Cage Warriors Academy Wales middleweight champion, Roan Crocker, believes he needs more experience before turning pro as he prepares for his title defence on March 26th.
Roan Crocker Talks His Approach to Training
Crocker will face Rhys Hughes in the main event of the sixth instalment of CWAW. He is approaching this fight like he is trying to win the belt rather than trying to defend it.
Regarding his training, he stated, “Camps going well. I’m training every day like normal. It’s not even really a camp for me. Yes, training picks up its intensity, but for the most part, I train all the time anyway, so it’s just another thing to do.
“I think it’s a common phrase, you see people say, you’ve got to approach a title fight as if you’re fighting for the belt again. I think that does apply in this case. I’m fighting to be a champ again so I’m coming and I’m hungry.”
Roan Crocker Talks His Opponent
Hughes comes into the fight with a record of 4-1 and hoping to rebound after his last fight. Hughes missed out on becoming the champion against Mitchell Goode last October.
“Rhys is a good opponent. I think he’s got good skills. I always thought me and him would fight one day and we were actually booked to fight in October 2019, but I’d moved gyms. So I was booked to fight under my old gym.
“But yeah, he’s got some good experience, but I think I’m better.”
Shore Mixed Martial Arts
The 22-year-old is another up-and-coming prospect from Shore MMA gym, and with prospects such as Jack Shore, Oban Elliot, Brett Johns and Scott Pedersen already making a name for themselves in the pro ranks, Crocker believes having them there is great for the younger guys.
“Training life is class. It’s everything an MMA gym should be: good facilities and top-level coaches. I’d say the best coaches around, most definitely the best in Europe and we can challenge the world as well.
“Looking up to guys like Shore, Elliot, Johns and Pedersen, guys I’ve looked up to for a very long time and seeing them do things in the past that I’m now doing in the present is mad.
“Getting to train with them and all my other teammates as well, there’s a high calibre of boys and coaching staff and it really has brought me on and I think that showed in my last fight.”
Preparing for Two Title Fights
Interestingly, Crocker, as well as having his CWAW title defence booked for March 26th. He is also booked to fight for the middleweight title on the new Brett Johns Fight Night event in May.
“I don’t really think it’s a massive deal for me, coming from my days of doing grappling tournaments, sometimes every other weekend, for me it’s just another chance for me to compete, another chance to gain experience, test my skills and show what I’ve been working on.
“Brett was putting on this show and he asked me if I would be interested, and I said yeah. The fights are six or seven weeks apart and I may potentially have no damage, or I may potentially have a lot of damage, but we’ll hope it’s not a lot and I can get back to training quickly.”
Eventually Turning Pro
With his current amateur record sitting at 6-2, Crocker says there’s no rush to turn pro, stating, “I only started when I was 17, so turn pro at 22 would probably be very short-sighted from me.
“If you look at my training partner Scott [Pedersen], he was boxing from age nine, and then he was kickboxing and then went in to MMA. He had an amateur record of 18-9 and went to multiple IMMAF tournaments, he tested his skills against the best and that’s something I’m going to look to emulate.
“I am serious about turning pro. It is in the pipeline but as I said, I just think I need to get a lot more experience in this game and there’s no rush.”
The Swansea-born fighter, believes with these other commitments, continuing at amateur, for the time being, is the right decision.
Just over a month away from his CWAW title defence, Crocker predicts a great display of grappling. Crocker believes he is ready for whatever Hughes throws at him.
“Rhys will bring his A-game and I’m going to bring mine. We’re going to find out who’s better on the night.”