Hemel Hempstead’s Ed Arthur (5-0) is a man on a mission. The outspoken bantamweight will have the opportunity to win his second title on April 25th when he takes on Alan “The Apprentice” Philpott (13-6) at BAMMA 20 in Birmingham. The bout will be for the inaugural BAMMA Bantamweight championship.
I had the pleasure of having a chat with Ed shortly after the announcement was made.
So where did the animosity between you and Mr Philpott originate from?
There wasn’t too much animosity originally, there was a few words exchanged by myself, him and few other fighters on Twitter because I’m not afraid to speak my mind. Then we signed for BAMMA and he was the one who actually started it, normally I’m the instigator and I chuck a few digs in here and there to get the emotions flying. To be honest though I don’t think there’s much animosity there, I don’t dislike him and I respect him as a fighter, but when I told him how it is and that I’m going to in there, beat him and make it look easy, obviously he doesn’t like hearing that. To me, that’s not talking rubbish, that’s just what I know is going to happen. I’ve said it to every single one of my previous opponents and I’ve backed it up. Fighters don’t like hearing that. Fights aren’t supposed to be easy especially when they’re training for six weeks, but I just keep making it look easy. What specific advantages do you see yourself having going into this contest? The main thing is the pressure. I will not slow down to until the ref drags me off. I’m going to put pressure on him from the opening bell and he’s not going to be able to handle it. Some might interpret what I’m saying as I’m going to go in there recklessly but that’s not what it is, it’s calculated pressure. He won’t know until he’s been in there for a few minutes with me, I don’t get tired and I won’t slow down, especially not over three five-minute rounds. I predict I’ll get him out there in the second round, but I could go five five-minute rounds if I needed to and I’d still be fresh at the start of the fifth.
In November you won your first title in the Swedish Superior Challenge promotion. Can we expect to see you defend your title anytime soon or are you with BAMMA for the foreseeable future?
I will wait and see what happens in the future, but my first job is to win this BAMMA world title and continue to build my name with them.
So talk me through your training, I’ve seen you’ve been training a lot with Dean Amasinger. Are you still training with Denniston Sutherland at Hemel MMA?
I still train in Hemel two, three times a week on my Jiu-Jitsu as well as some privates with Max (Denniston Sutherland), but 80% of the training I do now is with Dean Amasinger at NFM Windsor. We have guys like Ross Pearson, Mike Wilkinson and Brendan Loughnane who come down to train with us from time to time but the core group of guys we’ve got is unbelievable. There’s some amateurs in the team who when they turn pro, are just going to blast through people. The training itself has become a lot smarter. I used to think that if someone was throwing a thousand kicks that I’d need to throw ten-thousand kicks. Now, I just focus on throwing ten perfect kicks. I take my time with things, instead of just trying to do more than everyone else.
A lot of British fighters have been relocating their training over to the US when they start competing for either the UFC or Bellator. Do you feel you’ll have to do the same at some point or do you think the standard of training is high enough over here?
I definitely don’t think it’s something I have to do, but it’s something I will do. Obviously my training will be serious but I’ll be doing it for fun. I’m a firm believer when it comes to MMA that you’ve got to keep it fun, I do it for enjoyment. With Dean (Amasinger) as my coach I honestly don’t think I’d need to. There are fighters in the UFC who come to him to boost their training and I have him on the doorstep. I don’t just turn up, wack a few pads, do a bit of wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu, he completely structures my training. With the amount of knowledge he’s got along with the up-and-comers we have, NFM Windsor is going to make some waves in the next few years.
Who’s a talented up-and-comer from the gym that the readers may not be aware of yet?
Adam Amasinger, Dean’s little brother. He’s only twenty-one years old and he’s a little beast. He’s 57kg and I’m pretty sure if he were to go pro now, he’d be able to beat most of the flyweights in the country, let alone in a year or two when he decides to go pro. When he does, people are going to be in for a shock.
Stylistically, who would your dream match-up be against?
If I had to pick anyone it’s Alex Caceres. That fight would be complete madness. The person I would like to fight the most from the UK would be Davey Grant; I think he’s the true number one guy at bantamweight. He’s a beast.
So how comes you haven’t got a nickname?
Back in the day at boxing they would call me Ed ‘The Head’ Arthur because I’ve got a big head (laughs). That was only a bit of fun though when I was 16 though. Max (Denniston Sutherland) used to call me Ed “Hype” Arthur because I’ve always had a lot of hype around me since I’ve started.
You’ve made rapid progress thus far in your MMA career, how long before you foresee yourself taking your skills to the UFC?
I know with my mind-set I’ll eventually get to the UFC, but for now 100% of my concentration is on these next five fights with BAMMA. It’s an exciting time to be apart of BAMMA, I’ve seen behind the scenes, they’ve been building up and waiting to attack and that’s exactly what they’re doing this year with all these shows. They’re letting everyone know they’re the best European show out there. Anyways, I’m going to take these five fights, win all five obviously and then we’ll see from there.
What do you want to be remembered for?
For me it’s more than fighting- it’s the whole martial arts journey. My goal is that when I’m 70 years old people will be pointing at me saying, “that’s the guy you need to learn from, you need to learn from Ed”. I want to be one of those old guys at the gym that can barely walk and needs a walking stick, but is still telling people how to kick, how to punch and how to move. That’s what I want to be remembered for. Not just being the best fighter but being the best coach. I want to be the Yoda of MMA (laughs).
We all know your not one to shy away from providing predictions for your fights, how’re you going to get it done on April 25th?
I’d like to think I’ll knock him out- stiffen him out with a right hand. I’ll stand up with him, beat him up and if I haven’t got a knockout by the end of the second round, then I’ll take him down and submit him within twenty seconds. It’ll be fun, but he’s not getting out of the second round.
You can follow Ed
“The Head” on Twitter @edarthurmma. His fight will be broadcast on the all-new Spike UK TV channel on April 25th. Tickets for BAMMA 20 are on sale now.
This scrambley Verne Troyer look-alike spends his days down in South London working in the cloud. At night you can usually find this critter on the mats, doing his best to emulate Masakazu Imanari.