FCC 3: Ben Dearden Exclusive
Currently undefeated, Featherweight Ben holds a modest record of 3-0-0, and he currently holds the MMA Total Combat Championship belt.
Before getting involved in MMA Ben tells me he hadn't really been into sports in general, let alone Martial arts, so it was hardly surprising when his friends and family found it rather odd when he showed an interest in 'human cock-fighting' as they called it. I asked Ben a few questions and found him to be a very dedicated and focused young man.
ADDICTEDMMA: Ben, nice to talk to you ahead of FCC3, tell me a bit about yourself. How did you get into MMA?
BEN: I had my first lesson in Karate over four years ago, which basically involved me standing and punching thin air for 45 minutes straight. Now, no offence, but I found it tedious and I was eager to spar and get more involved. I was then informed that it would be a good four months before I could spar, so this was my first and last karate lesson.
ADDICTEDMMA: You weren't put off by this I assume?
BEN: Not at all, I was still very keen to spar and found MMA to be more to my liking. I started at a little known gym you may have heard of called Wolfslair. At the time I didn't know that it was such a well-known gym and it wasn't really what I was looking for so I moved around a bit. It was also at this time I injured a knee rolling and had to take a nine month break.
ADDICTEDMMA: Wow, you had quite a torrid start to your MMA career then?
BEN: Well, after getting over my injury I eventually found my home at Walkden MMA academy (now relocated and simply known as MMA academy). After only a week of training I knew this was the place I wanted to stick with. The head coach, Steve Boyce is just an amazing guy to train with. He is a karate black belt and has trained with some legends, including Master Sken, Braulio Estima, Dan Inasanto to name but a few. Ste has over 30 years of experience and is the best instructor I have ever had the pleasure to train with.
ADDICTEDMMA: Sounds like you had found a great gym and trainer there Ben. It must be great having such company to help you prepare for your fight at the Reebok?
BEN: Most definitely, the guys have helped to keep me injury free and i'm raring to go, training is going great but I'm not letting up or slacking off until the 23rd is here, which can't come soon enough. I see fights as a test of all I've learnt, a way to figure out what I need to do to improve and be successful. Similar to my GCSE exams!
ADDICTEDMMA: That's a pretty good way of looking at it I guess. Have you had any visions of a highlight reel KO finish? Or maybe a textbook submission?
BEN: Personally I think this is going to go one of two ways. One way is in the first round by a five hit combo finish or some technical, way out there submission. Or, it's going to go all five rounds at full speed, totally smashing the hell out of each other. When you have two people with records like ours you either finish them early or not at all. I'm assuming he's hard to finish due to him only losing once but I'm going to test this theory on June 23rd, and if he shows me any holes in his game I'm sure I'll catch him. So my prediction would be first round knockout!
ADDICTEDMMA: As you say you have an undefeated record, will this play on your mind during the fight and maybe make you a little bit more cautious?
BEN: It won't bother me at all. I think people hold on to their amateur record far too tightly, trying to get easy fights to fluff their records. Me I'm actively trying to find people who I think can beat me, that may seem a little strange but amateur is about finding out what your bad at, not what you're good at. I realise I'm saying this and I'm undefeated and may come across hypocritical. You don't want to turn pro and then find out you're not good at defending takedowns or what to do if you can't take them down.
ADDICTEDMMA: Have you been training anything specific for your fight with Josh Jarvis? Have you formulated a specific gameplan?
BEN: Game plans ummmmmm no! I would say I have a rolling game plan in the sense that I just throw and do what I want and if it works keep doing it. I don't really think too much in the cage, in fact I don't think at all. There's no 'come on Ben throw a 1, 2 head kick' it's just gets thrown. I train six days a week so when it comes to fight time everything is so natural, I do of course listen to my corner men Steve Boyce, Farmer Stu and Rob Bond.
As Far as training specific areas goes, in my last fight I felt as though my conditioning wasn't as good as it should be but there was a lot of contributing factors to that. So I have spent months hitting the conditioning and training with Rob Bond and feel in the best condition of my life and I still have a month to go.
ADDICTEDMMA: So, what does the future hold for Ben Dearden? Do you think a career as a professional MMA fighter is a possibility?
BEN: Future plans? Well I can't look past Josh but nothing is ever off the cards with me. When I started training and people asked if I was going to fight I'd basically say 'don't know'. You can't push things to happen, they just do. If I keep winning then becoming pro would almost be a guarantee, but you're talking about a whole different level up their pal. I don't fear the pros; I respect them and due to my age becoming pro sooner rather than later would be most likely. I'm not 19 so having 15 fights at amateur isn't an option. Beating Josh then beating the challenger for the FCC belt would most likely be my last at amateur level.
ADDICTEDMMA: You seem to have a very mature head on your shoulders Ben. Your trainer, Steve Boyce must have a lot to do with that. We touched on his influence earlier, can you tell us a little more about the man guiding your path?
BEN: What can I say about Steve Boyce?! That man wrecks my head every lesson, I mean every single one. I have to drive home 30 minutes six times a week blasting music out so I don't think about class. Why? The way he puts lessons together and little tips, sweeps and sneaky moves he gives you. I just can't concentrate driving and may have jumped a few red lights in the past because of this. I hate the guy as well; I just wish I could plug a USB port in his head and get all the information out. But thankfully he gives it to me in bite size chunks that a normal person's brain can handle. I have nothing but admiration and respect for him and the knowledge base he has is world class. After every fight I have had I always ask him 'was that ok' because doing our gym and Ste proud is all that matters.
ADDICTEDMMA: Well, Ben. It's been an absolute pleasure to get to know you. But unfortunately we have to wrap it up. Before we finish, is there anyone else you would like to mention who has helped you on your way?
BEN: I'd like to thank all my training partners. Irish Chris, Flipper, Gracie, Rogan, Grasshopper, Bullsh*t Corner Dan and Young Dan.
My trainers, Head coach - Steve Boyce, Assistant coach - Stuart "farmer" Holmes and Strength, conditioning and nutritionist - Rob Bond
And above all I'd like to thank my wife Paula Dearden for putting up with me during fight camp because I know that I'm not the nicest person during this time. I just want her to know that without her support and patience I wouldn't be who I am today.
ADDICTEDMMA: Thank you very much Ben for taking time to chat to us here at AddictedMMA, now for one final question....What is Ben Dearden Addicted to?
BEN: MMA knowledge is my main addiction, constantly watching videos, getting emails and going to classes.
But right now I feel like giving it all up just for a cookie. I love my cookies man. SO BAD! It's the only thing I miss whilst dieting, I'm not bothered about beer or junk food in general but cookies, I could kill for one. Of course my wife feels that when I'm dieting she'll get loads of cookies in because apparently she says 'I can only get cookies in when you're on a diet Ben because you always eat them all'
ADDICTEDMMA: That's great Ben, I'm sure there'll be cookies waiting for you whatever the outcome. Good luck on the 23rd.
BEN: Thanks guys. And I'd just like to wish my opponent, Josh. A safe and injury free fight camp and all the best for the 23rd. I'm not in this to hurt people. Just to beat them.
You can follow Ben on twitter @QOTweek
FCC 3 Card and Ticket Info: http://addictedmma.com/story-Cards_7413_Full-Contact-Contender-3.php
Keep your eyes peeled to AddictedMMA over the next week as we've joined forces with Full Contact Contender and will be giving away tickets to see FCC 3 at Bolton's Reebok Stadium!!
Interview by Pete Massey.
Published by Steve Wickett - Thu, 31 May 2012 21:40