Starting a new campaign for Mixed Martial Arts dominance, Shaun Lomas, 36, from Stockport stops Martin Begley, 30, in the first round of The Reawakening competition that was staged in Leicester earlier this month.

Lomas, who spars at the IFC gym in Stockport, stopped the middleweight opponent via submission early in the first round and said: “I’m ready and waiting for the next opponent to step up”, in the violent sport he calls: “The game”.

Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact body sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling moves. Using a combination of fighting styles such as Kickboxing and Brazilian Jui-Jitsu Lomas said: “You can do basically most things, stood up you can do punches, kicks, knees and elbows and fight on the ground.

“It’s just not anything goes, as you are not allowed to stamp on someone’s head on the ground or football kick someone’s head, but, stood up you can kick them in the head. You’re not allowed to poke them in the eyes or hit them in the groin nor break their fingers: You’re allowed to go and break any other bone, just cannot go to snap any fingers or toes.”

Lomas has competed in over 250 fights in bouts in the UK and in places as far away as Thailand, ‘in Mixed Martial Arts and the cage I have competed over 75’. Also, he has taken on some of the ‘Premiership’ of MMA fighters such as Jimi Manuwa who is ranked 9 in UFC.

Talking about his tougher fights, Lomas, describes one with the then top-ten ceded Tony Moran as: “An all-out war” and that: “I was so disorientated everything was the wrong way round, and in that fight I think I broke three of his ribs and his foot in like about 9 places”.

Because Lomas fights MMA full-time he has taken lots of fights against opponents above his weight class. Lomas is not contracted to any particular promoter and independent fights can earn him around £500 per bout. Even though this may be good for his bank balance, tackling opponents, sometimes 50kg heavier, is however detrimental to his ranking on the UK MMA arena, and this is one thing he would like to change.

Lomas does not like is when opponents have backed out of fights hearing all sorts of excuses, mainly from training injuries such as damaged wrists to shoulder injuries. “Hopefully I will get a few more wins in a row so I can work and do shows for bigger promotors”. One of those promotors he is seeking attention from is BAMMA who run UFC.

Always having an interest in martial arts, Lomas got into paid fighting after a boxing promoter offered him £200 to fight. Quickly earning £400 one weekend he soon quitted his chefs job in Sheffield saying: “It was a lot easier that running around a kitchen”.

With high profile fights such as Connor McGregor and Jose Aldo generating over millions of viewers, MMA is becoming increasingly popular. Taking advantage of this, Lomas’ is in demand as a trainer, adding: “I don’t need to fight as much, maybe one fight a month”. What this means is that the middleweight can dedicate more time to practising technique and more importantly choose better matched opponents.

As the fighting season has slowed down as we near Christmas, Lomas is concentrating on training and looking forward to fighting again in the new year.

By Rob Hall

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