This past week I had the pleasure of interviewing current BAMMA British heavyweight champion, Stuart “He-Man” Austin. He fights Mark Godbeer for the BAMMA heavyweight championship on May 14th in Birmingham, England. With a win, he could solidify himself as the best heavyweight fighter in the UK, and put the UFC heavyweight division on notice.
Alex Albarran: How did you get your start in MMA?
Stuart Austin: My best friend Darius showed me some UFC DVDs that had fights of Chuck Liddell and Vitor Belfort. I instantly thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and wanted to try it. The same friend also persuaded me to go with him to compete in a grappling tournament (because of my strong judo background). I actually got to the semi-finals where I got choked out by current UFC referee Marc Goddard. I still loved it and as my judo career finished, my MMA career started.
Did you ever have family/friends who didn’t believe in your MMA career?
Loads of people thought MMA was a stupid/crazy idea, but my family and close friends have always supported me in what I wanted to do (although my mum hates it).
Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
My brother has always been an inspiration to me as he is a Judo Olympian, world team member and multiple weight-division British Champion. He sets a really high standard for me to meet!
What would you say are your biggest strengths, and what are things that you need to work on the most?
My takedowns and throws from the clinch are something I can really rely on, nobody has been able to stop me from throwing them (unless I knocked them out first). I also have KO power in both hands and can submit people from the top or bottom. I think the biggest thing I need to work on is to take more risks and really show some of the more exciting techniques I do in sparring sessions.
Which martial arts discipline (boxing,wrestling,etc.) do you find most enjoyable to train?
I enjoy all of the different aspects of MMA training, but after my fighting career is over I’ll spend most of my time grappling.
Where did your nickname, “He-Man” come from?
Another fighter (Marc “Suplex” Allen) gave it to me.
Who is your favorite fighter in the UFC/Bellator?
I’ve always enjoyed fighters who go after the finish, especially Nick Diaz, Matt Hughes, and currently “Big” Ben Rothwell.
If you could have a dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
I don’t really care who I fight, I just want to collect some more belts on mid-size shows then go to the big one!
After your fighting career is over, would you ever think about becoming an MMA coach? If not, what are your plans after fighting?
Actually, I’m already coaching at Fight Zone London. Just in the last month, I had my first 3 fighters fight (1 professional, 2 amateur), they all won their fights and performed great which really gave me a big boost! 3-0 coaching record so far! #Undefeated
What are your ultimate goals in MMA?
I want to be the best British heavyweight and fight in the UFC. When I’m in the UFC, I want to win as much as possible, and obviously, everyone wants to win the title!
Thanks to Stuart Austin for the opportunity to interview him, and a word from Stuart Austin:
I’d like to thank Fight Zone London, Titan Fighter, The Commando Temple for all my training. I would also like to thank The Little Brown Shed Co. and Fight City for sponsoring me.
If anyone else if interested in sponsoring me or having me represent their brand please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Stuart Austin on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, @stuartaustinmma.