Ex-Marine Hardiman in training for Birmingham

Dale Hardiman
Dale Hardiman

FORMER Royal Marine turned mixed martial artist Dale Hardiman is set to get back into the ring at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Saturday, March 24.

The Lutonian will be writing a special online blog for our www.luton today.co.uk website in the lead up to his bout at BAMMA 9, and today we run his first instalment here:

WITH six weeks to go until my fight against Chris Fishgold at BAMMA 9, I’m wasting little time contemplating defeat. I have come to realise that worrying about your opponent’s style, strengths and weaknesses leads you to neglect in your own development as a fighter.

On the other hand, to overlook an opponent entirely would also be foolish but I am certainly not basing my entire training camp on adjusting my skill set.

Mixed Martial Arts is a sport which encompasses aspects from several vast and varied disciplines and it is a constant challenge to balance your training time accordingly.

Each discipline involved in the sport is unique, but taking what is relevant from each style and putting it together to be effective in an MMA bout is an entire discipline in itself.

Being based at Storm gym – a striking gym which is home to numerous champions in Kickboxing, K1 and Muay Thai – I have all the support I need in developing my stand-up skills.

Sparring with World, European and British champions several times a week certainly prepares me for competition.

Train with the best and you will become the best. The phrase may sound clichéd but certainly reflects my development over the past two-and-a half years and I can only smile when I look at what I have achieved so far.

When I left the Royal Marines in September 09, I had no ambition to fight. However, I needed an outlet, somewhere to train and a sport to focus my training on.

I found Storm Gym and within a year and nine months had won my first British title. My progression has been rapid and I simply put that down to great coaching, work ethic and hours spent in the gym.

No day is easy, but I wouldn’t want it to be either. If there is something in life worth doing, it will never be easy.

As March 24 sneaks up on me, I am increasingly aware of how busy and hectic my life has become.

Training twice a day, with a full day of university in between, living off roughly six hours sleep a night, whilst continuously watching my calorie intake is something I have become accustomed to.

By midweek my mind and body are exhausted and that’s where the mental aspect takes over.

The life of a fighter is far from glamorous but it’s rewarding in every other possible way.

The feeling of winning in front of thousands of people is something that cannot be explained but can only be felt by those of us that are lucky enough to have experienced it.

Every day is a test, but it’s a test I am willing to take and I wouldn’t have it any other way!