“MMA in the UK is much more professional than in Spain.” That is the opinion of Romanian-born, Spanish-based Paul Marin, who now holds a record of 5-3 as a professional MMA fighter.
He was undefeated until he met the man who welcomed Ronnie Mann back to the UK in July and despite having not even half the experience of his opponent, Marin managed to last the full 15 minutes with Zapater, but lost the fight by decision.
However, the 5-1 record he amassed prior to 2013 was from fights in Spain, and as Marin commented above, it seems the level of MMA is tougher on these shores.
He said: “The use of elbows isn’t allowed in Spain, and that does make a big difference.”
Another difference Marin noticed was the level of opponent. He made his Cage Warriors and UK debut across the cage from one more MMA stalwart in Paul McVeigh. Marin again took his opponent the distance but lost via unanimous decision at CWFC 52 in London. Of the fight he said: “My first fight for Cage Warriors was a brilliant experience.”
Future Cage Warriors champion Neil Seery was to be Paul’s next opponent at Cage Warriors 53 in Glasgow a month later. “I felt very prepared for this fight,” he said, “but things didn’t go as expected, and I didn’t follow the game plan. It was disappointing.”
“Seery and McVeigh are two fighters with great careers in MMA, so both fights were still important to me,” he added.
Seery won on the night, needing only a minute and 22 seconds to be victorious. He utilised a devastating kick to the body to dispatch of Marin, injuring the Romanian in the process and in doing so, affirmed (or even reaffirmed) his championship potential.
“I feel great now, and I feel ready to fight,” he affirms, in relation to the rib injury. “I spent a few months recovering. It has been a more difficult return than first thought but now I’m back.”
So, Paul Marin is back. What has he been up to, and what is in his future?
“I’ve just got back from teaching an MMA course in Dresden, Germany with my coach Jesus Aronja and while there I’ve been sparring with some German and Russian training partners. I feel in perfect condition to get back in the cage, and give everything again.
“I hope that through manager John Bolton and coach Jesus Aronja I will have an interesting fight in September. There are several promotions interested in me, both in the UK and also in Spain and Bulgaria.
For now there is nothing signed, but I think I’ll be back fighting in the UK soon.”
When asked if he’s ever entertained the thought of relocating to the UK for his training camps, Paul maintained his desire to stay where he is. “I’ve thought about it a lot and I’d like to spend some time at a UK gym but I feel great at my current gym, which is Union MMA in Barcelona,” he said. “That said, I’d like to visit countries and gyms where I think I can learn positive things. Places like the UK, USA and Japan for example.”
A fanbase, of which Marin is appreciative, is also a driving force behind his MMA efforts, as well as the increased media attention given to the sport in the UK: “Over here [in the UK] MMA is followed more by the media like TV, magazines and the Internet. I wasn’t used to it.
“Now I have a good number of followers who encourage me through the Internet and in person who encourage me to continue fighting and make more of a name for myself in MMA,” he said.
He added: “It’s amazing to receive messages from fans wanting me to do well, who told me my last loss was unfortunate and so on. Also it seems a lot of people who wrestle see me as someone who can raise the profile of wrestling in MMA.”
It seems a fight in September, or maybe October is on the cards for Paul, so be sure to keep an eye out for him as he looks to return to winning ways and notch up his first win on UK soil.
“I want to thank you for this interview, thank all my fans and also to all the people at my club Union Palau MMA. My coach Jesus for all his hard work, also I can not forget my family and my students of PasPolinya Gym where I work.
Finally if anyone wants me on their event please contact my manager John Bolton at B-MMA Fighter Management.”