Lew Long will fight on the preliminary card of the Bellator London Lima vs MVP II card. MMA UK’s Abdul-Ahad Patel caught up with the Welsh Welterweight.
Lew, thank you for coming on. Firstly, how are you and how is training?
I never stop training, to be honest, it’s nothing new, you know. It’s nice to have the gym up and running and it’s nice to see friends back at the gym to beat up.
How’s camp? Injury-free?
I don’t really do camps, I just tone back my training. I do the hard stuff when I got fights lined up. It’s knowing the difference between when to go hard in training and when you can take it lightly and just be playful. I’m always training you know, I’m a martial artist and it’s about seeking approval and challenging myself to become better. I honestly feel by challenging myself that’s how I keep young and youthful.
Looking back as a kid, it’s all I ever wanted to be a full-time coach, now I’m living exactly that. I find certain elements are forgotten in today’s martial arts, people focus on sparring and conditioning, but forget stretching and yoga. These are the things that keep you flexible and stronger and keep the longevity of your body in the sport. I’m in the best physical shape I have ever been, I’m even doing the splits!
What’re your thoughts on your next opponent, Uroš?
I think it’s a great fight, it’s keeping me motivated. Some good news, my Mrs is pregnant she’s 14-weeks. I’m unbelievably motivated for this and for my family I can’t wait to provide for my family. I think Uroš will be someone I can be excited about. I initially was offered someone else, but his level wasn’t quite there and with this guy I know he will come to play.
I Feel being well-rounded and being quite short, moving up to welterweight I feel like it’s going to be 15-minutes of us meeting in the middle and going for it. It will be a great showcase of wrestling and BJJ.
An obvious question would be what’s your goals in the welterweight division and normally people don’t fight to just fight, they fight to become world champion. What’s your intentions within the welterweight division and where would you see yourself within the rankings?
Where my heads currently at I’m going to fight until I’m 35 I’m going to carry on competing professionally until then. I think I’m top 10 without a doubt. The plan is simple, take out each opponent one by one until I’m number one.
What’s your thoughts on the main event, Lima vs MVP II?
MVP V Lima, I just don’t know to be honest with you. MVP is awesome he can hit you, get in and get out. I like Lima he moves around weight classes and he likes to make a fight. I was looking at that first fight before and didn’t expect that outcome.
Have you been watching the Olympics and if so have you been watching the Judo, as your a black-belt?
Yeah, the judo competition has been really good, Natalie Powell is competing in the finals she’s super tough.
We established you don’t really do Camps, but is there any sort of traditions you do leading up to a fight?
I do these belly rows that are known in yoga, Hickson Gracie is known for doing them, check them out!
What’s your favourite MMA fight?
Favourite fight in MMA? I don’t really watch it funny enough. It annoys my students, I’m too busy for it, I’m in the gym working hard. I use to watch Mark Hunt he’s a good scrap. He’s my favourite I’d say. Swinging his hook (laughs down the phone).
Any last words to close up the interview Lew?
One of the biggest skills to have is being honest with yourself. When you should fight, when you shouldn’t fight. You learn with experience, but ultimately being honest with yourself is how you will learn.
Lew, thank you for your time and I wish you all the best for a healthy and safe fight and congratulations on the news of the pregnancy. Hopefully, we can catch up post-fight and you can talk me through your bout as well as what you plan to eat.
(Laughs down the phone again,) Yes mate, no problem. (Laughs again) couple cans of Stella!
You can catch Lew Long’s fight on the undercard of Bellator London Lima vs MVP II on Friday 1st October, live at the SSE Arena on Showtime and BBC iPlayer.