The UK MMA Scene


Published August 2013

Recently there was a bit of an exchange regarding the King v Loftus fight on the pages of our old friend Facebook. Friends and Fans squared up on their fighters side each with their own view and opinions. Not one to beat around the bush Cage Amateurs UK's Dan contacted the fighters and asked....

Read on too see for yourselfKing Loftus.

The UK M.M.A. scene is budding with talent and all promoters work hard to get the best fight cards for the fans.

Although most shows rely on popular fighters selling tickets to fill their venues it is very apparent it is difficult for promoters to focus on the card when they are consistently plagued with pull outs.

This happens at all levels in all combat sports but from being around boxing and M.M.A. promotions we know top level M.M.A. is affected more by this growing occurrence in the sport.

We have written many pre-fight interviews on lots of fighters only to have them pull out before the fight leaving the interview and promo for the card worthless.

With the big focus recently on Safe M.M.A. backed by U.C.M.M.A. which then made a U-turn and broke away from the organisation, the introduction of it has hardly made a difference.

In fact in my opinion, it's taken the focus away from the real issues.

Safe M.M.A. want fighters to use Harley Street doctors for medicals, at the fighter's cost.

But as we all know - this is something fighters can ill afford.

In my opinion Safe M.M.A. was quickly put together at a time when some referees at U.C.M.M.A. and Cage Warriors were questioning match fixing and the safety of fighters.

In recent months we saw U.C.F.C. offering an incredible Heavyweight fight card but within three weeks of the show the card had diminished.

As promised we saw the return of Ian Freeman, which was great for real supporters of the sport, but what happened to the rest of fighters on the card.

Neil Grove pulled out due to a dispute with the promoter, Ken Shamrock pulled out with similar issues and Grove made a good point.

He has previously said: "The promoters made sure they looked after Ian Freeman, but to be honest you would have to be stupid not to as he was the main guy and (is) also is very well known across the world."

Freeman is known for saying it how it is on social media sites and with such a big following worldwide the promoter used his sense. He knew Freeman was the key to the show and although Shamrock has pulled out of a few fights, we are still wondering really went on.

Grove is a respected fighter and did have some concerns about U.C.F.C. as did some others.

Everyone who is a fan of UK M.M.A. will know Tommy and Louis King. Both lads are dedicated to the students they train and their own training. We have known both lads for a long time and although Louis is not fighting competitively at the moment, because he became a father recently, he will be back next year.

Tommy has been training extremely hard for his next fight on the Dynamite fight series which is run by Pete Mercer. However, his opponent Julez Loftus, who we have also known for a long time has pulled out.

The move got lots of reaction and posts on Facebook and caused quite a stir with fans from both camps. It is the second time Loftus has pulled out from fighting Tommy and if you read the posts this week, you would have seen how heated the situation got.

We know for fact the King brothers are the real deal and Loftus has done very well with the Warrior Island promos.

But we've spoken to the Kings and Loftus and they both tell different versions of the story.

Tommy was clearly very disappointed about his opponent pulling out so near the fight night.

Here is his interview:

Tommy KingQ/ I have followed you and Louis for a long time now and as me and many others know you are both committed athletes. Explain to fans how you feel when just over a week before a big fight it gets cancelled without any genuine reason?

A/ Well I suppose for any fighter its such a stressful time when their opponent pulls out, given any time to rearrange things, but to do it in such a style as to be disrespectful does not sit well at all. This whole Martial Arts world is wrapped with respect, so if there is a complete valid reason like family etc then any respectful fighter would understand. "Fighters" need to understand that this is the fight world and its a tough tough sport so you have to be tough mentally and physically, so all that training you do is top notch and you are sharp in every way. It's hard work which is why it is so frustrating for us all when this happens.

Q/ What do you think needs to be done to try and prevent these situations which we see happening so often and does it affect you mentally when people pull out?

A/ In order to stop this from happening I think unless they have a valid cast iron reason why they have to pull out they should be named and shamed depending on the excuse. I believe in second chances, don't get me wrong but if they have a past record of mucking up promoters shows and disrupting fighters spirits with there absolute bull shit, they should be named, shamed and then removed from the circuit. I think promoters will feel at ease and so will the fighters cause lets face it there are a lot of wannabe's out there that like a Tap Out shirt who like to jump on the band wagon. I think if you have a certain fighter that you have been matched with he is in your head day in day out!! You watch there fights and you can be at work or where ever an you'll still take him with you in your mind and then BANG!! all of a sudden hes gone an someone else is brought in for you to worry about it day and night, so yeah it does affect a fighter. Some maybe not, but the majority I think so yeah!! You just have to think about your game and train train train keep focused and carry on then fight like your life depends on it.

