The book

In a number of exclusive interviews with some of its most compelling figures, the personalities, fighters, promoters, medical staff and fans reveal the colourful world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Jonathan Buffong and Brenda Downes’ insightful investigation presents the true world of the
UK ‘cage fighting’ scene from the inside. The toughest contenders share their hopes, fears and
ambitions, telling of the personal paths which led them to MMA. Readers will also learn how the fight game is organised, and what draws fans to the events – the gripping excitement and highly trained skill, the brutal pain and the blood-soaked glory.

In this breathtaking volume, UK MMA scene aficionados Buffong and Downes relate a blow-by-blow account of a modern martial arts phenomenon, illustrated by archive and contemporary photographs:
- The Beginning: the origins of the sport; its rules and its history.
- The Fighters: interviews with up-and-coming names and established combatants. The
- champions, the contenders, the winners and the losers.
- The Fighter’s Life: the physical and mental preparation; the MMA ethos of ‘Train hard,
- fight easy.’
- The Pain Game: inside a training camp before a fight; an insight into the training and
- dietary regimes of the champions.
- Promotion: the events, the venues, the glamour girls, the advertising and the media
- sponsors.
- Fight Night: the people who make the event happen – the promoters, the cage makers,
- the doctors and the girls.
- The Fans: the enthusiasts tell of the most memorable bouts and their favourite fighters.
- The Bouts: the culmination of the fighters’ preparation; all the excitement of the event,
- backstage and in the cage . . .

Warriors Of The Cage is a unique insider’s view of the most thrilling sporting phenomenon
in the world today

A taste of Warriors of The Cage
Andy Geer (MMA fight promoter)

Why do you think that the UK media were strongly against MMA but are now slowly coming to terms with it?

I think it was always lack of understanding. Because there’s been a few movies around in the
past, and a few shady books about cage fighting. In the old bare-knuckle days, what used to
happen around the back of kitchen camps, to save the fights going from one side of the field to
another, was that they actually used to make a cage out of that arris rail fencing you see outside
building sites. They used to block and mesh this little area so the fights could stay contained.
That got known as ‘cage fighting’. It was, of course, completely illegal, completely unregulated.
They still wore boots and all sorts. So when the name cage fighting was associated with MMA,
people thought it was unregulated, bare-knuckle fighting. Some of these people in the media
are so close-minded, they wouldn’t even listen. I did the rounds on the news, on the radio, in the newspapers, trying to convince people that it’s a relatively safe sport. It’s a contact sport,
but it’s still safe. Each time we got someone there, they came round a bit. We got the News of the World sitting ringside and they became fans. We took people down the gym and showed them the training. We used to roll with them and show them how skilful all these guys are that are fighting.

PART ONE - The Beginning
Dave O’Donnell (founder of Cage Rage)

Do you think that MMA training could help to keep young people away from
street crime?

I believe that it could take street crime right the way down. There are so many centres all around Tottenham, Peckham, everywhere. If you put kids into this kind of fighting, they see a goal and
think, “You know what? I could be a star . . .” The worst thing about kids and testosterone and drinking and all that is the aggression. Everybody’s built up with aggression inside them. Whether you like it or not, most people have got it. You need to find an outlet for it, like a pressure-release valve. What MMA or a good combat sport does is makes you tired. You’re exhausted, you’re hitting pads. You get this surge of release.

PART TWO - The Fighters
Jeremy ‘Bad Boy’ Bailey

You’ve got your own business, but how important is the money you make at MMA?

At the moment, with my current situation with the local police and stuff, yeah, of course I need the money. Everyone does. I need the money, but I honestly do this for the love of it. Probably
the biggest reason I do this, apart from the fact that I do it just because I can, is because I absolutely love to knock motherf***ers out. I love it. There’s no court case, no custodial sentence, no f***ing compensation, no fines or nothing. I get to iron a man out flat on his
back and if he wakes up he wants to buy me a drink, not have me arrested.