Steve Langford 1-1-0 is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Light-heavyweight division, representing Intensity MMA. He has competed for the United Kingdom Regionals and Golden Ticket Fight Promotions.
I’d like to start things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Steve, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 20 card.
“It’s my pleasure, the thanks go to you brother. Appreciate the opportunity. The scene is alive and well at the moment, it’s amazing to see! Who would have thought after all the pandemic madness we would bounce back so strong!”
From what I’ve seen, training camp seems to be going great in the build-up to your scheduled return to the cage. What has been your main focus as you enter the final stages of training?
“Camp has been phenomenal; It really has gone well. The atmosphere in the gym has been electric and it’s clear that I’ve made good progress, in fact, we’ve made massive progress as a team. The levels have gone up in all ranges, for all of us. Focus has been on keeping the weight down, active recovery and keeping injury free! We have a few things that we do as a gym to keep sharp, but keep safe at the end of the camp. It’s my favourite phase. I really felt the difference in my fight at GTFP18. Obviously, I’m not going to share the details but trust me when I say we are on track.”
I’ve had the opportunity to see all the phenomenal effort you’ve put in with your team and I have to say, you can see how much this means.
Many will know you as one of the UK’s most dedicated craftsmen to the Mixed Martial Arts industry, taking on the violent path is not for the faint-hearted. More and more warriors are taking their first step on their respective journey’s of late and moulding the very foundations of the sport we have all come to love.
What advice would you give to young athletes looking to enter the world of MMA?
“Don’t rush. When I started back in 2005/2006, we didn’t have much of a unified amateur scene, if any. Take your time, make the most of the opportunities you can get at the amateur level these days. Look at the work EMMAA are doing now with a similar format to the IMMAF Europeans and Worlds- it’s unreal. Amateurs are getting the chance to fight all over the world and I know several who train full time because of their exposure. Why would you not take hold of that? The amateurs are where you should be learning your craft; finding yourself as an athlete. Don’t worry about your record, you learn from your losses as much, if not more than your wins so just view it all as experience and honing in your skill set.”
I completely agree, I’ve spoken to many fighters and they have the same opinion. This is why I have so much respect for what I like to call ‘the roots of the sport’ The amateurs.
The brutal yet exhilarating world of mixed martial arts gives athletes such as yourself many opportunities to learn from some of the world’s leading practitioners. As we speak today, you are in attendance for the seminar of one of the greatest fighters ever to grace the Octagon, Kenny Florian.
It must be an honour to gain a vast knowledge of such a legend of the sport?
“Man, come on, what can I say? Ken Flo! This is the second time I’ve got to be in his presence. It’s always surreal to me, this time he’s been stopping with me at my place. It’s been fantastic for me to be around someone with such a wealth of experience, not only in MMA but in life. He’s done it all! Honestly; he is so knowledgeable at all ranges, but equally as valuable is his understanding of the mind and how to appoint it in a vast array of scenarios – including outside of the cage. He’s just a top human being. I need to thank Grappling Gorilla for organising this, I’ve had some amazing experiences made possible through their vision and drive.”
Many would be envious, a true living legend no doubt.
Another phenomenal card is set to take place at the KK Steel Mill when Golden Ticket Fight Promotions mark their 20th card to date.
You will be taking on fellow Light-heavyweight Rys Thomas. Who, like yourself, is coming off a W and looking to extend a winning run of form. What do you make of Rys in the build-up to your highly anticipated meeting?
“Historically I don’t have a good track record against Welshmen. This is going to change on Sept 3rd. I would massacre the Steve that was fighting back then. That’s a fact. Rhys looks a tough man and I know he is going to bring the pressure but I’m ready for it. He’s got good hands and after watching some footage, it appears he’s got a decent standard of grappling too. I can’t wait to work him out, he’s a puzzle I’m determined to crack. I’ve worked too hard and I ain’t missing out on pizza and dairy milk for no reward.”
Haha, you guys have some willpower, I couldn’t go without haha.
As you enter the final stages of your camp and Wolverhampton looms near. What steps have you been taking to make sure you walk out with your arm raised and another W to your record in the GTFP cage?
“I try not to worry about my opponent’s game too much and prefer to focus on being as well-rounded as I can as a fighter. We’ve done it all this camp, we’ve got coaches across all disciplines and I’ve made sure I’ve utilised them all. The one thing that separates me from most, in my opinion, is I thrive in stressful environments. That’s hard to replicate and train for; Mindset and psychology tends to be unique to an individual. I’ve got a team of killers around me, young up-and-comers who are already raising their levels at such an early stage of their journeys, I’ve got no choice but to stay sharp. I’m getting pressured by monsters like Owen Cartridge, Naqi Arshed and Sam Hill on a regular basis. Remember those names!”
With announcements coming in thick and fast, it is set to be another night of pure unadulterated organised violence in Wolverhampton. Other than your inclusion on the night, are there any confirmed match-ups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“Rather than matchups, there are some individuals I can’t wait to see perform. James Dixon in the main event is just a savage isn’t he – then you got young amateurs like Mikey Tranter, Wes Tully, Sonny Crossman and Venet Benushi. The card is stacked, if you know the domestic scene, you know the standard I’m talking about. And of course, most important of all, I get to see the debut of my brother-in-arms, the already mentioned Owen Cartridge. He’s an enigma. I’ve never seen a heavyweight move like him.”
I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for them.
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today Steve and I wish you all the best for September 3rd and beyond.
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?
“It’s been my pleasure bro! Really appreciate the opportunity. Yeah; I would like to give a shout-out to Dan Cassell, my head coach at Intensity MMA. Chris Paines, my BJJ coach. Ranj Singh my wrestling coach and Mitch Pearce my boxing coach. Of course, I have several training partners I could shout out but without these guys, we wouldn’t have the development of skills that we have at Intensity MMA. If you’ve been smart enough to treat yourself to a ticket for Sept 3rd, then you’re in for something special. Get ready for the noise! Black Country crowds are special and I can’t wait to walk out with that red, white and black flag once again.”