Mixed Martial Arts fighter Kyle Jones has made a storming start to his combat career.
The unbeaten gladiator is learning from the best, being a member of Azi Thomas’s Paradox health and fitness gym in Colwyn Bay.
Kyle took some time out from his busy training schedule to talk to Grassroots North Wales.
Huge thanks to © dn4photography for the use of their fantastic photos
Where are you from?
Colwyn Bay born and raised.
What is your age?
Where do you train?
I train out of Paradox health and fitness and our fight team is Hamma.
What form of fighting/martial art do you take part in?
I compete in mixed martial arts (MMA)
When did you start your combat career and why did you take it up?
I started around two years ago and had my first fight around June last year.
I used to compete as a weightlifter and wanted to mix up my training so I began to do some bits with Azi Thomas and became hooked. Once I realised I had potential I quickly wanted to become competitive.
What is your current record?
I am currently undefeated 4-0 and haven’t had any easy opponents.
Have you been pleased with your performances so far?
I have been pleased to win all my fights but I am my own worst critic and don’t settle on my wins. I am straight back in the gym working on what I could have done better.
You have been matched tough to date. Do you see this as a good thing?
Yes I see this as a very good thing. The goal as a martial artist is to grow and develop and you can’t grow if you don’t take hard fights, I also thrive off a challenge, knowing I have a hard fight is what pushes me harder in the gym!
My last opponent was the Naga European jiu-jitsu champion and the All Stars jiu-jitsu champion. I knew I had a challenge on my hands which excites me and the reward for beating someone of that calibre feels incredible. I’d feel no pride in hollow victories.
How do you rate Azi Thomas as a trainer/coach? I guess his remarkable achievements as a fighter inspire you?
Azi is a phenomenal trainer; he’s taught me everything I know and he’s a brilliant role model and if I can achieve what he has achieved as a fighter I will be very proud of myself. He’s also taught me so much about life, everything has improved for me since meeting Azi, not just my ability to fight.
I also have two other coaches who are unsung heroes of the fight team along with Azi and nothing would have been possible without them as well. They are Harry Kenworthy and Chris Smyth, who are 2 of the best lads I know and an integral part of the team at Paradox. Me and everyone there are always grateful to them as well as Azi.
Do you hold any titles at present? Will you be going for any soon?
I am currently the Market Mayhem lightweight champion and I’ve defended the belt once so far against a very tough Gethin Wavell which saw me break my hand in the first round but managed to continue and get the TKO finish.
Probably won’t be going for another belt any time soon unless an opportunity comes for one but until then I’m working towards being a legitimate British champion, I want the Cage Warriors British amateur title and that will take time to achieve.
What are the biggest pluses to being a fighter? What do you get out of it?
The biggest plus is definitely the self belief and confidence. Before martial arts I didn’t have any self-belief or confidence at all and gradually from all the hard work I’ve put in it makes you believe in yourself which is the best feeling ever.
I get the sense of challenge from competing, I love to compete and I love the whole process of training I never really take time off because I love being in the gym working hard.
Outside of the cage/ring, are you a totally different person to how you are in it?
I am completely different to the point where people don’t even believe that I am a fighter let alone that I’m 4-0! I am very laid back and polite outside the cage but inside the cage the competitor in me comes out and I’m very much focused on getting to job done which is winning the fight.
What do you like to do away from training? any hobbies/pastimes?
I am a bit boring to be honest, I’m very much in a professional mindset. I work at Llandudno Hospital and aside from that all I do is train as much as possible, I don’t really drink at all I am very focused on the big picture which is to become a professional MMA fighter.
Who is your favourite boxer/MMA fighter?
My favourite MMA fighter is Dustin Poirier (former interim UFC Lightweight Champion) because he is entertaining to watch and is a decent respectful person which can be hard to find in the era of trash talking.
Describe your style of fighting
I feel I am becoming more well rounded each fight, I am a strong wrestler and have dominated on the ground in all my fights and finishing my last two opponents via ground and pound but in my last fight I showed off some stand up striking as well.
What are your future ambitions?
I am young, fit, healthy and focused I believe the sky’s the limit. I want to hold a legitimate British title before the day comes that I turn professional and in the professional scene I want to get to the biggest shows I can possibly get on and fight all over the world.