17 Jan The Bad News Blog vol.1 – Training for my first fight
On February 17th Harry ‘Bad News’ Hughes will make his fighting debut, representing 100% MMA at a San Shou rules (full contact kickboxing & takedowns/throws, but with no ground fighting) event called Hybrid Fight. I asked Harry to write a training blog on his thoughts and feelings as the fight date approaches. Here’s the first instalment, enjoy! – Max
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Harry Hughes, I’m 21 years old, 6”1’, I work as a UI Designer and this is already starting to sound like a bio for a dating site…
Jokes aside, this is the beginning of something completely different in my life, something above and beyond the everyday comfort of modern society. Which is fighting in MMA, and I feel that such a journey can’t go without some documentary.
What got me into fighting
I would say that this obsession for fighting really kicked off back mid November 2016, when I walked out on a job where my good nature was abused. I just had enough of it, not just the job but the lack of reality in my life. Thankfully now I’m in a good position with an amazing team, more money and much more free time on my hands. Although even with everything going so well, something was missing in my life. That “lack of reality”, which I can only describe as feeling stuck on a packed train, with people all going to the same destination… It’s a hard feeling to explain in detail but I’m sure all of you who read this have felt something similar. The way out of this eventually became clear when I started to obsess over UFC, Cage Warriors and just random organised cage fighting videos. There was something real about fighting, something so human about it. You can hide all you want behind a persona, but the true you cannot hide from a fight.
For a couple of months, I watched videos online about fighting and spent hours at a time just hitting a bag at my local gym. It was fun but I needed to get into this properly, so I did some research and came across 100% MMA, run by Max Cotton, John Dang and Jack Collins. The sessions to start off with weren’t so much about technique but more about conditioning and getting fit. Each session was and still is hard work. I got a taste for what it’s like to have nothing left in the tank, but still push to go on, and that to me is a glorious feeling.
After speaking with Max about my ambition to become a fighter, I instantly got a feeling that this is where it starts. We had some pad sessions here and there, just working on the basics of striking, takedowns and grappling. Jack also had some Monday morning sessions on the go for MMA technique, mostly grappling which really helped me to control someone while on the ground.
Training for my first fight
Couple of months later, doing padwork here and there, and attending as many sessions as I could. Max asked me if I wanted to sign up for a fight coming up at Hybrid Fight 10, February 17th 2018. Which at the time was a bit of a shocker because I didn’t see myself actually fighting till after a couple years of training first! But with excitement and joy I accepted the offer.
When training for a fight, it’s necessary to spar as that’s the only way you’ll learn how to apply technique and appreciate the need for great fitness. So we started sparring together, Me, Max and Adrian – a friend who also attends Max’s classes. The first time sparring was a shock to the system, when Max landed a hook to the my nose. It wasn’t full power of course but that’s the first time I’ve been hit in the face so suddenly everything became real and after a few long rounds, I sat there on the bench, looking like I was about to throw up and pass out.
This was a really important day for me because I remember later on looking in the mirror and seeing bruises on my face for the first time. I had a massive sense of pride, like I’ve never had before. I knew that this was for me and this is who I wanted to be.
After weeks of sparring, padwork, and pushing the heart rate to extreme levels, I feel more and more ready for this fight. Everyday I’m improving, from technique to cardio and in my opinion most importantly my mental state. I can see me winning and there’s no doubt in my mind about it. I can see the fight playing out from so many different angles and this fight is still 5 weeks away. I’ve already seen this guy fight once, he has no losses and no wins either, unfortunately he got a no contest by kneeing his opponent in the face as he was going for a takedown. You can imagine this isn’t much fun to watch, but this time he’ll be fighting someone different, someone who’s willing to go all out. This will be my first fight, and it’ll be one to remember.