Brian Hyslop retired from MMA five years ago with a pro record of 7-2. He fought on BAMMA and Cage Warriors and was a member of the Dinky Ninja Fight Team. He has recently announced he wants to return to the cage.
We caught up with Brian to discuss his return, which promotion he would like to fight on and what he had been doing in his time away from the sport.
Family commitments and a falling out of love of the sport were factors in his retirement decision, as Brian explains, “Aye, I basically retired from MMA at 25 because my first daughter was born and I chose to focus on providing for my family rather than spend all day in the gym. To me, being able to compete means two sessions a day minimum and juggling that between a family and work was unrealistic, especially with my work at the time.”
He continued, “It sickened me, to be honest, I couldn’t even watch MMA on TV, never mind go to local live shows. I knew I had a lot more to offer the sport. The energy I put into fighting ended up leading me to all sorts, including living in Ibiza with my family for a while.”
Throughout his time away he kept up some training, “I kept the training up throughout the years, focusing on BJJ a bit more and had a brief stint playing with the local rugby team! I even had a twenty-second MMA fight in 2014 but that sickened me even more because it ended up a last-minute replacement opponent.”
Having been a member of the famed Dinky Ninja Fight Team, he will have a choice of gyms with former members to choose from.
“I’ll always be a Dinky Ninja mate! Ninja for life! Back then there was an amazing amount of talent and it really developed me as a fighter. The Dinky Ninja’s are now split between a few gyms now but the level of each gym is still amazing. I get myself between them for sparring and BJJ, which is great because there is an amazing range of fighters to work with.” he explained.
Hyslop has been spending a lot of time with a former UFC star to help get back in shape, “ I’ve been training with Robert Whiteford every day and its working wonders for me. He has tonnes of experience and is on my wavelength in regards to training. I’m also able to get more structured training rather than just blasting out a sparring session once a week. Not a single session with him is easy, working alongside him really pushes you to work hard because of his work ethic.”
Does Hyslop want to return on the local circuit or wait for one of the bigger promotions, “ To be honest, I only want to fight on big shows, BAMMA, Cage Warriors, ACB etc and fight the best opponents.” Hyslop said. “I see a lot of fighters now with brilliant records fighting dummies and having a big following on social media. That doesn’t interest me. I want to go right in there with the best and make up for lost time.”
It will be good to see Hyslop make a return to the cage soon and hopefully he gets his wish to fight on one of the bigger promotions.