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Why do I fight?

benrees_mma profile image Ben Rees ・4 min read

MMA competition and training for me is a lifelong passion. I’m constantly looking to improve my skillset and reach new goals, while becoming a better version of myself along the way.

ben rees why I fight

Why do I compete?

Preparing for 8 weeks to face a skilled opponent that you have never met and who is also in preparation for you with the end goal being stood toe to toe in a confined arena trading concussive shots and high-level combative transitions is an absolutely daunting and mentally crippling thought for the majority of people unless they’ve consumed a few stellas and a kebab.

ben rees mma lions den fighters

For me, the challenge of the competition is what drives me and I could almost describe it as an addiction. All MMA Athletes have their own reasons for competing whether that be family, fame or fortune but for me it’s purely passion and the tremendous rush of getting your hand raised at the end of a grueling fight camp, this feeling is almost indescribable and most definitely unforgettable.

Unlike other fighters I was unaware that the sport of MMA existed when I stepped onto the mats of my home gym Lions Den MMA back in late 2009 at just 15 years of age. When I walked in the gym and met my soon to be Coach and mentor Dave Matthews along with the stable of fighters and soon to be family working hard for their upcoming competitions it all just seemed to click. The work ethic and brotherhood of the Lions Den instantly appealed to me. Once i saw that fighting was a highly tactical game of human chess with high stakes and an exciting element of danger I was instantly hooked, it was love at first punch, on my nose.

ben rees mma lions den exeter

As my training progressed and when Dave my coach felt I was ready I got the opportunity to compete on my first Strength and Honour event in my home county, from that moment of walking to the cage and being completely surrounded by hundreds of people (Friends, Family and Strangers) with their eyes on me and cheering me as the cage door was locked behind my 16 year old self, things would never be the same and nothing can replace that mixed emotional feeling of excitement, anticipation, terror, self-doubt, belief, focus all mixed together into one big adrenaline rush.

ben rees mma lions den exeter

Along my journey to the professional ranks, I have had tremendous support from my team, friends, family and sponsors that make this difficult road to travel a lot smoother. I'm completely grateful for all the support I receive.

Below is a brief summary of my sponsors/team and how they help. To follow their social media and find out more click on the links on my website homepage.

Lions Den MMA

My Home gym and Coach Dave Matthews provide me with the best training and training partners to help me prepare for battle and therefore I’m happy to represent wherever I am in the world. Located in Exeter UK.

Unit 7 Gym Exeter

This sponsor is the man himself Dave Bargent who when I’m in the UK gives me access to Unit 7’s fantastic facilities along with high-level strength and conditioning programmes he tailors specifically for me to improve my performance, he’s provided me with training regimes to follow so I stay in shape while I work overseas. I recommend to anyone in Exeter looking for better sports performance to contact Dave.

The Clinic at PI

Behind this Sponsor is Aaron Conway who whenever I have any physical injuries or pains he will find the time to fit me into his clinic in Exmouth and identify the problem and fix it so I can train to my best ability and if he is busy he will refer me to another genius in fixing injuries - Tammy Emmins. Aaron is a great guy and if you’re injured I recommend his therapy.

UFC Gym Oman

While I’m located in the Oman the UFC gym has allowed me full access to their training facilities which are easily the best in the country so I can continue to train and compete at a high level. If you’re in Oman and are interested in training then look no further.

Anonymous support.

I've had generous support from an individual sponsor that has helped me greatly for training, medical, nutrition, grappling competition entry fees and equipment costs that are part of every fighters expenditure. This person is completely selfless and asks for nothing in return and just wants to see others succeed.

So when is my next fight?

Due to working on my career outside of fighting for the past two years and saving to invest in my future and also with my geographical location not providing a lot of opportunities to compete in MMA, I haven’t been as active as I would of like. I have only competed twice in this time both against tough opposition and in my last performance, I stopped a seasoned UK MMA veteran in the first round claiming a UK title.

Looking to continue my 100% finish rate and add another victory to the win column I will be returning to the UK in 2020 where I will prepare with the Lion's den for my next battle. I am in the process of arranging my MRI and MRA along with other medical procedures and tests to gain a Safe MMA licence allowing me to compete on the most prestigious promotions in Europe. So see you Cage side in 2020 as I continue in pursuit of my goals.

If you read this and would like to support my career and sponsor me in your own way contact me here or via my website.

Discussion

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taliashaw_962 profile image
Talia Shaw

I have heard many refer to MMA as the highest level of problem solving at the physical level blended with fear and adrenaline! Just out of interest, why do you train in Omar?

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Ben Rees Author

Yes you are spot on, and I teach close combat and self defense to the Oman Special task force police. I am home in the uk currently and starting a fight camp with my home team - Ld Fighters

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thisMMAlife Staff

There is an article about this just waiting to be written! Let us know and we can help 😎

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taliashaw_962 profile image
Talia Shaw

Holy shit that sound like some James Bond shit right there!

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lee profile image
Lee James Wynne

Another nice article Ben. Some nice shout outs there towards the end 😎

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rubixjackson profile image
rubix jackson

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Exactly why I hit the mats 💪🏽

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hannahwoking1 profile image
hannahwoking

Another really good article Ben, I look forwards to reading them x

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harryconah5 profile image
harryconah

Oh wow, how do you get to train in so many different gyms? Especially a UFC one, is that an official UFC gym?