The Lightweight division has given MMA fans some fireworks in the cage over the years, and Fightstar Championship looks to add to the display with the addition of Mehmet Maslak vs Dan Kitchen at Fightstar Championship 23.
I took a trip down to GB Top Team to speak to one half of this absolute barn burner Mehmet Maslak, as he prepares for the violent festivities in the capital.
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Mehmet Maslak (2-0-0) is an English amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight division, representing Great Britain Top Team. He has competed for ECMMA and makes his debut for Fightstar Championship on November 19th.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Mehmet, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the Fightstar Championship 23 card.
“Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure.”
I’ve noticed on my many visits here, that you all put in 110 percent when it comes to preparing each other for war. How has training been going in the build-up to your 3rd outing on your amateur journey?
“Training’s been amazing. As you know, we all work hard, we all prepare for war together. As I say, if you sweat more in training, you bleed less in battle. This is where our confidence comes from, training as hard as we can, going out there and performing on the night.”
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And great fun too I’ve noticed.
Training under one of the most elite coaching staff in the fight game at GB Top Team, you must be full of confidence in any opportunity that comes your way.
What does it mean to you to be part of the well-oiled machine that is Brad Pickett’s Great Britain Top Team?
“It’s a massive honour, and it makes training a genuine pleasure. We come here everyday, and have access to this whole encyclopaedia of knowledge. whether it’s Brad’s experience, Ashley’s experience, to Barry’s and everyone else that helps out like Barry and Mike. It’s a wealth of Knowledge and it makes us feel complete, it genuinely makes me believe it’s what makes us one of the best gyms in the country.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself mate.
To give the fans that will be in attendance on November 19th some insight into your background, what 1st alured you into competing on the MMA circuit?
“It’s quite cliché, but it all started with secondary school experiences. Whether it be fights, scuffles, getting jumped all this sort of stuff. Then I thought, I need to learn how to protect myself. Eventually, when I started training with the amateurs and pros, I realised I can actually do this. My first fight gave me the belief that I could pursue this as a career, since then I’ve lit my all into it. I’ve finished my studies, I’m not working at the moment and I’m trying to do everything I can to make this my life.”
You’re definitely with a great team to help you achieve that, 100 percent.
Only starting out on your amateur career back February, you have already made such a statement with your intentions to succeed in the brutal yet exhilarating world of Mixed Martial Arts. Wins over Zac Kelly and Jordan Phillpot at ECMMA 6 and ECMMA 9 in unanimous and submissive fashion.
What have you taken from your first two outings in the lion’s den?
“My 1st outing was a nervous one, but I feel that gave me all the knowledge and momentum I needed to carry into my 2nd fight. And the difference between those 2 fights is visible, I felt more comfortable in there, I was able to show a little bit more of what I could do. Hopefully, I can take the momentum from those 2 into my 3rd and put on a clinic.”
Have you got a preferred way of finishing?
“I’ve always said, I have a decision, I have a submission, now I’d love to stop someone with a knockout.”
What advice would you give to aspiring fighters looking to take their first step into the cage?
“I always tell myself we see these guys on TV, whether it’s the champions of the world, or guys we aspire to be like. And they started out just like us, they were once kids that had a dream. They came to the gym, they got their licking’s and now look where they’re at. So just keep going, even if you’re getting beat up at the moment, just keep going. And eventually one day trust me, you stick at it long enough, it’s all gonna pay off.”
That’s a great message man.
Looking ahead, you have been added to what could possibly be one of the biggest Fightstar events to date, a place many of your team has fought at before and a place that has had so many memorable moments for many in the fight game.
When presented with the opportunity to compete on FSC, was it an opportunity you just couldn’t refuse?
“Exactly that, couldn’t refuse a fight in London. As soon as Brad messaged me saying there was a fight available in 4 weeks time, I said Brad, let’s do it. I’m not gonna say no to a scrap in front of the London fans, you know what I mean. It’s a quality show that Raj puts together at Fightstar. Like I said, being able to fight in front of the London crowd I couldn’t turn down, it’s gonna be something I’m gonna treasure for the rest of my life.”
Your inclusion will see you take on LD Fighters Dan Kitchen, a highly regarded amateur under Dave Mathew’s and a regular competitor at Cage Warriors Academy Wales, a place he has remained undefeated in his previous 3 outings.
What do you make of Dan in the build-up to your scheduled collision on the 19th?
“I respect Dan, so I train really hard because of that respect. He looks strong, I’ve seen that he’s a good grappler and I’ve been preparing accordingly, so I can’t wait for the clash and see who avails.”
When I saw the announcement, I thought what a banger of a clash it will be.
As previously stated, Raj Singh and his team have pieced together one of, if not the biggest Fightstar event to date. You will set out to battle with many of your team who will take their respective walks that night, as well as an action packed line-up of many more highly respected athletes.
Other than your inclusion, are there any matchups that you’re particularly looking forward to witnessing?
“Every single person walking out with the GBTT flag, I can’t wait to see them fight. They’re going in there with mine and the whole team’s spirit. So anyone from my team competing, you best know I’m gonna be front row cageside, I’m watching them all.”
It’s been a great pleasure speaking with you today Mehmet, I wish you all the best for the 19th and I look forward to witnessing you out there.
“Thank you very much and thanks for having me.”
My pleasure Mehmet.
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?
“I wanna shout-out my coaches Brad and Ash primarily, they do a lot for the gym and sacrifice a lot. They make training so enjoyable, make me feel like I’m living the lifestyle of an MMA fighter. To the fans, I’m coming to put on a masterclass, so stay tuned for my fight.”
Catch Mehmet 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. Also available on PPV for only £12.99 with Fight Ticket.
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.
Feature image by Avk Creatiff