Mindaugas Gerve recently signed a multi-fight deal with BAMMA to compete in their heavyweight division.

We spoke to Mindaugas and pitched him a Q&A about the signing and his aspirations for 2017.

Thanks for taking the time to speak to The Sprawl, Mindaugas. Could you tell our readers about the type of fighter you are?
I am a committed and focus fighter. I train hard but I train smart. I feel comfortable in all areas of fighting. I go where I want the fight to go.

You have recently signed a multi fight contract with BAMMA. Could you tell us how this came about?
We have just worked hard and Paul [McLaughlin – founder of IFS] is always in contract trying to get the right deal for me and this is an amazing chance to show everyone what I can do. I was disappointed not to fight in Belfast, but things happen, that’s the fight game.

Is there anyone in the heavyweight division you wish to fight first in BAMMA?Opponents don’t matter, I train to be the best I can be and I feel I have a lot to offer.

You train out of IFS, Northern Ireland. Could you tell our readers about the coaches and fighters you train with?
The guys are all really nice and I’m sure everyone says that, but it’s true – it’s a real family atmosphere. Guys fight all over UK and further and we always bring support. Everyone in the club is always ready to step into the cage, everyone trains and acts like a pro. Paul is a great guy and leader looks out for us all.

What preparation do you undertake when heading into a fight camp? I have read you also train at Phuket Top Team.
Of the past six months training, I spent three months in Thailand. I was there for my training camp and I learned a lot new things and felt in great shape – maybe the best I’ve felt ever. Unfortunately my fight was off, which was very disappointing for me but I learned a lot in those three months, not just new skills but how to be mentally strong for upcoming fights.

At home I have everything I need here, my main support comes from the coaches and the great team at IFS Belfast. I do some extra training at Lanka Muay Thai with Jamie Crawford, where I get some vitally important rounds – the guys are real animals, they really know how to punch and kick and push me to my limits.

I have my personal trainer, heavyweight veteran Colin Robinson, this guy is a legend. I am so grateful to Colin for sharing his knowledge and experience. Everyone I have mentioned constantly pushes me to be the best I can and without them it would be much harder to be where I am today. And with them I know I can go much further, I know I can go right to the top.

Lastly, would does 2017 have in store for Mindaugas Gerve?
My goal is to make a run for the BAMMA belt and make a statement, and I will develop to Bellator or UFC level. BAMMA has given me this shot and I couldn’t be more thankful to them.