Tom “The Viking” Crosby 8-2-1 is an English Professional Mixed Martial Artist. A professional competitor since 2018, representing AVT Leeds. He has competed for YMMAC, Royal Fight Night Promotions, Ultra MMA, Risk Fight League, Superior Challenge and Caged Steel.
I’d like to start this off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Tom, also congratulate you on your phenomenal Submission victory at Caged Steel 27.
After what I can imagine was a well-orchestrated fight camp with AVT, the night was set in great doubt when your scheduled opponent for the night Luke Dyson had to, unfortunately, pull out of the bout. How much of a relief was it when you got the news that Changy Kahn stepped in and made that epic night in Doncaster possible?
“Yeah, on the night I was getting a bit worried. I warmed up and my opponent Luke didn’t show up, so I warmed up then I cooled down thinking it’d been postponed or pushed back. I was getting worried, with Christmas coming up as well I wanted to fight. And then luckily enough we managed to get a stand-in and I ended up fighting Changy, I had friends and family there, fans that bought tickets to support. I wanted to fight and put on a show for them.”
Winning on the night is an incredible feeling for professionals such as yourself, but to win via submission must have made it all the sweeter, executing what you practice regularly in the gym and leaving with the W. Was this your main focus going into the war with Kahn after the feeling out process of an opponent you’d not had much time to study?
“Getting a submission was good, kimuras. I hit them quite often in jiu-jitsu competitions and the gym. But I’ve never actually got one in an MMA fight. And I’ve had, including amateurs and professionals over thirty fights now so yeah it was great to get my first kimura win in MMA. A few guys in the back room we had little bets on. “Go for your submission, go for the kimura”, really happy to have got it. Study wise I had to go in there and do my own thing, little feeling out process and I just went for it.”
Like many Mixed martial artists, coaching is a big part of your walk through the warrior’s journey. Throughout your career you have prospered inside and outside the cage, teaching the youth and no doubt future champions of AVT Leeds. In regards to roles in the MMA World, where do you feel most at home?
“Years ago I’d have never seen myself coaching, but as times went by and my fighting career’s gone, representing the UK as an amateur, just gaining that confidence through competition. Learning from the coaches at AVT, I’ve now had the confidence to get into coaching. I’ve been doing it for a few years now, eventually, I got promoted to the head of AVT youth and from the back of that, I’m now part-owner and director of AVT. It’s great, I enjoy teaching. Teaching the kids stuff and seeing them implement what I’ve taught them in competition. I’ve got a family that competes, my daughters, my son. It’s a family thing. With myself, I see myself as an all-rounder. I do enjoy my wrestling and I like to grind, push the pace, big fan of grappling and striking lol. Both aspects are great really.”
A great team is the main ingredient to a formula to success on the professional circuit. AVT had such an explosive string of successes last weekend. Other than your submissive performance, what were some of your favourite highlights to your team’s success in recent bouts?
“On the night, I got to give a massive shout to Adam Bramhall. Winning that title fight, injuring his foot, digging deep in a back and forth war. In probably the fight of the night, he got the caged steel world title. Off the back of that performance I think Adam is due his shot in the UFC, he deserves to be there.”
Overall, across the professional Circuit, you have racked up an impressive eight victories. What one of these exemplary performances stands out most for you?
“Out of all my eight victories as a pro, you’ll see that I fought Sean Lomas and drew. In my personal opinion, I didn’t draw, I won that fight. So when I fought him again, I had to make sure that I won. I won the rematch in a dominant style, I was all over him. That was a sweet feeling to win that rematch, especially after the draw.”
I look forward to your return to the cage Tom and wish you all the best for future camps.
Last but not least do you have a message for your fans and anybody you’d like to shout out to?
I’d like to give a massive shout to my family, to my wife Cherry. my children, Blossom, Autumn, Ocean, Thor. Tia, that’s my immediate family. Everyone that supports me, comes to see me and buys tickets, it’s massively appreciated. And my sponsors XSGUARD Mouthguards, Art of 8 Limbs Muay Thai Clothing, Crosby’s little angels CHP Actuation and all my team at AVT MMA Leeds.