Former Cage Warriors and WSOF champion Brett ‘The Pikey’ Johns will reveal all in a candid documentary with S4C this month. The rising UFC star from Pontarddulais- fresh off the biggest win of his career at UFC Belfast- is one of several Welsh fighters who have signed for the organisation recently. So what does it take to make it at the highest level of MMA?
The documentary Brett Johns: Ymladdwr UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is being broadcast on Wednesday 15th of March, on S4C, ahead of his second UFC bout. It will show Brett’s journey from a young boy training at his stepfather’s gym, to his success in the worlds top MMA promotion.
In the hour long programme Brett opens up about the sacrifices he has made during his career, and also on his up and coming fight in London.
“This fight in London is a bit of a personal one for me,” he said. “It’s one ticked off the bucket list. I’ve gone from the boy who was 16 watching Brad Pickett on the computer in school to having the opportunity to fight on the same card as him”
“I’ve been fighting now for over eight years; it’s been a tough journey for me. You’ve got to pick the right fights and you have to keep winning to keep the ball rolling. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. It’s having the right team behind you as well, that’s the big thing. I’m very lucky to train with the Chris Rees Academy in Swansea.
“I know Jack Marshman has a very good gym up in Abertillery with Richard Shore and also John Phillips, who trains out in Ireland with Connor McGregor’s camp. It’s having the right team behind you that can really help you through in this game,” he said when talking about other Welsh fighters in the UFC.
Though as Brett is aware, having a supportive team is only half the battle in such a dangerous sport. There is a huge amount of preparation and work before each fight, requiring both physical and mental application every day for up to three months.
“For a fight, we have things called camps. The camps can be between six and eight weeks. It’s intense – you can train three times a day, six days a week. It’s tough. You pick up a lot of injuries along the way. You walk through the injuries and at the end of the camp, you get to use your skills.”
Brett will take centre stage at the UFC Fight Night 02 on Saturday, March 18 at the 02 Arena, where he squares off with fellow Brit Ian Entwhistle.
By Lewis Smith
photo credit Tanabi