If you’ve never been to a Raged UK event-based at The Mecca club in Swindon, now is your opportunity. The promoter, Gary Turland, puts on a hell of a show every single time, and this time around is no different.
Today we speak to the promoter and one of the co-founders of Raged UK, Gary Turland.
Gary Talks Preperation Ahead of Upcoming Event
I start by asking how preparations are going for the next Raged UK event.
”I’m ok Adam thank you. It’s so nice to be back again after a 2-year break from covid, putting on shows again. It’s always stressful but it’s enjoyable when you see a good event come together… yeah it’s great we have some new talent coming through and as usual, I think we delivered again.”
The last event was electric, which was back in September last year. Gary lets fans know what to expect this time around?
”You can expect the same, the Mecca is where we began, we moved to the Oasis Leisure centre for a few shows, but we’ve come back to where we started, it’s a smaller venue but one thing that people love, is the atmosphere. I just can’t get over the atmosphere – it’s like Wow – this is crazy! We have two big guys for our main heavyweight fight, Craig Rawlins, a local fighter is a local, Swindon based fighter, so it’ll be interesting to see him back. We have a couple of awesome amateurs come through too, so it would be unfair to single out anyone fight to be fair. I enjoy getting amateurs through and watching them progress.
One of my favourite times was when Rikki Wyatt had one of the fastest knockouts in MMA history. He is one of the fighters from Raged UK, who went from amateur to pro.
”Yeh that was mental! that was great and has been shared and viewed millions of times now, there are so many highlights from Raged UK. It was a double-edged sword for Rikki, as some fighters hid away as they didn’t want to fight him but also he became a target for others.”
Why Did Gary Turn to Promoting?
I was interested to find out what exactly got him into becoming a promoter in the first place.
”It’s been going for 6 years now and I’m always looking to improve and make the event better. I did a degree in sports science and wanted to work within the boxing industry. The problem was I hated getting punched in the face! So I started getting involved with White collar boxing.
I then went through a bad stage where I suffered from anxiety and depression and bumped into a mate of mine, Oz. Boxing was my background at the time and Oz said about venturing into MMA. I thought about it and realised it would give me something new to focus on. So I did the first one, it was a huge success and a thirst for it in the South West. Over the years we tightened up, we now have the support of some real good gyms and it has become, what it is.
Through working with MMA fighters, I’ve started going to BJJ classes. Pat Reeves, my professor, coaches me. I try and get a better understanding of what the fighters are doing. It’s definitely given me a love for the ground game.”
It can really cause stress when someone pulls out, so I asked Gary how he responds to pull-outs.
”Yeh it’s just one of those things, It’s frustrating for fighters who have trained and made weight and done everything they can. It’s part of the parcel.”
Any final words, Gary?
”Massive thanks to all the fighters, gyms, sponsors, the crowd, everyone involved. We’ll be ready 5th of March!”
Featured image credits to Raged UK