2016 has been one hell of a year for Terry ‘The Dominator’ Brazier. From entering the year as a 2-1 pro, the NFM juggernaut has breezed through three opponents, got married, spent time training in Thailand and is now fighting for his first piece of professional silverware as he takes on Shah ‘No Pain’ Hussain for the LFC Interim Welterweight Title on September 25th.
Competition is a way of life for Brazier. He spent his formative years in Her Majesty’s Forces. “I’ve got an addictive personality; I always strive to be the best; even when joining the Army I had to be the best, so I pushed to join the Parachute Regiment.”. Knowing that Brazier was medically discharged from the Forces, suffering from PTSD, I wanted to get his take on UFC fighter and former US Army Ranger Tim Kennedy’s recent Facebook post on the subject.
“Kennedy is putting up a self defence mechanism. He’s institutionalised. He doesn’t have PTSD so doesn’t know how to explain it. Before it hit me I’d have probably said the same thing. Some of what he’s saying there makes sense, but it’s clearly uninformed. I don’t choose to have PTSD, it’s something I just have to manage. MMA is my release from it. When I have a fight arranged I can focus on that, which then gives me a degree of control over the disorder. I’m always at my best when I’ve got a fight arranged, which is why I keep myself in condition which will allow me to always be fight-ready within a week. In comparison to what I’ve seen and lived through, fighting is much easier to cope with mentally; what’s the worst that can happen to me? I can get knocked out? Oh well!”
Brazier started his amateur career as a light heavyweight, but now competes in the welterweight division, “It’s all to do with how I train. Whilst I was in the army I lifted weights constantly, I don’t do them at all anymore. My physical training is based around power, speed, timing and movement. I walk around at 85kgs now, so getting down to 77kgs is an easy cut”.
Stability is important for the 29 year old too, “I’ve got a great team around me. Dean Amasinger isn’t just my head coach, he’s probably my best friend too. He was the best man at my wedding. I work with Kenny Moyston for Muay Thai, Master Eddie Kone for BJJ too. We’re all friends, our wives are friends, they all train together too. Amy (Terry’s wife) is probably more lethal than me. Her Muay Thai is amazing! She’s sacrificed a lot for me since we’ve been together. She’s got her own business, but she puts my career first so often. She supports me in so many ways. Every decision I make is a joint decision with her. She’s my manager as well as my wife, we discuss everything and agree before we do anything. At the start of each year we set achievable targets. 2016’s was for me to be 6-1 with a belt. When I win later this month I’ll do that. I’ll also get one or two fights in before the year is out, so we should readjust that to 8-1 really. My longer term target is to be fighting in the UFC within the next two years”.
The Braziers are an epitome of the modern evolution of the game. Too many people fall into the trap of fighting for the sake of fighting and forgetting that this is a career, “I’m a business man. I’ve got a wife and three children who I have to provide a future for, I’m not here to just play. I sit down with my team and discuss my path to my target. I’ve fought people of a certain calibre, now I’m moving onto a different level. Take this David Round situation, for example (Brazier called out David Round earlier this year). If I’m going to fight him it has to be in the next three fights, that’s the calibre he’s at. After that there’s no point, it’s not going to progress me in my career. To put it simply, the timing has to be right. In my eyes, Shah is my David Round, they’re at a similar level. If the fight doesn’t happen in the cage, I’ll happily fight him at the gym one day. He can come down to Fight Science (in Aldershot) any Saturday and we can compete there, if he really wants to”.
There’s a slight history between Terry and Shah; “I choked him out in training a few years ago. I have no doubt that will be playing on his mind, especially as he knows how much I’ve evolved as an athlete since then. He’s a good pro though, I’m not slagging him off, I want to use him to show everyone, especially my coaches, just how far I’ve come. He fought Dean a few years back in a fight that went the distance. I intend to finish him”.
Tickets to watch Terry compete on Lion Fighting Championships are available from the fighter directly, or from here.