Roll Models & Empire Grappling have collaborated to bring to that fans of Stoke-On-Trent a night they will definitely be looking forward to on November 19th for the Roll Modals and Empire Grappling invitational at the Ormiston Horizon Academy.
Talent from all aspects of combat sport will test themselves against the best possible opposition to help cap off a year of absolute excitement on the grappling scene.
I caught up with one of many competitors that’s set to take centre stage on the night, Andrew Hardwick, as he prepares for his inclusion to proceedings.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Andrew, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the Roll Models & Empire Grappling invitational.
How has preparation been going at Alleycat Academy in the build-up to your scheduled return to the mats?
“Preparation has been going well, we’re always training hard so nothing much changes if I’m honest.”
Best way to be mate, Always be prepared.
Previously taking centre stage at Grapplefest 11, fans will be overjoyed to hear your inclusion in Stoke-On-Trent. How does it feel to get back out there?
“I’m really glad to be back out there, grapplefest is a big favourite of mine and wasn’t overly pleased with my performance so I can’t wait to put in a shift in to end the year.”
The collaboration between Roll Models and Empire Grappling has been eagerly anticipated since the announcement back in October. What did it mean to you when getting the nod to be part of the event?
“Empire in particular is a favourite of mine, always been my go too for tournament grappling, Jake runs a great event and has always been supportive of me, grapple nation was the first competition I ever did as a white belt so it’s pleasing to still be able to take part in their events. I have never done a Roll Models but I’ve attended a few and again a fantastic run competition and always good words spoken about it!”
Gonna be an amazing turnout no doubt.
You are set to take on fellow Brown Belt in Fighting Fit Stafford’s Naqi Arshed. A closely contested contest which will no doubt have the crowd in high anticipation for this one.
What do you make of Naqi in the build-up to your collision on November 19th?
“Unfortunately I’m the wrong person to ask about opponents, I don’t really pay much attention to who I have just try and focus on myself! That’s no disrespect to him either, I’m sure he’s a very game opponent and will bring his best on the day.”
It’s a great mindset to have to be honest mate, laser focused to give the best of your own abilities on the night.
As we draw near to what’s been an explosive year on and off the mats, fans will be looking forward to the festivities 2023 will bring. Have you set yourself any goals for the year ahead?, possibly a return to Grapplefest?
“To be completely honest, I haven’t, I think I’m going to take a little break from competing after this event. It’s been an active year so a break to just train is long overdue.”
Always good to take a step back to take some time out, to reevaluate things and spend some time with family and friends.
Including yourself, this prestigious event will play host to many of the country’s high level competitors, including some MMA practitioners. Other than your inclusion on the night, are there any of these exceptional warriors that you are particularly looking forward to witnessing?
“So, Shane Curtis is on the show and he’s an individual I’ve worked with for a while now so I always look forward to watching him perform. Danny Hughes as well, Danny has been a friend of the club for a while now and it’s great to see him back out competing after a couple of injuries.”
I’ll definitely keep an eye out for them.
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today Andrew, and I wish you all the best for November 19th.
“Thank you, No problem at all mate.”
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?
“To the fans in attendance, hopefully I can put on a show, I always want the sub and want to entertain by doing that. Shout-out to the usual guys from the gym who are there day in day out with me trying to improve.”
Limited tickets are available, ao make sure to cement your place in history, you most certainly will not be disappointed.
Grab your tickets here 🎟