Dave ‘Nemo’ Llewellyn
BritFights caught up with Dave ‘Nemo’ Llewellyn, a mixed martial artist originally from London but now living in Shropshire. Dave is 25 years old and 6ft tall. He usually fights at heavyweight but is currently cutting weight to light heavyweight. The main disciplines he trains in are Muay Thai and BJJ but he is an all-round fighter who is just starting out in his professional career.
Dave tells us that he started training at the age of 18 as in both his mum and his dads family boxing has been a huge part of life. Although he originally trained in boxing, the muay Thai and MMA training developed and he has now been training for seven years.
When I asked Dave who he respects as an MMA fighter he tells me that respect is a funny word but that he likes fighters who put it all on the line and who come to fight. He says he cannot stand those who pick fights and when it comes down to it, then make excuses not to fight. But anyone who gets in the cage earns Dave’s respect.
Dave’s first fight was a Semi-Professional one and he says he was full of nerves. His nerves saw him come out throwing wild shots and missing lots! The adrenaline had kicked in and Dave tells us he did not know how to control it which can be very bad. The fight went the distance leaving it up to the judges but Dave was very happy to hear he won the fight by decision. With a Semi-Pro record of 4-1-0 and a Muay Thai record of 5-3-0 Dave is pleased to have taken the step up to professional and although his first pro fight saw a loss, it hasn’t dampened his determination and drive to go on and win the next and many more thereafter.
Training varies for many fighters but Dave says his training is always going to be the same now as he wants to be fight ready at every moment just in case he gets a call to take a last minute fight. He says it will be hard work but rightly points out ‘when is anything that you want, easy to get’?
Before a fight Dave tells us that he likes to stay on his own and focus on what he has to do once he gets in the cage. He doesn’t really have any superstitions other than if he loses a fight; the shorts he wore for that fight never get used again. He says a lot of fighters have this superstition but I have to confess this is the first time I have heard it.
Regarding his friends and family, Dave says that although at first they weren’t sure of his chosen career, they are now very supportive and the amount of support they give him is out of this world. He says with everything he comes up against, it is them that have helped him to get over things and move his fight career to where it is today. Of his coach and team mates, he tells us that they too are out of this world.
Dave has indeed come across a few hurdles in his time from various places. Why? Dave is slightly different to the majority of MMA fighters in as much as he only has one arm. He has a lot of people tell him that he shouldn’t be doing MMA but Dave feels these are the ones who won’t fight him so he asks the question ‘who shouldn’t be fighting, them or me’? Dave goes on to say that he uses his arm as an advantage and anyone who feels it is a disability should get in the cage with him and see if they feel the same after. He goes on to say, people should not just take note of the win but in all of his fights he has been matched rather than picking his fights and after watching some clips of Dave in action, we can say confidently that Dave may only have one arm but it doesn’t hinder him in any way and shouldn’t be looked upon as a disability.
It must be frustrating to be faced with obstruction but Dave says he continues to work hard and of course always has to work harder than everyone else. How would Dave like to see things chance in the future? He says we can only wait and see, nobody can tell but he feels it will get easier for people with disabilities to be able to compete but everything takes its time.
Dave is well known in the fight world but he still comes across people who don’t see him as a fighter but he is slowly changing people’s opinions. His future plans are to get more fights, win more fights and show people that he is indeed a fighter. He says he would love to fight big names and although he wouldn’t call anyone out, he would like to correct the two losses over his semi-pro and pro fight record and prove that he can beat them. He is happy his pro debut is out of the way, even though it was a loss but he is confident he will get a rematch soon and that will be the time that he corrects that statistic.
Other than being a fighter, Dave is a doorman and is also in the process of setting up his own security business and launching an MMA clothing brand. When he isn’t training or working, he loves spending time with his daughter as well as heading off on his motorbike with his friends.
I asked Dave what he feels he has learned from MMA and if he has any advice and he tells me that his biggest lesson were the two losses as they showed him that he needed to get his backside into gear and his head in the game. He has learned that the sport of MMA is a lifestyle and not just a hobby and Dave embraces this, as it is just how he likes it.
So the big question is about his nickname ‘Nemo’. For those who have seen the children’s film, you will know that Nemo is a clown fish who has one fin smaller than the other. So did Dave name himself? No! One of the regulars at a club where he was working came along and shouted it out at him and it kind of just stuck.
Nemo the fish defied the odds and survived his adventure in the ocean and Dave ‘Nemo’ Llewellyn is already proving that he can survive the shark infested waters of MMA. So watch this space as there is a new kid on the block who has lots of fish to fry!