Ollie Southern came up to Scotland last year and won the amateur flyweight belt on On Top Promotions.
He defeated local favourite Richard Dickson and will again take on a local fighter on his return to Scotland in his first defence when he faces Peter McCafferty.
MMA UK caught up with Ollie for his thoughts on his upcoming fight, winning the belt and more.
MMA UK: You last fought in December when you won the On Top amateur flyweight belt. You defeated local fighter, Richard Dickson.
Did the fight go as you expected?
OS: I headed into that fight intending to dominate the stand up and hit takedowns in every round but my plan was to stand above him from the takedowns rather than grapple as I know Richard is a legit grappler, I didn’t have much luck standing above him but felt really good off my back in the first round so when we went down in the second I felt confident hunting for subs off my back and ended up catching him with the armbar and couldn’t be happier.
MMA UK: How pleasing was it to win a title?
OS: It felt amazing having my hand raised and getting the belt!! That was my 6th fight of 2017 and brings me close to almost 20 fights across different disciplines with less than 3 years of real training. Who else has done what I have in 2 years? Most don’t have the balls and simply want to be their local pub world champion. I’ve fought the very best opponents available for me to fight from day one. Many of these guys had been training YEARS longer or were much bigger and realistically they fought me because they knew they had a good chance of winning. Those fights meant me getting beaten up and being sad travelling home from away shows but the experience I’ve gained from fighting very experienced or tough guys (when I didn’t really know what I was doing) is something I value more than any training I’ve done in the gym. If I were offered the opportunity to erase the early start to my career I’d go through the 5 fight losing streak again as it showed me I’m in this because I want it. My drive is going to pay off massively when I turn pro, and it’ll pay off in my next fight just like it did when I fought Richard!
MMA UK: Was it harder having to fight a guy in his own backyard?
OS: Obviously I prefer fighting at home with my loyal army of support, I get such an insane drive walking out to that cheer. But at the same time, I quite enjoy rocking up to an away show and showing some skill, that’s always fun. Ultimately once we touch gloves in the cage it’s just down to the two of us in there so I’m not too fussed where I’m fighting!
MMA UK: You return to On Top next month to defend the belt against Peter McCafferty, do you know much about him?
OS: I’ve watched a few of Peter’s fights, he’s been in some pretty exciting fights to watch so I can’t wait to be in there with him. He looks decent everywhere with no massive weaknesses in his game, I’m just going to do what I always do and push the pace and make it my fight.
MMA UK: How do you feel the fight will go?
OS: I think the fight will quickly turn into a war and there will be a lot of heart on display. It’s going to come down to who wants it most and the belt is looking pretty good on my wall at home so I don’t plan on leaving Scotland without it. I also can’t see it going all the way but we’ll see what happens.
MMA UK: You have a couple of teammates fighting on the same night at On Top, will that make your preparations easier?
OS: I’m really lucky that there are so many upcoming fighters at Gym 01 there are always people getting ready for fights and eager to train and get better. Having Jade and Alex on the card is brilliant, we’re all well into our fight camps and all look sharp already so come fight night Gym 01 will be putting on some FOTN performances!
MMA UK: How did you become involved in MMA?
OS: I first stepped into an MMA gym as a student with the University of Portsmouth Kickboxing and MMA team nearly 4 years ago. I trained once a week for a while and when I came to graduating I didn’t want to do anything other than keep training and get some fights so moved to Portsmouth permanently and started training properly every day and got my PT licence so even when I was working I could be in the gym!
MMA UK: What do you hope to achieve within the sport?
OS: Pretty much straight after making my debut I knew I wanted to go pro and do this properly. I will be making my pro debut this year and will be looking to test myself and get my name out across Europe, I’m really excited for that! Will be a big step that I’ve been working towards and sacrificing so much for!