Despite three broken noses, a fractured cheekbone, a serious eye injury, and enough battle-scars to last a lifetime – professional cage fighter Lloyd ‘Maverick’ Clarkson says there’s no better buzz than fighting live on the telly.
Hard-man Lloyd, of Somercotes, turned professional in 2007 and now fights for the ‘Cage Warrior’ series on Channel 4, as well as the ‘Warrior Fight Series’ on Sky Sports.
However, Lloyd’s success on the fighting scene comes in spite of a late arrival to the sport. Lloyd, who is now 33, only started learning mixed martial arts in 2001, went amateur in 2004 – and went on to win his first professional fight in his debut year.
Lloyd said: “Anyone who says they are not nervous before a fight is lying. When you’re sat in your dressing room, watching all the other fighters go out, the nerves really take hold. But that’s all part of the buzz, and you learn to control your nerves and focus on the task in hand – winning the fight. It really is the best feeling.”
However, Lloyd said that it’s not just controlling nerves – controlling anger is equally important in the ring.
“Anyone who loses their temper will lose the fight,” Lloyd said. “You forget your training, act irrational. It might sound odd, but cage-fighting is just like chess, you’ve got to use tactics and think with your head.”
Lloyd said that his career highlights have been signing up for the televised appearances, as well as his first pro win. I was up against an opponent called Dan Movahedi,” said Lloyd. “He basically battered the hell out of me for a few minutes, and I was thinking ‘this was not how I hoped my career would work out’.
“But then he started flagging and I managed to squeeze in a knock-out punch. It was just amazing. We’re still mates now, though.”
Lloyd’s girlfriend Anna has also warmed to the fighting over the course of his career.
“She couldn’t even bring herself to look at my videos when we first got together,” said Lloyd. “But now she comes along to the training sessions, and really supports me at matches.”
Now Lloyd is offering people – of all ages and gender – the chance to come and learn his skills. Following a huge investment, Lloyd is offering a vast array of different classes to suit all abilities at Amber Valley Mixed Martial Arts
He said: “Whether you want to have a bit of fun, or try and make it as a professional, I’ve got what you need.”
Call 07889 575356 or visit www.facebook.com/AlfretonMma for more information.