wife?
I was just happy to give my wife the day that she deserved.
I saw you joked, or at least I hope it was a joke, that you fought 9 times for the wedding dress, is that true?
(laughs) Maybe not 9 times, 5 or 6 I think! It was an amazing dress though and worth every penny.
You are what is considered a journeyman in UKMMA, and you’re one of the few fighters that accepts that and is really open about it, how important are fighters like yourself to the sport do you feel?
I think if it wasn’t for fighters like myself then many events may struggle. With so many random pull outs, injuries and people ducking other people I think it’s hard to put fight cards together. Having fighters who will accept last minute fights and who are happy to fight anyone regardless of their record and/or experience with allowances on weight etc it gives promoters a safety net. In some cases I don’t think it’s good for the sport but “journeymen” are certainly a necessity whilst UKMMA is in its current state.
There are, however, other ‘fighters’ who just dive for a payday, one hit and they want out, do you find them guys disrespectful to yourself, in a way, because they give the title of journey man, a bad name?
These are the instances I mentioned in your last question. Fighters that do that damage the reputation of the sport and don’t deserve the name of a journeyman. I wouldn’t actually class fighters like that as journeymen, I would probably just call them bums to be honest. The name journeyman is used loosely in MMA and given to many people who couldn’t be further from that. I personally don’t find it disrespectful to me to answer your question, but to the sport, yes.
You fight MMA, but your ground game isn’t at the level it needs to be and often gets exposed, why don’t you just fight Muay Thai fights instead?
People think money is poor in MMA… it’s worse in Muay Thai! A lot of work goes in with little to no reward. I trained and fought for years for the love and passion of the sport, but when you realise that the years of training and being away from your family just isn’t paying off, you have to reassess things.
With some guys who fight often, I imagine that the ‘prospect’ fighters think “oh yeah, easy win” but with you I can imagine the “oh shit, I’ve gotta fight Danny Welsh, I’m definitely getting cut in this, even if i sub him in 2 minutes” do you feel good that you are possibly the most feared journey man after Aurelijus Kerpe?
Honest answer… No. What would feel good is if I could train how I needed to train and smash things up at the weight I should be at! Fighting anyone at any weight at any given notice isn’t ideal but I do what I need to do. My circumstances are what they are and I do what I need to do. However I guess leaving my mark on people’s faces at least gives them the feeling of being in a fight! Chicks dig scars, so I am doing them a favour!
What would you say is the biggest upset you’ve ever caused ie beating big prospect or ticket seller?
Not sure really, most recent would be Simon Neale I think, fought him on his own turf. Crowd erupted when he entered; I got a cold welcoming to say the least (lughs). The crowd soon went silent when the fight started. I did however have the commentators on my side. Big shout out to Jamie and Adam. Check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyQwZCFdU7Y
You are known for taking fights at short notice, but do you have anything planned or any goals for the rest of 2013?
I have just had a couple of operations which mean I am out of action for a while until I am healed up. I have my eyes on the UCMMA UK1 title, I want the bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight titles! I would also like to claw back my MMA record, so I am going to have to try find the time to put the hours in the gym, join a team and do what i know I am capable of! That said, it’s not the first time I’ve said that, so we will see what happens, if there’s any teams out there that want to help, get in touch!
Lastly, why do you fight and what motivates you?
Simple, my family!
Any people to thank?
My wife and children