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An interview with Joseph Muir
21January/2015

An interview with Joseph Muir

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FROM POWERLIFTING TO MMA

Images by Dallas Olsen

Location: Five Rings DoJo

An interview with Joseph Muir


STATS

Name: Joseph ‘Massacre’ Muir

Age: 26

Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Occupation: Professional MMA Fighter

Fight weight: 84kg

Off season: 95-100kg

Association: Five Rings Dojo

Class: Light Heavyweight


Before being introduced to MMA, Joe Muir weighed in at 115kg and used his size and strength for powerlifting. However, Joe had always been curious about fighting, so when his powerlifting coach introduced him to MMA, he said ‘there was no looking back’.

It goes without saying then that Joe ‘Massacre’ Muir isn’t the kind of guy you’d like to come up against in a fight. The 6’1ft New Zealand born MMA fighter has so far won 10 out of 14 professional fights, most of them with first round TKO (technical knock-out). A relative new-comer on the scene, Joe continues to impress with his dominating performances and has already got some impressive titles under his belt, including the Fate Heavyweight Champion Belt, Nitro Light-heavyweight and the Chaos world light-heavyweight title.

We caught up with Joe while he was nursing an injured hand, which he’d broken during a fight against opponent Daniel Way at the Australian Fighting Championship back in August 2014 …


Hey Joe, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! So, tell us, how did you hurt your hand?

My last fight I threw a punch and I felt it in the second round. Then I thought I broke it but I actually tore my ligaments off my thumb and shattered my bone joint.  I also got a cut in that fight and the doctor stopped it because I was bleeding too much. I was on top of him in the ring, and I was punching him too, but since he got too far under the ring his head was hanging over they had to stop and restart it. And then the ref called “time, time” and then the doctor came up to me said “Nup, you’re done.”

So if the ref calls the fight off because you’re bleeding too much, you lose?

Yeah you lose, which is pretty rough. You can’t help it when you get cut and start bleeding… it’s a bad position.

That is rough! So let’s move on… How different you feel now compared to your powerlifting days, what’s the difference physically?

I’m an athlete now, not just a big sluggish strong guy. I actually feel much better and I think I lost about 20-25 kilos since. I feel much better.

Do you remember your first MMA training session?

Yeah! Because I was so big and tired I couldn’t even put my arms up [in front of my face]. I was just gassing and puffing and I loved it. Now I’m a lot fitter and body type’s built for fighting.

Do you think your background in powerlifting and that base strength benefited you coming into it?

Yeah, and I was playing rugby and league as well. I’ve always played contact sports, I’ve always enjoyed them, but I realised that in rugby and league I didn’t care about wining or losing I got more enjoyment out of doing a big hit or a shoulder charge, more than actually winning a game. So that’s when I realised maybe this is not the sport for me.

Haha, it’s all starting to make sense! How many hours a day do you put into your training now?

All depends on a daily basis – you can’t go hard all the time. Some days two hours some days up to five hours. You sort of get burnt out sometimes because it’s hard when you’re trying to train full-time and work full-time to make a living.

We agree, the type of training must take it out of you. Can you tell our readers a bit more about what’s involved when training for MMA?

You just don’t train ‘MMA’, you train all aspects. There’s Maui Thai so you go train Maui Thai, you train boxing, you go train jujitsu and then when you spar you just try to put it all in together.

Do you back up your training with any special kind of diet?

I eat pretty basic to be honest. I eat purely for function but in the last week [leading up to a fight] I probably cut six or seven kilos. Diet is key! If you eat right you feel right and it gives you the right energy you need get through those big training sessions.

How do you get past those days when you’ve got low motivation?

I think music for me is a good one, I use a lot of music to motivate me and just thinking you’re opponent is out there training. That’s what really gets me going – my opponent is out there right now doing this so I need to do it better and harder. That and pre-workout!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of all that training and competing?

I think when you put in the training and dedication, all that hard work and sacrifice, you can get that win. And if you win big, even better. It’s just a good feeling.

What’s the number one lesson you’ve learnt throughout your fighting career so far?

There’s a few lessons I’ve been taught. Don’t focus so much on one art. I don’t know, for me it’s been more mental, you know, being mentally strong. I’ve always had the physical ability but it’s the mental ability has always been the hardest. So I’ve learnt to be mentally strong, by cutting weight, and fighting bigger guys when I was fighting heavyweight.

In this game it’s all mental. You could train the best in the gym but if you can’t put it together in the cage it’s all worthless. You’ve got to have composure and you’ve got to relax.

What advice would you give to guys out there looking to get into MMA?

Bets advice is just come down to the gym with an open mind and don’t be intimidated or scared. At the end of the day it’s a sport and everyone’s friendly. Just come down and actually try it.

For those guys out there who are already fighting and looking to go professional, what do they need to remember when training?

Always learn, always listen to people who’ve been in the game for longer and soak up the experience. Just learn from guys with a lot of experience.

Finally, can you tell us what’s next for Joe Muir?

For now, I get surgery in January and then I have to take it step by step. Hopefully I don’t put much weight on!

 

 

 

JOE’S WORKOUT WEEK

Monday AM: Focus mits and bag

Monday PM: jujitsu training followed by sparring

Tuesday AM: Strength and conditioning

Tuesday PM: Wrestling/ sparring

Wednesday AM: rest

Wednesday PM: MMA sparring 

Thursday AM: Strength and conditioning

Thursday PM: Wrestling

Friday AM: Pads

FRIDAY PM: Open mat/ kickboxing sparring

Sat AM: Sparring

 

[Only include if space allows]

JOE’S DAILY DIET:

Breakfast: Bowl of oats with protein powder & fish oils

Snack: protein shake

Lunch: Fish, brown rice and vegetables

Snack: Fish, brown rice and vegetables

Snack: protein shake

Dinner: Steak or chicken and greens

 



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