Combat Vision MMA conducted a Q&A interview with UTC Birmingham fighter Matty Byfield as he prepares for his amateur light heavyweight championship fight with Aleksander Joksimovic at Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 6 on Saturday 9th September 2017. This will be Matty’s second amateur title fight after winning the Battle Arena light heavyweight championship at Battle Arena 42 against Martynas Andrikis. Matty’s amateur record is (3-1)
Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Matty. Could you tell us about the type of fighter you are.
“I started off as a predominate striker doing Thai boxing at the age of 15/16 and I won a couple of titles and competitions. In the MMA world, I consider myself an all round martial artist, who loves all aspects of the fight game ”
You fight out of Ultimate Training Centre in Birmingham. Could you tells us about the coaches and the fighters you work with on a daily basis.
“UTC is a gym full of monsters. I have learned so much from this core team in my gym, Leon and Fabian Edwards, Tom Breese and Mike Younis. My consistent training partner is Fabian Edwards, Tom Breese has really helped out with Ju Jitsu and my ground game has came on leaps and bounds. I knew Tom from back in the day because we used to wrestle. My game is only going to get better because I train at UTC”
There is a Facebook picture of you training alongside Fabian Edwards. How much of a positive experience has this had on your developing amateur career and what is it like when being inside the cage when you both are having sparring sessions.
“I knew Fabian and Leon Edwards outside of the gym. Fabian is not only my training partner but we go way back to the school days and he is my best friend. The craziest thing is Fabian actually started out in MMA after me. What had happened in a nutshell, I was training halfheartedly and there is no two ways about it. Fabian then started training at the gym and as soon as he put those gloves on he never looked back”
“Fabian is knocking out guys every few months and it is inspiring, it gets your motivation up there. We are from the same place, we are the same age and we are friends. Fabian is always in my ear saying to me; bro there is nothing that I am doing that you can’t do”
“The effect it has on me is just constant inspiration and it makes you train that little bit harder in the gym. Fabian loves the technical side of sparring and loves the art of fighting and that is how I like to train. Many people at the gym watch myself and Fabian spar, because we like the technical side of MMA. Myself and Fabian learn off each other”
Could you tell us about how you deal with fight week. From getting into the zone, to refuelling and rehydrating for fight night.
“Looking back to my first amateur fight where I lost to Rafal Cejrowski a lot of things contributed to that loss. I was a 90% percent striker and I didn’t know how to wrestle at that time. Before I stepped into the cage, I weighed a 115kg and getting to the day of the weigh ins I weighed about 103kg and I had 10kg to lose in a day. I feel like I maybe died in there and this is the afterlife for me. I killed myself in the sauna to make the weight, I didn’t do any running, I was headstrong and I should have listened to my coaches more”
“The first 45seconds of that fight, I threw a jab and I felt so lethargic. My body just shut down and at the end of the first round I was crawling. So, from the very first fight I learned, cardio, cardio and more cardio”
“Fight week now is kindly of relieving. Because, I have been eating so strictly and I am starving, you can’t eat carbs in your last week. Water is lovely, but after camp you hate it because you drink 8 to 10 liters a day and it’s horrible”
“I go into a fight happy because I think yes! I have made it. I have made weight and I can eat lovely food like a Nando’s (I love grapes by the way). To then get into the cage and show what the past 7 weeks have been about”
Could you tell us about your diet two months out from a fight. From Meals, nutrition and any supplements.
“At this moment I don’t take any supplements. If there is anyone who owns a supplement company and would like to sponsor me, please get in touch. I just recently got sponsored by a nutrition company which is fantastic. The thing with fighting at amateur level, is you are doing it for the love of the sport. Everything from gym membership, nutrition and gym gear is all off your own back. People who sponsor amateur fighters, I don’t think they understand how much they are helping the fighter out”
“I enjoy training and every fighter has an I can’t be arsed day. But, I don’t smoke and I hardly party/drink. The gym is my hobby”
You are fighting Aleksandar Joksimovic for the Golden Ticket Promotions amateur light heavyweight championship. What were your thoughts on the fight being announced and having the opportunity to compete for your second amateur title.
“He looks tall and a bit of a brawler. I have trained with tall fighters but never competed and fought against a tall guy so that will be fun. I like how he is tall and when I throw a jab, I will be expecting one to come back. It will be good to show that I can adapt. I am 6 ft 5 and he is around my height, but even when I fight guys around my height, they still do not know how to use range like I can. He is 3-0 just now and I am not being cocky but he has not fought a guy like me yet and that is the truth. No-one has the skill set that I have inside the cage”
“I get on well with Golden Ticket and I look forward to becoming their light heavyweight champion”
Lastly, what does 2017 have in store for Matty Byfield.
“I have a list and Aleksander Joksimovic is on it. I am secretly sitting and plotting about every fighter in my respective division. There is 3 other fighters on it, a guy from London that I need to take out (definitely) I got offered him before but he pulled out. His name came up a second time and I am gunning for that fight. There is a Norwegian fighter I want to get my hands on. I have already beaten a guy from his gym. I definitely want to compete on FightStar, they are a good promotion. Hopefully, I get to fight with them before the end of the year and also defend my new Golden Ticket belt too. Realistically, 3 more fights before the year is out and that should take me to (6-1).
“I will then take on one more amateur fight and then turn professional. Once that happens, I will take my time and work on various aspects of my game before taking a pro fight on”