Thursday, 8 May 2014

Steven Coupland (Interview)

Promising MMA fighter Steven Coupland lives in the same town as me, and seeing as I'm a big MMA fan I couldn't not hook up with him for an interview... Go give the lad a follow on Twitter, and show him some love and support. Or he'll put you in a kimura and snap your arm...

1: How long have you been involved in MMA? How did you get into it, and who trained you? When was your first fight?
I think I started training in MMA at around the end of 2010 when I was 17. Before that though I had been training in karate for a few years. I'd seen MMA fights on YouTube but didn't really have any clue about how to get started. I was working at the leisure centre gym in Thirsk and saw a guy hitting the bag, I asked him a couple questions, he gave me the details of a club and the next week I went down to check it out. That was Gary Watkinsons club - Multi Masters Academy in York (Now called United Masters) and I've been going down and training with Gaz ever since. My first fight was October 22nd 2011 on CAGE CONFRONTATION 4 in York against Henry Duxbury. Crazy debut fight!

2: Last year you represented England in Cyprus, was that one of your major achievements? You're hoping to go up to NSAC level too this year, is there a lot more training and discipline involved in that?
Yeah last year I went over to the ISKA World Amateur Championships representing team England, I had previously won 2 ISKA British Amateur Titles before going over there but yeah being on the team and fighting in another country was a real experience and definitely my biggest fight to date, we took gold in the majority of weight divisions and even locked out the welterweight class taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! But yeah the next step now is fighting at the next level up, there's different rules set for each level of competition which allows for newer guys to start off at a slightly easier level while they gain experience, I've fought at amateur, semi pro and now I'm looking to take on more NSAC fights. I made my debut awhile back winning in the first round by submission, But yeah I'm definitely looking forward to getting more fights done later in the year. It's a big step up in competition with there being a lot more experienced opponents and because under them rules ground and pound is allowed, there's a lot more to think about.

3: Who are you favourite or most inspirational fighters/people? What are your favourite fighting styles, and which styles would you like to learn more of?
My favourite fighters are Shogun Rua, Cain Velasquez and Jose Aldo. I like most styles of fighting to be honest, they all bring something new to the game but if I had to choose id probably say people with aggressive Thai boxing styles, always interesting to watch. Personally I'm looking to start adding more Judo into my game. Hopefully get some highlight reel throws and submissions next time I step in the cage!

4: The classic 'My God Can Beat Up Your God' question... With which folk would you most like to drink, fight and fuck?
Not a massive drinker to be fair, with me being an athlete and I also work alot of weekends and night shifts so it's not something I really have time for. I was going to give you some ridiculous answer like I'd want to drink with Vikings or something but to be honest I'd rather just take some of my best mates (Ryan Wilbor, Jordan Brier, Luke Watson, Emmanuel Moodley, Az Crawford, Dan and Ben Smith) on a mad holiday and have a stupid time over there, you make a lot of sacrifices as a athlete/fighter, a lot of time spent training and having to be strict with your diet and things sometimes I don't get chance to see my mates as much as I used to and act like the majority of people my age going out and having a good time. I wouldn't change things though. I love training and fighting and it's what I want to do with my life and every time I get my hand raised at the end of a fight or hit a personal best in the gym, I know them sacrifices are worth it. 
If I had to chose someone to fight.. I'd probably say Henry Duxbury. I've only been beaten twice. Both times by close/split decision. Once by Henry and once by Nic Sanderson. I've fought Nic twice, once I won and once he won, we are good mates and training partners so I don't hold a grudge or anything against him, but yeah I fought Henry in 2011 and since it's been annoying me. I've developed loads as a fighter over the last couple of years and I wouldn't mind seeing how things would be different a second time round.
And the final part of your question... KHALEESI. (Game Of Thrones fans will understand...)

5: What 5 records/songs/bands do you most enjoy either working out to/hyping up or training to?
I like A LOT of different music to be honest. I mostly listen to a lot of Grime, Hip Hop, Drum and Bass and House. Couldn't really choose 5 favourite tracks but I like artists like K dot, Webster, P money, Tempa T and chase and status.

6: Any last words, shout out, death threats or words of wisdom?
Thanks to you for the interview, Thanks to Gaz, Wes and all the other guys at United Masters who help prepare me for my fights. Big up Sam Bye, Jonty Banks and the guys at Absolute Fitness in Boroughbridge who have helped me with my Strength and Conditioning. Shout out to my brother Luke who always helps motivate me to go do them long runs. Big up all my sponsors - Inkwell Arts Tattoo Studios (Northallerton and Thirsk), Daketo Clothing and El Diablito Apparel. Make sure you check them all out and finally thanks to my girlfriend Helena for always being so supportive of me and my training.
Follow me on twitter @steven_coupland to keep up with what I'm doing with my training and fights!

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