Q/ Pete Mercer has found you another opponent but do you think fighters pulling out and being replaced so close to fight night could affect you mentally due to the disappointment and anxiety caused by Loftus pulling out so late?

A/ Thanks to Mr Mercer for going through all the arse ache of finding me an opponent so close to the fight.

The Loftus statement and interview:

We also asked Loftus for an interview and we were sent this statement from James B Jefferson the CEO of G.P.G.

Julez LoftusJulez remove the post or you will not be flying to the U.S.A. Sept 11th for Filming. You have to show more class. This is very unprofessional and you need to stop now. You have signed 2 contract legally giving us the right to bring legal action against you future earnings, your job your home and everything you do if you hurt our company. I would advise you never saying anything about G.P.G. or Warrior Island negative again or I will have to legal handle this. You can shut your mouth and do what your child would be proud of not acting like this. If you and Jimmy did not act like children you would be on the G.P.G. card at U.C.M.M.A. for World Wide Broadcast this Saturday but you did not so you are not on it. We paid our Money to U.C.M.M.A. because we do what we say we are going to do. Sorry it is not fast enough for your liking but great things do not happen overnight. I though you were a better man than this. Remove it, then post a PUBLIC APOLOGY on Facebook or you will receive a message from legal today and we will announce world wide you are off the Island and all G.P.G. fights because of your negative attitude, unprofessional behaviour and bad mouthing of a company that only tried to help you with your career. What did we do to cause you harm? NOTHING. Thanks for the bad mouthing and unprofessional behaviour again and again and again. Grow up.

James B. Jefferson President CEO G.P.G.

"I signed a contract with G.P.G. I fell out with them over the bullshit  Warrior Island and now they want to take 20% of my purse and charge stupid money to put me on shows. I fought Jimmy Justice for free to piss them off and now I'm not aloud to talk about that or they will take legal action, I have the contract and I've taken it to a lawyer who has told me it is a legit contract, then these pricks jump on it. Pete asked me to pay my own flights till after the show, so if he cant pay the flight would i get my purse. I am not scared to fight anyone. I do not train regular and I have often help promoters out by taking last minute fights. I am as dissappointed as everybody else."

Louis also answered some questions:

Louis ko KingQ/ You and Tommy dedicate your lives to your students and training. Everyone knows you guys are here for the sport so how does it feel when you read comments made by Loftus about the money side of M.M.A.?

A/ Bro we love what we do cos we just enjoy the competition and we are born for it. Money don't come into it although it's nice to have, its more for pride and love of the sport and to prove we can do it, and to show all those who think we can't, that we can and in style.

Q/ How do you feel promoters should prevent these incidents continually happening?

A/ Julez is just a wanna be and now a has been. People like Julez should go on a site where promotions and promoters can look up all the fighter that have wasted fighters and promoters time. Fighters who pull out with no real reason should be named and shamed.

I would like to thank Tommy, Louis and Julez for responding quickly so we could get this issue out in public with both sides of the story.

Although this may come across as a negative story it is about time somebody spoke out about these issues. This country is full of fighters who dedicate there lives to M.M.A. even though it is still a very small market and a known fact that most M.M.A. fans in the UK watch the U.F.C. and do not support the smaller local shows. Can you imagine Dana White ringing Anderson Silva and saying " How many tickets do you want for the next show, you get a fiver for each ticket sold plus a small purse" It does not happen as we well know but unfortunately in the UK it is very much based on this to pay fighters.

Please spare a thought for the promoters in the UK as everyone thinks they are rich people who turn people over to make money. In some cases I believe this is probably true but believe me most of them put there hearts into these shows and although its disappointing for fighters when their opponent pulls, believe me it hurts the promoter as much if not more. Keep supporting our fighters by going to your local shows, even if you do not know any fighters you will still feel the electric atmosphere the shows create.
Nice one Dan and thanks to Tommy, Louis and Julez for taking the time too speak to us. As a side note we don't doubt the integrity or commitment to the safety of the fighters by the people at Safe M.M.A. and we applaud you for stepping up to the plate. Should have any offence been caused I will personally come to you to apologise. The above traits and skill of those people involved is not in any doubt. 
Many Thanks To Those Who's Photographs we have used.

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