Stephen McBride is anticipating a stoppage victory ahead of his amateur debut this Saturday at Budo Fighting Championships 48.
Budo FC 48 takes place in The Grangemouth Town Hall, Scotland, on Saturday night. A handful of the countries’ up-and-coming talent will feature on the card.
I had the pleasure of catching up with The Griphouse debutant Stephen McBride to get his pre-fight thoughts.
Interview With Stephen McBride
One week out from your official amateur debut. How are you dealing with the emotions leading up to your first competitive fight? Describe how you are feeling?
It is a mix of nerves and excitement. It comes in waves. I will be nervous for a while thinking about going out and fighting in front of a large crowd, and slowly those nerves will turn into the excitement of having the chance to go out in front of a crowd and do what I believe I do best, fight. I deal with it by embracing those feelings and accepting that they are part of the journey. They will always be there. I have to become comfortable with that. I try very hard not to fixate on what may or may not go wrong and only fixate on what I will do in the fight.
You did undertake the Wimp 2 Warrior course. I believe eventually fighting at the end of it? Can you sum up how that experience benefited you and what you took from it?
Yes, the W2W course was massively beneficial to my development as a fighter. It showed me what it took to be a fighter. I was one of the only ones in the course who was also taking the Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu classes at night, and it really started to show in the sparring sessions. I had so much extra knowledge from these classes that no one else from the course was consistently attending, and this shot my confidence as a fighter through the roof. The course also gave me the experience of a fight week and the nerves that naturally come with it. It gave me a chance to learn to deal with it in a much lower-stakes situation than in an amateur fight.
Stephen McBride Gives Thoughts on W2W
For people that are looking for a foot in the door of combat sports but are apprehensive about going through with Wimp 2 Warrior. What advice would you have for them?
My advice would be that the W2W program is the best way to get your foot in the door. However, you have to be real with yourself because it’s not easy in any way. If you’ve never done anything like it, it can be a shock to the system as it’s early mornings five days a week and intense sessions, and you are expected to be there. If you’re not there consistently and the guy you get matched against is, then you are in for a tough night, but if you are consistently turning up and putting in the work and doing extra classes, then this can be life-changing. You might even have a chance to join the fight team at the end and move into the amateur leagues. Currently, there are 2 of us who have competed in W2W in the fight team, myself and a boy called Frank. He is a testament to what can be done through the W2W course because he started it with little to no prior experience, and now three months since competing, he’s a damn good fighter and training partner.
The Griphouse is filled with young up-and-coming talent. In your time training there, who has helped you the most settling into the lifestyle and overall learning?
The other fighters in the team have been a massive help. Reece McEwan is always happy to give advice to the younger guys like me about anything we ask about. He wealth of knowledge that I’m always happy to learn from him. Jasim Beg has been a great help with mindset and grit. He’s one of those guys who’s happy to bite down on his gum shield and do what he has to win. Ellis Pilkington has been a massive help, as we’re always training together. We’re constantly trying things like eating at a certain time before training to get peak performance and then figuring out whether it works or not together or trying a certain technique to see if it works for us and troubleshooting what can be done better. All these guys have really made the Griphouse feel more like a home and a family over the time we’ve been training together.
Why Fighting Drew McBride In
Obviously, you enjoyed the Wimp 2 Warrior programme and the principles that it taught you. Early morning, gruelling training sessions and a truckload of information have been thrown your way in such a short space of time. What enticed you to pursue it and continue with the training, and now with your first fight on the horizon?
Since I was very young, I have never seen myself doing a normal job. It is a bit of a cliche, but it’s just not for me. I need to do something exciting or find myself in a bad place. One day I found MMA, and since then, I’ve always seen myself as being able to be a world champion, but I think I don’t tend to do very well just throw myself into something. I think the whole idea was to only put my legs in the water to see how it was instead of lobbing myself in. As the program progressed and I really felt improvements being made, that belief in myself only got stronger. The event came, and I won my fight convincingly, and the feeling of winning a fight is a feeling no drink or drug can recreate. The buzz lasted for weeks. As soon as the fight was over, Dean approached me and asked if I wanted to join the fight team. Since then, I have gone part-time with my work, and I’m in full-time training, and I do not plan on stopping.
McBride Talks Ben Molyneux
In terms of game planning, has that been the case for this fight with Ben Molyneux being such a blank canvas, or is it just focussing on your own skills and not your opponent?
I have watched Ben’s last fight, but I only really watched it once because I’m not too fussed about what he is going to do or try to do. I know what I’m going to do. I’m constantly focused on something like not getting hit with a head kick. I will just get hit with one. So I’ll just focus on kicking him in the head, and hopefully, that will happen. I know it will not be an easy fight, but that’s a big part of what excites me.
With the first fight comes expectations, visualisation, and many thoughts running through your head. Without being too hard on yourself, what expectations have you set yourself?
I just want to go out and do myself and my training partners justice by performing to the best of my abilities. Obviously, the crowd would love an exciting back and forth war between us. I just want to go out there and dominate and really make a statement about who we (The Griphouse) are and what we’re here to do. So I have set high expectations for myself. I always do. I wouldn’t be as good as I am today if I didn’t, and I certainly wouldn’t get to be a world champion if I didn’t set myself high expectations. If I set average expectations, there’s no real satisfaction if I meet those expectations, and all I’ll ever be is average.
All goes well on Saturday night. You leave with your first win and un-injured. When will you be looking to get back in there again in 2022, or has that not crossed your mind yet?
I know the On Top Promotions card was moved to June 24th, so I’d really love to get on that card. It’s an amazing show for amateurs in Scotland, and it’s in a great venue plus, that would give me plenty of time to recover and do another fight camp, so I’d definitely love to be competing in that event.
Lastly, can we get an official fight prediction? How does it go down at Budo 48 on Saturday night?
I believe the fight will be off to a fast start, and there will be a lot of action, but I believe I’ll be able to catch him out making a mistake and get the finish before the final bell.
Featured image credits to Stephen McBride