As we have done in the past, BritFights are keen to cover everyone involved in the MMA industry from fighters to back stage crew. After all, every single person makes the shows and events what they are. So we caught up with Harry Shoebridge who is a Promoter for UCMMA, Dave O’Donnell’s right hand man and also a fighter himself. Harry is just 21 and fights at both Welterweight and Middleweight. He is from South East London and has a Professional record of 2-1-0, fighting out of Keddles Gym.
At the age of 14 he was watching his brothers’ friend, Lee Murray fight and Harry looked up to him and wanted to be like him as a fighter. He started training at Eltham Warriors with Lee and Mark Epstein and then his friend and fellow fighter Jason Young took him training at Elite Fighting System which was Dave O’Donnell’s Gym. Harry’s career really started at this point and his next step was meeting Dave, a man he says he had seen on Sky TV having watched the early Cage Rage days. He said it was this that really inspired him.
When I ask people who they respect as MMA Fighters, I usually get a huge list of big name UFC stars but Harry simply tells me it is Jason Young who he looks up to and respects. Of Jason he says he has not stopped training his hardest to get where he is today, in the UFC. And Harry says if it wasn’t for Jason, he doesn’t think he would have taken MMA as seriously as he does. When Harry had his first fight he tells me he had no nerves at all. He had been training with Jason Young, Brad Pickett, Mark Smith, Jamaine Facey and many other top UK MMA Fighters and was just 18 years old when we was officially old enough to turn professional. He says he felt nothing but excitement and says the excitement got the better of him and he found himself smiling and thinking ‘WOW I am actually here’ all the while he was being punched. Harry won his first fight against Michael Sidwell with a KO in Round 2 at UCMMA 4 in September 2009. He also went on to win his second fight against Kai Senken by Submission due to punches in Round 2 at UCMMA 13 in June 2010. Sadly, he lost his last fight at UCMMA 19 in March 2011 against Colin Wilby who KO’d him in Round 1. But this has only made Harry more determined to come back and start the winning streak all over again. As yet there is no definite date or opponent but he is hoping to fight for UCMMA 27 in April 2012.
Of the support Harry has from friends and family, he says it isn’t nice for his family to see their son/brother/loved one fight so he understands how hard it must be for them to watch but they are very supportive and his girlfriend is also 100% behind him. Harry’s whole life is MMA related so when people say it is a dangerous sport, he finds it hard. He feels that those who don’t have a lot of interest in the sport don’t really understand that it is a safer sport than boxing. He points out that this is just his opinion but also says he feels MMA is safer than rugby. He just wishes that people would give it more of a chance and get to understand what MMA actually is.
Working for UCMMA as Dave O’Donnell’s right hand man sees a variety of tasks for Harry. He says it is a lot of hard work for six weeks before an event but says the end result is always amazing. He does have to suffer Dave’s magic tricks on a daily basis but says it is all good fun!
As a fighter Harry says his biggest learning curve has to be dieting. He hates dieting and on his last fight, tells us he was lazy and then ended up having to work hard a week out. He said this made him weak and as a result he was knocked out. He feels he had no energy to fight but will not be making that mistake again.
Other than MMA, Harry is involved with football and is a coach for Charlton Athletic Football Club. He says he loves football and loves coaching. He teaches kids football and has recently started to teach them MMA as well which he says they love and the conditioning side is making them fitter as players.
If you are ever at The Troxy on fight night, be sure to look out for Harry either in the cage as a fighter or running around organising the production side of things. We would like to thank Harry for giving us this interview and he would like to thank the following people in his own words:
“I would like to start off by thanking BritFights for wanting to speak to me, Dave O’Donnell and Jason Young for kick starting my career, my friends, Family and my Girlfriend, Alan Keddle who is an amazing coach and has helped me big time and of course my sponsors, Xtreme Couture XP, MMA Apparel.co.uk, Jaco Clothing, Front Line Fight Gear and MMA Sports Nutrition”.
Thank you to http://www.ringpics.co.uk/ucmma for use of the images.
Be sure to visit http://www.cagerageuk.com for information about UCMMA events.