BAMMA recently announced their next event, BAMMA 11, will be held on December 1st at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
They have been churning out fight announcements for the past week and I have been busy since trying to set up interviews with some of the guys who are scheduled. One man I knew I had to get a word with was James Doolan.
James was my first ever interviewee as an MMA writer (for EuropeanMMA) and that first interview will always have a special place in my memory as I got to realize just how cool it was being able to do this.
I got to chat with James earlier today and our second interview together did not disappoint.
Doolan (16-8-2) is set to go up against Spencer Hewitt (9-3) and he has began doing his homework on his opponent.
“I’ve seen bits and pieces of Spencer’s fights, I know he’s a jiujitsu brown belt which he uses well in MMA. His KO of Corey Tait shows he’s capable on the feet as well. He’s a credible opponent. “
Hewitt has 8 submissions in 9 professional MMA wins and is clearly most dangerous on the ground but, despite this, the Scot feels confident for the fight to go anywhere.
“I’m happy to fight anywhere, I’ve been a BJJ purple belt for close to 3 years and have won 7 fights by submission also. I have lost by submission 5 times, but that’s to BJJ black belts, European champions, a world Sambo champion and a Japanese ADCC competitor. All of those fights were competitive and I’ve learned from them.”
The Hewitt bout will mark his debut for BAMMA, a promotion which is widely regarded as the biggest promotion in Europe. For James it has been a long time coming. He has been involved at BAMMA events before and is very happy to finally be getting his chance.
“I’ve been trying to get on BAMMA for a while, I managed to get my team mate Brian Hyslop on one of there shows before and cornered Paul Mcveigh on a previous show and it was cool seeing what the shows about. It’s a big opportunity for me in a good platform. BAMMA seem to be growing show by show and the fight cards are getting better, the production impressed me when I was at the show before.”
Our previous chat took place before James’ fight against Sweden’s David Haggstrom for the Vision FC Bantamweight title earlier this year. He lost that fight by decision but had stated that he was aiming to fight 3-4 times before the year ends. This will only be his second fight but he has also been busy coaching and cornering his girlfriend Joanne Calderwood (who recently made her debut for Invicta FC and earned the KO of the Night with a crushing knee that downed Ashley Cummins).
“I haven’t fought as much as planned this year for a couple of reasons, business wise I’ve just moved into a new gym and I wanted to focus on that and get it done right for myself and for the fight team. I’ve been busy coaching as well and Joanne’s career has sky rocketed in the last 12 months so that’s been a priority. I was meant to fight Davey Grant in October but I cracked my shin in sparring. All these things put me back a little but I’m good to go now and i’m aiming to use the BAMMA fight to set me up for a busy start to 2013. Coaching Joanne’s easy, when she fought in the SFL people commented on how her responding to my instructions in the corner was like a video game and it really is like that. Between her fights at SFL and Invicta I’ve had Dave Camerillo and Greg Jackson tell me “good job coach” which suggests we are doing something right. When she’s working I’m all professional as a coach and cornerman. I tend not to get nervous because I know she out works just about everyone in the gym. As far as women’s mma goes Invicta is top of the tree right now and Joanne’s signed with then and now ranked in the top ten in the world and undefeated. She’ll be ranked number 1 in the world at some point I’ve no doubt.”
I jokingly asked James as he sees he and Jo as Scottish MMA’s answer to Posh and Becks (David and Victoria Beckham).
“Posh and becks hahaha, no way! Joanne’s much hotter than posh and I’d beat the shit out of becks!”
James and Joanne also featured in a documentary on Channel 4 in the UK along with other members of the Dinky Ninja Fight Team. The Dinky Ninja’s are renowned in the UK and were recently ranked number two in the UK behind only Liverpool’s Team Kaobon (who boast a number of guys in the UFC including Paul Sass, Terry Etim and Andy Ogle). I stated afterwards my disappointment at the length of the show as I was desperate to see more and asked if there were any plans for a follow up to it.
“The documentary was pretty cool, David Gallanders (the man shooting the show) was with us for 9 months and at fight shows almost every week. There was talk of an extended version if the original had high viewing numbers, some of the stuff he left out would be amazing.”
Here’s hoping that we get a follow up then!
All the best to James, Joanne and the rest of The Dinky Ninja’s and good luck to Doolan against Spencer.
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