Romford fighter 'honoured'
PUBLISHED: 11:06 23 February 2011
Fry excited by Cage Warriors date
Mark Fry says it will be an “honour” to fight on the Cage Warriors promotion at London’s Kentish Forum this weekend.
The 34-year-old Fry will represent Romford’s MMA Clinic as he goes in search of a third successive professional win on Saturday.
Lightweight (under-70kg) Fry takes on Paul Kingdon (Diesel Gym) and said: “Fighting on Cage Warriors is an honour. There are lots of promotions about, but Ultimate Challenge and Cage Warriors are the best – the next step is the UFC.”
Fry boasts a 2-0 record in the cage, following wins last April and May, before a brief break from the sport.
He explained: “I got married, settled down and bought a house, but I’m back on track and ready to go again.”
Fry has always had an interest in contact sport, boxing as a youngster at the famous Repton club in Bethnal Green, before moving into Ju-Jitsu, where he earned a black belt and trained under the reknowned Geoff Thompson.
“Geoff has written books and worked in films with the likes of Ray Winstone. He’s huge,” said Fry. “Only four of us have got black belts under him.”
Moving into the world of mixed martial arts, Fry trained under head coach Paul Hines at London club Pancrase, which was owned by Jess Liaudin, a former UFC competitor.
And, after a string of amateur and semi-professional bouts there, Fry moved on to join Team Titans, under Micky Pappas and Brad Pickett. “Brad’s now one of the best fights in the UK,” he said.
Then came a move to the New State Academy in Romford, where Fry was asked by Brazilian Ju-Jitsu specialist Mike Russell to help coach, before it became the MMA Clinic.
“I believe we’ve got some of the best coaches in the UK, without a doubt.
“Guys like Paul Hines, Adam Edwards, Chris Carley, Mike Russell and Brett Sizeland. The level of coaching is outstanding, brilliant.
“I think they want me to be a full-time coach too. I’ve been coaching outside of fighting for years,” said Fry, who runs a self-protection company.
“I’m a project manager. It’s a full-time consultancy job and we put people on doors,” he added. “I’ve been a doorman in Covent Garden and Leicester Square.”
The ideal place, it could be argued, to train for fighting in the cage.
“It’s about being in uncomfortable places,” said Fry, who clearly enjoys a challenge.
“I’m OCD, without a doubt. I train twice a day, five or six days a week. I’m in the gym before work and again as soon as work finishes.
“People keep saying I’ve got to slow down, telling me I’m 34 and I’m getting on a bit.
“But someone like Randy Couture is an inspiration to keep on training. He didn’t get in a cage until he was 34 and is still competing at 46.”
Fry does not expect to still be fighting himself at that age, but hopes to notch up a third straight win this weekend to help him towards his target.
Claiming Ju-Jitsu and wrestling to be his main strengths in battle – rival Kingdon is know more as a Thai boxer – Fry added: “I want to compete for the next 24 months and win a respected UK belt or a European title.
“Then I’ll sit down and look at the next step. I’ve always achieved my goals in the past and don’t see why I can’t again.”
For now, though, Fry is focusing on his next test and he can only see the sport of MMA getting bigger in the coming years.
“It’s massive and getting bigger and bigger every year. It’s going from strength to strength,” he said.
“It’s all about the sport for me. There can be a lot of hype and some flashy people at some MMA events, but Cage Warriors really look after their fighters.
“I’m only towards the bottom of the card really on this show, but Cage Warriors is where you want to be.”
Topping the bill at Cage Warriors 40 is arguably the biggest women’s fight in British and European MMA history as Rosi Sexton takes on American Roxanne Modafferi in a super flyweight bout.
There are also two title bouts on the card and tickets are available online at http://cagewarriors.com/tickets.php