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Jason Tan Interview

By Mark Pickering | April 3, 2006

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By Mark Pickering

Jason Tan is a promising welterweight prospect from Liverpool, England who is set to pursue the sport on a full-time basis. Tan has a perfect record of 4-0 with his most recent victory coming against Cage Rage’s top ranked middleweight Alex Reid at WCFC No Guts No Glory on March 18th.

MP: First off, how are you doing?

JT: Hi Mark, I’m doing fine. Glad to be getting interviewed!

MP: You have fought in MMA professionally for a number of years. What was your motivation for starting Mixed Martial Arts?

JT: Well, I actually had my first MMA fight in 2004, I can’t recall the opponents name, it was on a muay thai show held up here. I won via armlock. I started off as a traditional martial artist and then switched to boxing/muay thai age 15, I think I actually got into MMA after watching Rickson Gracie’s choke video or the first UFC like most of us.

After that I tried to search for people who trained MMA really, ended up training in the states for a few months with some good people, Chris Brennan, Jeremy Williams, Buck Greer, Lucas Pace, Bao Quach, Paul Rimmer and Gerald Strebendt and a bunch of other guys who were really good at jiu jitsu and making there names in MMA.

MP: You have amassed a perfect 4-0 record. You must be very pleased with how things are going.

JT: Yeah, well I don’t really think I have been taking my MMA career that seriously, it was just more a case of doing the fights to show my students that what we were doing in training works. But, yeah I’m pleased. Now, I’ll be taking it seriously.

MP: Your latest victory come against Cage Rage’s Alex Reid at WCFC No Guts Glory. You both took the fight on two hours notice, but Alex had a weight advantage and has been in preparation for his CR16 fight against Dave Menne. How did the fight come about and were you confident of being victorious despite your underdog status?

JT: Well, this fight was win/win for me. With him being a top ranked middleweight I think people expected me too lose, I think myself and the people around me were pretty confident going into this fight, like I said I haven’t been doing any striking training, which was the one area I was kind of worried about in the fight as I thought my timing would be off, as it turns out I think I did ok standing up. But, I was pretty confident about my level on the ground anyway.

MP: What feedback have you received from fighters and promoters alike on your performance?

JT: Pretty good, I spoke to a lot a people afterwards , top fighters and promoters and I think they were pretty impressed with the fight, they were saying it was one a the best of the night which is sound. I think because we both took it at late notice as well, most people liked that. Also, I don’t think a lot of them had seen me fight before so they were just curious to know a little bit about me.

MP: Your student Terry Etim was also a winner at No Guts No Glory, defeating Diego Gonzalez by submission in the opening minute of the bout. Was this a confidence booster ahead of your clash with the Reidernater?

JT: Yes of course it was, I knew Terry was going to win this fight though; he is going to be a real force at 155. He trains very hard and his skills are all coming together well. It’s always good when a team mate /student does well before you fight, there’s always a good atmosphere in the dressing room before you fight then.

MP: You’re currently training and holding down a full-time office job. I understand you’ve come to the decision to take some time off and train full-time. Was this partly due to your impressive performance at WCFC?

JT: Well, I had pretty much retired from MMA, wasn’t planning on fighting at all, but I was finding it hard watching people fight and that and I had an itch to fight again. My current job is pretty demanding in terms of hours and what they want from you, so I have decided to take at least 12 months off and the job is being held open for me if I need to come back, hopefully I wont need to! This has all been off the back of the last fight. I figure I have to commit to MMA and see how far I can go.

MP: How do your family and friends feel about your decision to pursue MMA full-time, at least for the time being?

JT: Very supportive, I’m sure a few of them think I’m nuts, but I suppose everyone in MMA is a little bit crazy!

MP: What does a week’s training now involve for you?

JT: I train wrestling/mma drills and jiu jtsu in the morning Mon-Fri. then Muay Thai in the night, 5 days a week, the weekend I do some light stuff but mainly rest.

MP: What’s next for you? You must be looking to make a name for yourself in the British welterweight division.

JT: This is the plan, the cut to 170 is good for me, and I think I will start to do some more weight training to get stronger at the weight. I think that fighting at welterweight instead of the guy being 6/7/8 kilos heavier than you will make a difference.

MP: In order to assert yourself in the British welterweight division you’ll eventually have to make the step up to Cage Rage, Cagewarriors and FX3. Is there any organisation in particular you’d like to compete in and which British welterweights are you anxious to face?

JT: Well, my next outing will be for a new promotion here in Liverpool on May 21st, Caged Gladiators. Against whom, I don’t know yet, but I’d like to get a decent name at welterweight. After that we’ll see what happens, I think Paul Cahoon/Danny Taylor/Chris Bacon are doing a good job up here in the north and I’d love to fight for them again. I think I will have to have a sit down and look at my options, there was a lot of talk about fighting here and there straight after the fight but I’ve not heard from any organisations to be honest.

Any of the top welterweights really, there s a few guys out there, I’m not about to start calling people out, but I believe I can compete against and beat the guys at the top in the UK.

MP: What are you looking to achieve in the remainder of 2006?

JT: Fight 4/5 more times would be good I think. Of course with stopping my day job I would like to start teaching more jiu jitsu classes and more privates and stuff. A big thing will be getting a lot of our students ready, we have quite a few guys who are going to be do well in MMA in the near future.

MP: Thanks for your time Jason and best of luck for the future.

JT: Thanks Mark, I’d like to say thanks to my sponsor Scent, check out Scent @ Society for a good time in Liverpool!

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