Kevin Booth Blog One

 

After storming onto the amateur Irish MMA scene with two finishes, and a brutal KO in his last fight Kevin Booth now fights for the Man of War Amateur Middleweight Title on the 5th of April. We invited Kevin to write about his experiences training and balancing it with work commitments and also how he got started in MMA. Kevin gives an exclusive insight to his preparations at up and coming club Swords MMA as he looks to join a select few fighters to win a belt in only their third fight. Readers are advised to keep an eye on our site for updates as we get nearer Kevin’s fight with Denis Perry and follow Kevin on twitter (@BoothKev) as Man Of War 6 approaches. We would like to thank Kevin for his time and believe this blog will give an insight to all MMA fans in the country and also those who are considering beginning training in the sport to know what exactly it takes to succeed in the support. Kevin is most definitely worthy of being a Knight of the Octagon and I would urge all readers to pledge their support to Kevin.

Fergus O’Farrell

 

First Blog

 

Right so I have been asked by fight hounds to write a blog for my upcoming Middleweight title fight at Man Of War 6.  I have been asked to tell you a bit about myself and my club Swords Fight Club and give an insight into a new club like ours.

Booth 2

Beginning

I started training MMA proper just over a year ago. I have always loved the sport and have been following MMA for years. I trained in boxing and Karate on and off as a kid. I was mostly a GAA player so in my early years that took priority. I have been in and out of gyms over the years and really enjoyed training but felt I needed a goal to be training for. Keith Cooper my head coach; who I knew through my sister had moved back from the States. During his time there he had been a personal trainer and also thought control and restraint to the police over there. Keith comes from a traditional Jiu Jitsu background but is also a purple belt in BJJ.

He formed an MMA club in Swords. I saw this on Facebook and asked him about joining.

 

Training

I travelled from Navan to Swords 3 times a week at the beginning for training. I held my own fitness wise and in stand-up but BJJ was new to me. I had watched it for years but never fully appreciated the ground game. I was fascinated how someone could be controlled and submitted. Instantly; I knew I wanted to learn BJJ and I have been hooked ever since. Swords fight club is affiliated with The Morcegao Sapo Team. The team is led by Cesar Silva Morcegao. I attended a seminar with Cesar and it really showed me what top level Jiu Jitsu is like.

From there I attended extra training sessions with The Morcegao Sapo team as well as training in Swords.

By now I was training 6 days a week twice a day and my skill set kept improving. I was always confident on my feet and knew I had KO power but as I developed on the ground I was able to use my stand up to put people where I wanted to submit them on the ground.

 

Home and Work

I work in the events business myself so I work crazy hours. I am lucky to work with people who support my training and cover my time off when I need to train and fight. Without their support I couldn’t afford to train or pay my bills so I am grateful for their understanding. One downside to being an Amateur fighter is I am always training or working, so my wife Elissa and I don’t get to spend as much time together as we would like. I am very lucky to have her support and she understands my need to train and compete. The dream is to turn pro and get paid to fight and gain sponsorship but this is still a dream right now so there has to be sacrifices. Everything comes at a cost, you then have to be prepared to pay that cost to get to where you want to go!

 

The Club and Training 

Swords Fight Club is a small club. We now have about 40 members between both Navan and Dublin clubs. But when I joined we had only 10 members in Swords. I feel this really helped me get the most from training. I spent a lot of time with Keith on my own and we figured out my style and preferences.  Keith and I are very open to every martial art. We pick moves from each discipline and use what we feel can work for us in the cage. I work all the physical aspects of training but I also believe there is a huge mental side to the sport. If you are feeling good physically it is no good unless your mind is there also. I work on a lot of focusing techniques while training. I know what I want to do and how I want to do it. I don’t just go in to fight. We work hard on making the fight happen how I want and bringing it back there if it changes. This is where I feel Keith and I work best together. I do not drink or smoke, I eat clean 90% of the time and I keep my cardio at a high level. This all helps me get where I want to be mentally so I have no doubts about my preparation when I am inside the cage. As the club is growing we have new members at all levels training now so this has helped push me to be better and to lead the fight team by example. We have gained club sponsorship from The Palace Night Club in Navan which has helped us purchase our own cage. Having these facilities has also improved our standards of training. We now have a state of the art facility in Navan with a cage, 1200 sq feet of mats and strength and conditioning area. Having these facilities in place will help guarantee more and more fighters from the club getting to a level where they will be competing in all competitions and representing Swords Fight Club.

 

Fighting

My first fight I took was at Rumble In Rush. I knew that being in a cage would be a lot different to anything I have done on the mats. When I got in the cage I felt really at home. It was a great experience and I won the fight in the first round after 2min 10sec with an arm triangle. While I won I was not happy with how I performed. I received no damage but felt I needed to fix a few things before my next fight. I went back to the gym. Myself and Keith dissected the whole night from arrival at the venue to after the fight was over. We changed our approach to how I prepared for my next fight which was at Man Of War 5.

 

My fight at Man Of War was a good night for me. I was fighting a physically very big and strong opponent who had dropped to middleweight after fighting at light heavy weight. This I felt would be a good test for me and I looked forward to it.  My training camp was great and I felt really good that night. I had a broken big toe going into it but you will never be 100% when you train in MMA. It is such a gruelling sport and you will always have something niggling you. I finished the fight in 16seconds! I knew from the off what my opponent wanted to do and I set the trap for him. I landed a hard knee and finished with some head shots.

 

Title Fight

I watched the title fights at Man Of War 5 that followed my own fight. I was expecting a lot more from them. I said to my coach Keith, I am at that level and have harder sparring sessions then those fights. Following Man Of War I watched all the Irish middle weight title fights I could find. I knew I could hold my own with any of them.  I contacted Stefan from Man Of War and explained where I am at training wise and that I could perform on a title fight level. He talked with my coach and came back a few weeks later and agreed to give me a shot. I am a very realistic person and if I didn’t think I could put on a good fight I wouldn’t have looked for the shot. Coming from an events background I understand if people pay money to watch a fight they deserve to be entertained. I am looking forward to fighting at Man Of War 6 . My team mate Frano McKeown is also on the card and we intend on showing everyone that Swords Fight Club is a club on the up and that we are to be taken seriously. Everyone involved with the club wants success and I will do all I can to achieve that.

 

 Thank You

I would like to thank everyone who helps me prepare for my fights. My wife Elissa, my coach Keith Cooper, my training partners and sponsors The Palace Night Club. A big thanks also to everyone who takes an interest in me and to Fergus O’Farrell for giving me the opportunity to promote myself and Swords Fight Club.

 

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