Thunder Rolls

Thunder Rolls

Craig ”Thundercat” White Photo Credit -Dolly Clew

Mixed Martial Arts is a sport where things can happen in a flash. In today’s episode ofĀ Across The Pond,Ā you will meet a thunderous fighter whose lightning-like submissions and booming knockout power have molded him into one of England’s hot Welterweight prospects. A professional since November 2009 and representingĀ Lion’s Den MMAĀ underĀ Dave Matthews,Ā 26 year oldĀ Craig WhiteĀ owns a 10-7 Ā record in seventeen career bouts consisting of six submissions and four knockouts.

In his MMA debut, Craig defeatedĀ Sam ConnelyĀ via TKO in the second round. He also defeatedĀ Matt Ross FrancombeĀ via TKO in round one. White earned consecutive submission victories over Rocci WilliamsĀ andĀ Richard WeatherallĀ respectively. At Cage Warriors 41, he submittedĀ Dan EdwardsĀ via triangle choke in the first round. Then he tapped outĀ Jason CooledgeĀ in round one. At Cage Warriors Fight Night 11 in Jordan, Craig defeatedĀ John RedmondĀ via TKO in the second round. He returned to his submitting ways with a victory overĀ Jon Williamson.Ā At Ultimate Impact 15, White defeatedĀ Tommy CookĀ via TKO in round one. In 2017, Craig returned to Cage Warriors to face Nordic prospectĀ Thomas RobertsenĀ at Cage Warriors 80 in London and submitted him via triangle choke in the first round. ”The Thundercat” is ready to put a jolt into the Cage Warriors Welterweight division!

Interview with Craig-

How did you get started in MMA and what attracted you to Lionā€™s Den MMA?

I was doing Tae Kwon Do from 11 to 16 and my instructor decided to do a runner with everyoneā€™s money. He was part of some American pyramid scheme where they charged a stupid amount of money for a ā€˜martial arts packageā€™ (buy a belt system too) and it had got to a point where the local area had been completely drained of anyone who wasnā€™t aware of what was going on so it all dried up. The whole thing killed my love of martial arts for a bit but my parents are very supportive and got me to go try out Lionā€™s Den. I started Tae Kwon Do again there but the main passion of Dave Matthews, head coach and owner, was MMA and I gradually lured into that. I never really got on with the grappling aspect at first so my first fight under the LD banner was a kickboxing bout and I was going to look to stick at that. The next kickboxing bout I got offered would have been in a head guard which didnā€™t appeal to me, so I took a semi-pro MMA fight instead. I gave away at least 10kg and won by KO in 55 seconds. From there my love of MMA grew and I started to get more of a grasp of everything. A year on from then I had my first pro fight and here I am over 7 years later still doing what I love with a team that have become my family. Thatā€™s the most attractive part of LD to me.

What has been the biggest life lesson of your career so far?

Making sure to be mentally prepared for a fight is just as important, if not more important, than being physically prepared. Any fight Iā€™ve gone into where Iā€™ve not been 100% mentally prepared has always resulted in a loss caused by stupid mistakes. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing and Iā€™ve learnt a lot from these losses, but itā€™s frustrating to look back and know I could have performed better and won if Iā€™d had that better mind-set.

What are some of your hobbies besides training?

I love wildlife documentaries. Iā€™ve spent countless hours of my downtime watching them. David Attenborough is my hero.

As a veteran, do you have any advice for up and coming fighters?

Too much stress is put on weight cuts, especially for amateurs. Iā€™ve seen people lose 10 kg for an amateur fight where itā€™s a same day weigh in and as a result theyā€™ve put in a performance which really isnā€™t them. Heavy weight cuts are detrimental enough with a day before weigh in let alone with a same day. I think we need more weight classes brought in for all levels of competition as the jumps past 70 kg are quite substantial. I think changing/adding 75 kg, 80 kg, 85 kg and 90 kg divisions would be a good move. My main advice to anyone would be to make sure youā€™re fighting at a sensible weight which you know you can safely reach. Fighting at a lower weight to get an edge in the fight isnā€™t always the best practice.



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