Harry Shaw (0-0-0) is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Featherweight division, representing Apex MMA. He will be making his professional debut for Fightstar Championship on November 19th.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak with me again today Harry, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the Fightstar Championship 23 card.
I Hope training camp has been going well in the build-up to your highly anticipated pro debut and your return to the Fightstar cage?
“Yeah, it’s been going well mate, fit, fast, strong, I’m feeling good mate.
Good to hear mate.
You return to where you took your 1st step on your amateur journey at the Crystal Palace National Sports, now taking your 1st trip as a professional. How does it feel to be returning to where it all began with Fightstar Championship?
“Yeah it’s cool mate, kinda feels like I’ve done a full circle. Fightstar has always been a good promotion the way they run things, everything runs on time, they’ve always got me a matchup as well. So whenever they’ve got a card on I’m always messaging Raj to get me on it, he always gets me an opponent. Fighting there was a big part of my amateur career, it gave me the platform I needed to progress to pro. I haven’t actually thought about that, it’s a cool feeling.”
I remember when your opponent was cancelled at Fightstar 20, they sorted you out an opponent pretty much straight away.
“Yeah, that was a nightmare. The initial guy pulled out with about 3 weeks to go, one guy said yes then no, another guy saying yes but he wanted to be paid a stupid amount, Fightstar flat out refused. The guy I fought didn’t even arrive at the venue until about 5.30, so we didn’t even get to square off. They’ve always done everything they can to source an opponent for me, that one meant a lot for me as well because that was my first time back after about 2 and a half years off, obviously because Covid and injuries and stuff like that. I had a whole training camp behind it, for them to still make it happen and the fight meaning so much it was class on their part.”
November 19th will mark your 4th appearance for Raj Singh’s organisation, a fight in the capital is always top of a fighters wish list, professional and amateur alike. How does it feel to once again be taking the walk in London?
“To be honest, I’ve never really been bothered where I fight, I know it doesn’t really sound too patriotic of me haha. Whether I’m fighting in my hometown of Windsor, London, I was out in Abu Dhabi back in June in the amateur World Championships. I dunno, I don’t really have too much sentiment to where I fight, for me it’s just fighting.”
It’s a great attitude to have to be fair, means you’re going all out no matter the location.
Since the fight fans of London got to witness you action back at the tail end of 2021 at Fightstar Championship 20, you took the opportunity to take part in the IMMAF Senior World Championships in Saudi Arabia. What did you take from your inclusion?
“Ah mate, it was sick. It felt really big, you had nearly 500 athletes in one place battling it out for gold in their respective weight classes. UFC logos everywhere, it was super professional and very well done, the production was crazy. In terms of my inclusion in it, to be able to see the kind of MMA from around the world was amazing. I think a lot of the guys that do the IMMAF World’s, particularly those who do well, they’re pretty much pro-level already. A lot of the guys there have 20, 30 amateur fights behind them, so they have pretty well established games by that point. In the UK some go professional after 5 or 6 fights, but those doing the World’s have a good few fights behind them. So they have a good game, they know what they’re doing, they’re not really taking those fights and learning on the job as such. Which I think is quite common if you have like 4 or 5 fights under your belt, the level out there was super high. I came back with a lot of confidence, 1 I got a win on the stage out there and 2, I lost to the guy that ended up beating the guy that won it, I lost to him but it wasn’t a white wash by any means. I came back from there feeling way more confident in myself and my ability, even though I didn’t get to the finals. It was quite an affirming trip in my skill set definitely.”
That’s a great outlook to have, it must have been an amazing feeling to be part of it.
“Oh mate it was class, it was wicked.”
Would you recommend a trip to the IMMAF‘s to all and any young aspiring amateurs in the MMA world?
“Yeah, one hundred percent. The IMMAF‘s are starting to get a lot bigger, with a platform sponsored by the UFC, they’ve got their eyes on some of these athletes coming up. For example Muhammad Mokaev, I believe he was IMMAF champ a few years on a row. He got gold in a gold few, had a few pro fights, the next thing you know the UFC picked him up. The UFC‘s got eyes on it, and if you’re taking this sport seriously as an amateur competitor, I think you need to be doing the IMMAF World’s or European’s. Just to kind of get a feeling for the Levels before you make the jump to pro. I think that’s where amateur MMA is going at the moment, you’re not seeing many amateurs having a few fights then going pro anymore, they’ve got 15 to 20 fights behind them now. And if you’re doing it, you’re getting 4 to 5 fights in a week, it’s such a good experience. It’s real good solid experience against top class amateur fighters, as I said earlier, a lot of the guys there work on a pro level. Top class experience against top class opponents, just without knees to the head and elbows basically. I’d definitely recommend it, I think it’s really important, especially if you’re taking this sport seriously.”
I definitely agree, it is an amazing platform.
Looking forward, you are set to take on Ndue Lleshi in what’s set to be the biggest Fightstar event to date. What do you make of Ndue in the build-up to your scheduled meeting?
“Yeah he’s class mate, I think he’s really good at what he does. I got a lot of respect for him as a fighter, he’s 2-0 at the moment, and had a pretty good amateur career. I think it will be a really good fight, I really respect Ndue’s skill set. I think it will be a really good test for us both.”
Gonna be fireworks no doubt about it, amazing matchmaking by the Fightstar team.
As previously stated, Raj Singh and his team have worked day and night to make sure Fightstar Championship 23 is one of the biggest events in their long history. And with Fight announcements well under way as well as a vast announced fighters to the card it is plain to see it most certainly will be.
Other than your inclusion on the night are there any confirmed bouts, or fighters added to the card that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
” I haven’t actually looked too much into the card if I’m honest, Inwas let know that I’d be on it so I’ve been laser focused in preparation for mine and Ndue’s meeting.”
Completely understandable mate, it’s a great outlook to have to be fully focused in the build-up.
It’s been great catching up with you again Harry, and I look forward to catching you out there once again mate.
“Nice one mate, you too.”
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?
“Big thanks to the fans in attendance coming to watch me, the support makes all the difference. I’m really appreciative of everyone that buys tickets, that came to watch me compete and support. As far as shout-out’s goes, there’s so many, but the main people are Carl at Monkey Muay-Thai that helps me with my striking, Keith at Windsor Submission Grappling, who has been working a lot on my wrestling and grappling and things like that. Adam Amarasinghe at Apex MMA, he’s my head coach, I’ve got a really good solid team around me. Yan at Performance Culture he’s my SnC coach, I’m fit, fast, strong and powerful a lot of that is down to him. And big thanks to all my training partners.”
Catch Harry and many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s shaping up to be an incredible fight card on November 19th at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. Tickets will be made available from the fighters as well as via the Fightstar Championship Website here.
Fightstar Championship are proudly affiliated with the English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) who’s prime goal is To develop and promote the education, training and safeguarding of young people, competitors and coaches in MMA.