Ultra MMA is an opportunity in the UK that provides MMA and UFC fans with the chance to experience the daily life of an MMA fighter for 8 weeks and finish at the end of the 8 weeks with your very own fight night where you will be taking part in a real MMA Match.
Ultra MMA is a part of a bigger organisation called Ultra events. They do tons of events all year round with different activities such as Ultra WBC (Boxing), Ultra Comedy (Stand up comedy), Ultra Ballroom (Dancing), Ultra Games (Weightlifting) and Ultra Adventure ( Taking a trip) all in their aim to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Ultra MMA has raised £1,581,801 for cancer research UK so far and that number continues to rise every day. They have events in 60 plus locations around the UK every year giving every the chance to be involved. Over 10,000 people in the UK have been involved and have tasted victory or sadly defeat at the end of the 8 weeks in their very own MMA match.
How much is it to take part… absolutely nothing. Ultra MMA pays for your 8 weeks training but all they ask in return is for you to raise £50 for Cancer Research UK and sell 10 tickets. This can be done simply by donations.
I took part in Ultra MMA last year in 2021, I decided to do it because I’ve always wanted to take part in an MMA fight because I’ve always loved MMA and the UFC. It was always a dream of mine and this was the perfect opportunity to do it. Coming out of lockdown and having the fight 8 weeks away was the perfect motivation to get in the gym and train the rust off. I have trained MMA on and off for a couple of years but mostly trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as I love grappling. I started the 8 weeks at Masters MMA in Plymouth which was strange because it wasn’t the gym I normally trained at for my BJJ. The first session was an induction into Ultra MMA, there were roughly 60 people at the first session which to me was crazy as mat space was limited.
As the weeks went by so did the number of people. 60 became 40 became 26. The training was basic stuff as most of the people involved were coming in totally novice as they had never done any sort of MMA training before. The coaches liked this as it was like having a blank canvas to paint on. It was also easier for them to match us up with one another as they could tell what level everyone was at so there weren’t any mismatches.
You find out who you would be fighting on fight night 3 days before you make the walk to the cage. This way you wouldn’t be training with your opponent leading up to the fight as this would hinder your performance in the training sessions as you would not show your full capabilities.
On match up night which was held at a popular bar in Plymouth city centre, we were given our opponents and the opportunity to size them up and have a good old fashion stare down like in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). My opponent did not attend the night as work complications occurred. I didn’t think much of this anyway as Saturday, August 21st just 3 days later I’d show up and put on a show for all my friends and family.
Fight day was upon us and every one of the 26 fighters showed up in high spirits. As I walked into the venue, I could feel the nervous energy in the air. This got the blood pumping for me as I thrived on pressure. I was cool, calm and collective, seeming as if nothing could bother me. Many of the fighters said they couldn’t understand how I was so calm as they couldn’t even hold their drinks without shaking from being so nervous. I had a weird sense of belonging, I didn’t feel scared or nervous but excited to step in and compete in front of friends and family. As people started to fill the venue, we were given our fight order from the Rep. “Harry Barron (0-0) vs Karl Luscombe (1-1) is your main event of the evening”. Wow, my first fight would be main eventing. I was so happy but didn’t want to break my calm look so I just shook up my head as a sign of approval and began warming up for battle.
The sound of Sober by Tool rang through the venue as I made my walk to the Ultra MMA cage. I still wasn’t nervous or scared standing waiting for the referee to say “FIGHT”. I was in my zone that id felt many times in sparring. I came in and met him in the centre of the cage, throwing a jab to leg kick combo which landed flush. He returned with 3 leg kicks of his own which I checked. I threw a hard snapping jab which rocked him back to the cage wall where I missed by inches a big overhand right. He quickly secured double under, I kept my hands pushing on his hips to prevent any throws or trips. I spun out and managed to get his back with a belt grip which I loosened to let him turn into me which allowed me to get an inside trip and land into a heavy full mouth on the mat. I could feel him breathing heavy and fighting hard to buck me off in doing so he gave me his arm to secure my favourite submission, the Arm Triangle. This was my bread and butter and there was no hope for him to get out. I heard the 10-second clapper and my coach screaming “Squuueeeezzzeee” then he tapped out and I had won my first MMA fight. I can’t describe that feeling of winning but I’d give anything to feel it again. My coach outside the cage screaming was the only voice I could hear throughout the whole fight which only lasted 1 of the 3×2 minute rounds. I was in a tunnel vision sort of state. After the fight, I had medicals and spoke to Kyle who said I had him messed up before the fight because of how kind and calm I was throughout the whole day. We shared a few more conversations that night and also a couple of beers as he was buying.
Overall the Ultra MMA experience was one I shall not forget. It is honestly such a great opportunity for anyone who loves MMA and the UFC and wants to feel like a fighter for 8 weeks. You don’t need any past experience or belts in training. The support and gear are all provided to make it the smooth sail that it should be. All you have to do is train, fight and most of all enjoy it.
Signing up is easy for anyone of you reading this that may want to have a go at it. Go to UltraMMA.co.uk and click the sign-up button on the home page.