Combat Vision MMA spoke to Martin “50 Cal” Stapleton after it was announced he will fight Soren Bak at Cage Warriors 88 on Saturday 28th October 2017 at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. Martin has a professional record (19-5) with 7 first round finishes.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Martin. It has been announced you will be fighting Soren Back at Cage Warriors 88. Could I get your thoughts on the fight.
“I think it is a good fight. Personally, I think it is going to be a fight of the night we match up quite well to make it an exciting fight. I think he will try and get me down to the ground, the guy is a legit grappler and that is what he will be looking to do. But, he won’t get a chance to do that with me”
“The guys I am training and wrestling with down at SBG Manchester are second to none and I have the best training partners in the world. I am wrestling up at Salford Wrestling Academy too. Soren won’t get me to the ground unless I want to go to the ground and I might want to do that to test myself with him there. I feel I would beat him on the ground”
“I signed the contract right away. But it took Soren Bak four or five weeks to sign”
Both yourself and Soren have submission victories in your pro career. What can the fans look forward to in this fight and do you believe this fight will be contested both on the ground and in the wrestling.
“The truth of the matter is, Soren’s only chance of beating me is to get me to the ground, stay on top and grind out a decision victory. Because Soren won’t submit me. No one has ever done that to me at lightweight. At this weight, I am too strong. I believe my ground game is too good for him”
“How and where the fight will be contested will purely depend on what I want to do. If I decide to take Soren to the ground and finish him there. That is exactly what I am going to do. If I decide I want to keep it on the feet and finish him there. That is what I will do. That’s how I see the fight going”
Soren Bak has got great grappling attributes and exploded onto the Cage Warriors scene against the veteran Scott Clist. From your own tape study, what will you be looking to exploit come fight night.
“I don’t want to give too much away in that sense. The exploitation will be on the decisions I choose to make. Whether I decide to go the ground or not, if I want to take it to the ground or not and how much I want to punish him on the feet beforehand”
“On the feet, it is a white belt versus a black belt and I am the fucking black belt”
Do you see a personal battle taking place on the feet where if it turns into a stand and bang fight you are confident enough that it won’t be you who will be taking a backward step.
“The second Soren feels what I am hitting him with that idea will go out of his head. If he does decide to do that I won’t be taking a step backward”
“If Soren wants to stand and bang with me it’s his funeral man”
It has been a long road coming back to Cage Warriors after your debut at 2008. In that time you have fought with promotions Bellator and BAMMA. Also becoming a BAMMA world champion. What was your reason for coming back to the promotion and what self-improvements have you made in the time you have been away.
“I was going to drop down and fight for the BAMMA featherweight title against Ronnie Mann. But, the Ultimate Fighter guys came and asked if I wanted to do another season. They told me I had to get out of my BAMMA contract and BAMMA was kind enough to allow me out of my contract, Jude Samuel and Ashley over there were very supportive of me and wished me well. A week before getting ready to go out to Ultimate Fighter, I was told it was no longer happening”
“I was left without being in a contract, which was a good position to be in as I had a lot of interest, maybe 6 or 7 promotions from around the world were getting in touch. The truth of the matter was I didn’t want to re-sign with BAMMA purely and simply because they had already let me out of my contract for the Ultimate Fighter and I didn’t want to be the guy that does it a second time when the UFC comes calling because it wouldn’t be fair to do that with BAMMA”
“We spoke to our guy in the UFC who was helping us out with the Ultimate Fighter and we said to them out of all these promotions which are the best promotion and one that you are looking at and with their input plus the contract that Cage Warriors offered it was the best choice. I have known Ian Dean for 10 years and I always wanted to work him, he is a good guy”
“I have some bad performances on Bellator and I have some fucking brilliant performances on BAMMA and become their world champion. Interesting fights and moving to SBG. So, it has been a long journey coming back to Cage Warriors. I was a young guy back then and now I am a world class mixed martial artist. I will fight anyone, especially anyone in the top 5 in the world and I could beat them”
“I perform at my best when I am in front of a big crowd and the pressure is on”
How happy were you with your performance against Donovan Desmae at Cage Warriors 85 and were there any takeaways for you when rewatched it.
“I watched the fight back and obviously I am happy that I dominated the fight. I think there is a few bits in the fight where I should have cleared my head better with my striking and got my posture correct to land better shots. No offense to Donovan Desmae, but sometimes when you fight someone they are just a good level below you. He made the fight scrappy sometimes. I should have got him out of there sooner, I just felt levels above the guy”
“I felt my B game was good enough to beat Donovan and it did beat him very convincingly. But it was definitely my B game, maybe even my C game. It was not my A game. Against Soren Bak, I will need my A game because my B game won’t be good enough to beat Soren. I love this type of fight and I will be turning up with my A game”
It will be ten weeks before you face Soren Bak. Could you give our readers any insight into your training camp for this fight and will you be working on anything in particular.
“I can’t talk about anything in particular that I am working on. But, I will tell you I am at SBG Manchester every morning and Elite Boxing Gym two or three times a week sparring with pro boxers and hitting pads. Wrestling at Salford Academy and Ju Jitsu at my gym. I will also be spending time at Mjolnir (Gunnar Nelson’s gym) which is a part of our network, it is amazing there”
“If you look around the world there are no setups like I have at the moment with the SBG’s”