This week GibLad caught up with local student and MMA fighter Kristoff Grambow who just had his first Amateur Class A (Top Amateur Level) MMA win at the UKFC9 Championship in England. Kristoff is currently in his 3rd out of 4 years at the University of Central Lancashire (Preston) studying Business and Management.
“I personally find that MMA is something that pushes me both physically and mentally every single session, my lifestyle now revolves around this sport and will continue to do so for years to come.”
Kristoff has been training MAA for around 3 years and started with Boxing at 15 years of age. He learned about a local MMA club being run by Sensei Anthony Joaquin alongside coaches Lee Tierney and Joseph Williams at Jumpers. Turning up for an MMA class can be intimidating for those who haven’t done it before, but after he had his first session, it became an obsession to keep improving and learning new techniques.
I asked Kristoff about his personal thoughts on the Sport.
“MMA is a sport which I believe to be one of, if not the purest sports around. There are no advantages in what equipment you use, what it boils down to is two people entering a cage, and only one leaves victorious based on how much effort they put into training and how they managed their mentality pre-fight. I personally find that MMA is something that pushes me both physically and mentally every single session, my lifestyle now revolves around this sport and will continue to do so for years to come.”
I first came across Kristoff at one of the Hybrid MMA Team Gibraltar training nights at Ocean Village Health Club back in August last year, among others it was great to see how well the sport has developed locally under Hybrid MMA Team with many of the younger generation now 3/4 years into their MMA training.
The stage was set for the UKFC9 Fight Event in Guild Hall, Preston. Kristoff would be fighting for Reps MMA and took the Bantamweight bout, which is for MMA Fighters weighing 57.1 kg – 61.3 kg, against opponent Jamie Lee Baldwin of ITC Blackpool, with only a week’s notice.
But as we spoke to Kris about his training regime, you can see he keeps himself in peak condition as a lifestyle choice. A typical week would look as follows;
Monday – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 6-8:30
Tuesday – Cage Wrestling 6-8
Wednesday – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 6-7 Boxing 7-8
Thursday – Pad Work 10am Kickboxing/Sparring 6-8
Friday – Wrestling 6-8
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – MMA Sparring
We went over some pre-fight questions with Kris to get his thoughts.
How were you offered the fight?
At this point I was in a training camp regardless of having a confirmed fight or not, I then received a call from my head coach Ste Nightingale who offered me a fight just over a week away due to a fighter being injured.
Thoughts on being offered the fight?
The UK Fighting Championships is one of the biggest and best promotions in the UK therefore I was eager to take the opportunity and show my skill set. Representing Gibraltar on this show had been an aspiration of mine since I begun training at Reps MMA.
Were there any pre-fight Nerves?
Pre fight nerves are natural and in my opinion keep you sharp on the day of your fight. Mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation before stepping into the cage yet so many people ignore it. I found the use of visualisation helpful with pre fight nerves.
Did Fight Prep present any change to the training regime?
At Reps MMA, Ste Nightingale maintains a balanced timetable which enables athletes to become well rounded in MMA, which is a crucial aspect to the sport. There was no change to my training program upon confirmation of the fight, there was no need to focus on anyone else but myself.
Talk us through the fight.
In the First Round we touched gloves and my opponents intentions became clear, take the fight to the ground and win via submission. Throughout the my training camp my wrestling had developed significantly, this was seen as I managed to reverse my opponents take down and score a takedown of my own. Landing in the top position I maintained control and landed some ground and pound strikes to end the round strong.
Second Round started and my opponent scored a takedown by ducking under my punches, he landed in my guard so I worked to attack from my back. After failing a triangle attempt I attacked a single leg and secured a takedown against the fence and continued to control the top position throughout the round.
How does it feel to get your first 1 – 0 and represent the Gibraltarian Flag in the process?
Winning my Debut on a top UK promotion in front of team mates and friends who came to support felt incredible and I am looking forward to doing it all again. Being the first Gibraltarian to fight on the UK Fighting Championships brings me pride a motivates me to continue striving for a better performance on the next event.
What would you say to any of our readers thinking of getting into MMA?
I urge anyone who is a fan of the sport to go and give it a try, there’s a common misconception about the type of people you’ll meet at these gyms. New students expect to find big intimidating men whereas really it’s a group of hardworking athletes working together to achieve a goal.
Local Fighters like Kris are always looking for local sponsors for their fights & training, if you’re a business wanting to sponsor Kris or know anyone who is, please contact him directly on firstname.lastname@example.org