CMA News met up with Ryan Lockyer to talk about his first up coming MMA fight – in Cage Warriors Wales on the 4th of June! The 19 year old has earned a place in the amateur line up to fight in the lightweight category. Here’s what he had to say;
RL: ” I love training in MMA and wanted to give competition a go, so mentioned it to my coach Lew Long. He put me in for a fight in April, but when this opportunity for Cage Warriors Wales came up for my weight category, he put my name forward to Richard Shore. He had a phone call during one training session and it was confirmed that I was on the fight card.
When he’d first told me, I was like, yeah,yeah,yeah! I was really excited. It dawns on you a bit later then that you will actually be in a cage fighting with someone, so you get a bit nervous. Then you think of the great opportunity and get excited again! It’s really a mix of emotions.
I am feeling confident as I’ve been mentored by great teachers, including Lew ‘the foot’ Long and The Silverback (Wayne Samways). Rob Taylor comes down every Saturday (BJJ). Joey (Brincat) is my Muay Thai coach and for wrestling I go to Arash (Shojaei). Whatever happens on the 4th, I’m sticking with MMA. I’m hooked.
Lew is also fighting, so Wayne will probably do my corner. The MAT Academy has so many good coaches, so whoever is there I know it will be a good corner. I’ll also have a few friends coming down to support me.”
GD: “The Lockyer Legion?!”
RL: “Yeah (Laughs) Yeah, a few guys are coming to support me.”
GD: “What do you know about your opponent?”
RL: “I’m fighting Jordon…something…. from Blaenavon. I know he’s 1-0. Most of his fight was on the ground, so I want to try and avoid that. I think I’m a little bit more at home doing stand up. Judo and BJJ is so technical, so I do feel more comfortable with Muay Thai. It’s, for me, more instinctive. It helps that I’ve got long arms too! (laughs). I don’t have a particular technique or style. I’m not a stylish fighter. I just want to get my left hand in. On saying that, a submission would be great!”
GD: “Do you have a nickname yet / rituals before a fight?
RL: “I don’t have a nickname, so it would be good to earn one from this fight. A cool one like the guys in The MAT. I also haven’t developed any pre-fight rituals. I just try to stay calm. Some people say too calm. I’ve seen a few guys strutting around hitting bags but I just try to stay calm. I save all that for the fight. I don’t try to intimidate anyone. That’s not my style.”
GD: “Have you had to change or increase your training?”
RL: “Training hasn’t really been ramped up because I’m training all of the time anyway. Six times a week. I generally like all of it except when Lew puts me on the rowing machine believe it or not. That, that really sucks. However, I have become more disciplined. Before, I wouldn’t be too bothered if I missed a class here or there but now I’m at everything. I like going on the heavy bags. I do that hat home as well. It’s relaxing.
I had a bit of time between jobs before and found that I am much more focused and committed to training working around a job. I thought it would be harder to get the time in but it doesn’t work out that way. On saying that, when you come home from work, its hard to get yourself back out. If you’re in and training, its fine. You just get on with it. It’s just getting there is sometimes the hard bit!”
GD: “What would be the ultimate goal?”
RL: “Ultimately, I would love to fight in the UFC. Cage Warriors will take me that little bit closer. I’m just trying to take things one step at a time. I love doing it. I love the sport. I’m just happy to be involved in any part of it. It’s going to be an awesome night.”
GD: “Tell me a bit about your MA background.”
RL: “I got into martial arts when I was about thirteen when a friend of mine got into a fight in school. (Bryn Celynneg school- Beddau.) I remember thinking that I should start something to be able to protect myself.
I started with boxing at a gym in Tonyrefail. The bug got me and I stayed with it until I did my GCSEs. After that, I didn’t really get back into it but another friend, Ryan Davies, got me into Kombat Jujitsu, so did that for a while. I was also doing Judo at the same time.
Ryan later persuaded me to go to the MAT academy to give Brazilian Jujitsu a go. I found that I really liked it and so I’ve been going there for over a year now. The guys there were great and so I started taking some of the other classes that they had. I later got involved with Muay Thai, wrestling.
Ryan had to stop for a little while as he took his toenail completely off in training. (laughs). He’s back now. It’s great training with him as we push each other along.
GD: “Have you been in any other competitions?
RL:“I’ve done a few inter-club Muay Thai competitions. I got silver in the National freestyle wrestling comp in January and Bronze in the BJJ Championship in February.
When I was competing in other sports or other martial arts, I had this feeling. It felt like I was a bit out of place. Like a guest. With MMA and at The MAT Academy, I feel at home. I’m in the right place.”
GD: “I’ve been to The MAT Academy. Everyone’s so friendly but a little nuts!”
RL: “(laughs) One guy who has started training with us used to be involved in the Valley of the Kings promotion and he brought in one of the old swords that they used to give out, so now there’s a sword in the gym. The guys there are crazy enough as it is, but now they’ve got a sword to play with! The MAT has so many talented people there though. It’s great to train there. In the gym we’ve got Josh Ellis – amateur world lightweight champion at the moment.
GD: “Who are your heroes in martial arts film or real life?
RL: “I’m not big into martial arts films but when I was younger I used to watch all of the Jackie Chan films. They are more comedy than martial arts though. Rocky was the film for me. Undisputed 2 and 3 with Scott Atkins were fantastic.
GD: “Has martial arts changed you?”
“Martial arts has improved me as a person. I would be a completely different person without it. I’m a lot more calmer and confident in myself. I tend not to get stressed. When you’re getting choked out in the gym for five minutes it puts other things into perspective!”
I would like to thank Ryan for speaking to us and wish him good luck in Cage Warriors tomorrow. He is definitely one to watch for the future.
Ryan trains at The MAT Academy. Click here to check out their website.
* *Photographs were provided by courtesy of Ryan who retains copywrite except the featured image which remains with CMA News. * *