Ben “Flubber” Rees 3-4-0 is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Featherweight division, representing Lions Den MMA. he has competed for Valley of Kings MMA Championship, BAMMA, Adrenalin Fight Nights, Raged MMA UK and Cage Warriors.
I’d like to start this off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Ben, and also to congratulate you on your recent fight announcement for the CW136.
“Thank you for taking the time to reach out and fire some questions my way.”
I hope training camp has been going smoothly in the build-up to your scheduled return to the cage?
“Training camp has been smooth, I feel like after having 3 fight camps back to back last year, with all the fights falling through has helped me find the correct blueprint to train efficiently for my Cage Warriors return. After having such a long hiatus from the cage, I wanted to ensure I left no stone unturned.”
Your team at Dave Matthews Lions Den MMA have been extremely busy in the MMA World of late. How does it feel to be able to represent them again in the Mixed Martial Arts circuit?
“The LD fighters stable of fighters and especially coach Dave Matthews, have been very busy travelling all over the country almost every weekend in search of the best opposition and opportunities available to the fighters. Whether they are at amateur level or professional. It’s easy to fight in your own backyard and be a big fish in a small pond. But when you have to wake up early, make weight and then travel 500 miles (for example) to step on the scales and go and perform against the hometown favourites, big-ticket sellers week after week and gaining big victories like Dan Kneil’s 40 second KO in Wolverhampton last weekend. All this shows how persistent and professional LD is as a team. I’m so proud to represent them.”
Your return to the cage has been a long time coming, with a string of unfortunately cancelled bouts stretching over nearly 3 years. When you got the call to not only return to the sport you love, but also to showcase all I’ve learned since 2019 on one of the biggest stages of them all once again on Cage Warriors?
“Competing on Cage Warriors has always felt like home to me. Ever since fighting on the earlier shows in my amateur days at CW47 and then CW55 in Dublin Ireland, earning a submission of the night bonus in my professional CW debut, I have always enjoyed the journey and experience Cage Warriors provide. Stepping on that canvas and wearing the iconic yellow gloves is a great honour. Despite having had 3 years out of competition, I have not stopped training through all that time, I’ve only enhanced my skill set as an athlete and fighter, becoming more focused and mature in my approach to training. On that note, I’d like to give a special mention to Unit 7 performances Matt Handford. He has safely carried me through 3 fight camps now and taught me how to incorporate my strength and conditioning into my training schedule properly. While making sure I’m accountable for dieting, keeping weight managed so I’m always able to perform on the mats. Avoid injury and more importantly, be ready to take big fights like this one I have been giving on April 2nd.”
With just under 3 weeks, your return has been set in stone when the CW team announced that you are set to take on Liam Molly at what’s set to be a sold-out BEC Arena in Manchester. What do you make of your opponent for your opponent leading up to your highly anticipated return?
“This is a great matchup for my return, like you mentioned before I’ve previously had 3 opponents pull out on me on short notice. So when Liam Molloy’s name was brought to the table I did not hesitate to demand the contract straight away, because this kid comes to fight. And if you look at both of our records (wins and losses included) we do not take easy fights. Unlike what seems to be a trend on the UK MMA scene currently, we don’t pad our records. We may not be undefeated but every fight we have is exciting, every win we have is a finish in the first round and in my opinion, as an MMA fan myself, that’s what people want to see. I have always sought out the toughest opponents available to me at the time because I train to test my abilities. At LD fighters we have a motto written on the wall “The 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kid Thyself”, and all the competitors at the gym carry that ethos into the cage with them. We aren’t out to fight an opponent 5-56, pad our records and claim to be the next best thing, that’s kidding yourself. We go out and fight the best talent around the country. Liam Molloy is in that category and I’m excited to put my game plan to the test against him.”
Without giving too much away what steps have you been taking to make sure you leave Manchester with the W on your record?
“I’ve observed Liam’s fighting style and noticed a few key things he does in the cage and highlighted his main threats to me, also areas where I can capitalize. I believe getting my timing right and nullifying him early to open up my game and expose some of his flaws is the right route to take. He’s a very accurate and clever southpaw striker, so I will be adequately prepared. That being said, I have so many things I’m excited to use in the cage that I’ve worked on for the past 3 years since my last win. But If I can implement the game plan my team have worked on and follow the blueprint, you can expect to see a finish late in the first round. I don’t get paid for overtime.”
Many bouts have been announced for the double card CW is bringing to Manchester both on the 1st and 2nd of April for CW135 and CW136. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing across both cards?
“This is shaping up to be a fantastic Card, hats off to world-class matchmaker Ian Dean. So far the fight I’m most excited to see is Christian Duncan fighting for the title. I love his fighting style and especially how he carries himself through fight week, a humble hard-working fighter that’s a great example for younger athletes coming through. I also think the Jack Eglin vs Luke Riley fight will be great, I’ve seen both of these guys compete and perform well, that is a great stylistic match up. I’ll obviously be keeping a close eye on all the featherweight bouts that weekend, eying up the competition. Because if I get through this fight unscathed, I would like to get back in there again very soon against anyone who wins that weekend.”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“Yes! I’m overwhelmed already with the people that have supported me and bought tickets. I would like everyone at the event to let me know if you’re there to watch me and I’ll personally come and see you after the fight!”
“I have had tremendous support from my sponsors and would encourage anyone reading to follow them. They are a great support system allowing me to achieve my goals.”
“My Oppo Mental health charity
The pilot inn Exmouth
J R Pitman Building LTD
N and D Car Sales
Hands of Eden Therapy
Perennial recording network