As the sport of mixed martial arts continues its evolution in Australia, now more than ever, fighters are beginning to embark on journeys to seek out the best training in the world. While there are some great gyms and fight teams on Australia’s own shores, nothing really beats that sense of discovery that comes with international travel.

Brentin Mumford has embarked on that journey several times before. That’s how he found a love for Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. With humble living comes some of the best training partners and coaches in the region. It’s that very environment that has seen Mumford continue his success on the Australian circuit.

“There’s no shortage of training partners over there, that’s for sure,” Mumford told The MMA Corner. “I’ve been there two times before. The levels of guys that are there is just so high, and the guys that are coaching, like Roger Huerta, Brian Ebersole and Fernando [Maccachero], you just don’t find that in one place over here. Every time I go over there I lift a little bit more. I spoke to Will, the manager over there, and I spoke to Roger and I’m looking at going back over there and doing my whole camp there from now on. I’m looking at doing the whole eight weeks fighting out of Tiger.”

Heading away from family for an extended period of time is the toughest part of the job for a fighter. There is no debating it.

“You’ve gotta look at how long does an MMA career last,” Mumford admitted. “I’m 27, and I’m not getting any younger. You’ve gotta look at the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward, that kinda thing. You’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do, and I’ve just gotta hope all the hard work pays off in the end and I can go somewhere good with it.”

In his next bout, Mumford faces Dean Purdon at Roshambo 3 on July 26. Purdon enters the bout looking to come off a four-fight skid, so he is desperate to get back to his winning ways. Although Purdon has fought in a variety of weight classes and is a seasoned veteran, Mumford sees the opponent in front of him no different to all of the others.

“I kinda take them all the same way,” Mumford explained. “They’re all gonna be tough. They all train hard. I’ve just gotta hope that with everything I do, that I do it better. I’ve gotta train harder and go in and put everything that I’ve got in there. I haven’t lost in over two years now, I haven’t really let [the opponent] get to me at all. I just keep on working just as hard every fight and treat it like it’s a must-win fight.”

All but one of Mumford’s fights that make up his five-fight winning streak have seen him finish the job before the final bell. While other fighters will passionately advertise that they only have the intentions of finishing their fights, Mumford is making the most of the opportunity that is in front of him.

“I always train for three-round wars,” he admitted. “And I don’t necessarily chase the finish. I always just wanna be exciting, dominant and fun to watch, and if a finish is there, I take it.”

Mumford is no stranger to switching divisions himself. After starting his career out as a middleweight, he went on to win the Fight World Cup welterweight title and has since dropped down to lightweight. His second fight provided quite the learning experience and certainly shaped his career as a fighter.

“That fight was probably the greatest thing that coulda happened to me, I believe, in my MMA career so far,” Mumford said. “It was only my second fight. I’d had my first fight at 84 kilos and I was walking around at 85-86, and I was nowhere near as fit or committed as I am now. The guy I fought, Aaron Dyett, he was well known for cutting weight. We both weighed in at 84 kilos and then, come the next day, I weighed around 85 and he weighed like 96. So he was huge [and] I was small. We went the distance, but he was just too big and too strong, and he just held me down.

“For someone to watch, it was probably the most boring fight ever. I was just in survival mode for like three rounds. After that, I thought that if I wanna keep doing this I’ve gotta get serious, and I made the drop down to welterweight. I won a few in a row there and got the [Fight World Cup] title, and then I decided to try my hand at lightweight because so many guys are now cutting more and more weight and going down weight classes. I was small for welterweight. When I fought Shane Gregory, he was way bigger then me on fight night. So after giving it a go at lightweight and it all going good, I don’t think I’m move from here now.”

Being based out of an international camp certainly opens the door for Mumford to be able to showcase his skills to a wider audience. He has enlisted the help of Ben Livingstone, who has helped take several Australian fighters to the world stage.

“I’m happy to fight anywhere with enough notice. Really, my goal is to get better every time,” Mumford said. “As long as I can keep improving, then I guess the opportunities will come. Hard work will create the opportunities, but I don’t look too far ahead. Hopefully, with having Ben and getting over to Tiger and having Roger there, hopefully over time more doors will open up for me.”

Brentin would like to thank K-OED Fight Gear, Creative Tattoo Art, ECO Electrics, Tiger Muay Thai, Transform Fitness, 5rings, Fighting Fit Physiotherapy, Lismore Chiropractic and Remedial Massage Lismore. Follow Mumford on Twitter: @BrentinM

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.