08:00AM, Thursday 23 April 2020
Credit: Bellator MMA/Lee Hamilton-Cooper
Former paratrooper turned MMA fighter, Terry Brazier, admitted last week he was enjoying being in lockdown with his family and believes the ease with which he’s adapting to it could help him when he eventually climbs back into the cage for a Bellator bout.
It’s been several months since Brazier was grappled to defeat by the Dane Soren Bak in London, but the Windsor-born fighter is adamant he’s learned from his mistakes in the fight and will return a more rounded, dangerous, fighter.
Because of his army background, Brazier is better placed than most to cope with the unprecedented health crisis and strict lockdown measures. His time in Afghanistan has given him the tools to deal with isolation and being restricted to a certain area for months on end.
Initially he feared his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might flare up, but last week he said he was making the best of a bad situation and ‘welcomed’ the Government’s decision to extend the measures for a further three weeks.
It’s far from certain when Bellator Promotion events will return but Brazier reckons he’s ready to be called upon if needed in the coming months.
“I haven’t experienced this sort of lockdown since I was in the army,” he said. “I really love my freedom and like to jump on a plane to train around the world in places like Thailand and America, so to be told I couldn’t do that was a bit of a shock. I thought it might be an issue with my PTSD.
“But it turns out that I’m making the best of it. I’m actually really enjoying it. I’ve finished off my gym in the garden and have pretty much everything I need at home, enabling me to train. So I feel I’m going to come out of this with a one-up on my opponents.
"My brother is also at home with me. He’s only an amateur but it’s still a body to drill jiu-jitsu on. I’m not sparring with him because I’d probably get arrested for GBH, and obviously it could be better, training in a gym with high level people. But I think I’m getting more out of it than others and I was quite pleased to see the restrictions extended for another three weeks.
“Any athlete who uses this situation to their advantage and adapts to it, that’s going to show coming out the other side. When I was in Afghan we were restricted to the same area for eight month tours. It reminds me a bit of that.
“It can be like groundhog day in the army.”
Brazier admitted to feeling the pressure to perform in his last bout against Bak, but right now he’s feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready for when he’s next called upon to fight.
“I feel better for this,” he said. “This has gone in my favour. There’s no point in worrying because you’re not going to change it. The hierarchy don’t know what’s going on so there’s no point in stressing about it. You just have to make the best out of it you can.
“I’d like to think that Bellator Dublin will go ahead in October, and if called upon I’ll be ready for that. If I can’t go to Thailand to train for that, then I’ll train in England. If the gyms are closed in England, I’ll train in my back garden.
“My last fight was very frustrating. I wanted to fight, but as soon as I rocked him in the first round he wasn’t interested in fighting. All I can do is learn from it.
“I can grapple as well as Soren, so I should have gone in there to grapple, but throughout my camp I had it drilled into my head to try and stand and fight the guy. It’s my fault for not adapting in the fight.
“With the Bellator bouts the pressure builds and that’s taken the spark from my style.
“I used to go in there with no game plan and I’d just batter them in the first round. I’m a soldier and my objective in that fight was to stand and fight. But it was the wrong objective."
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