Love is relishing Aussie adventure

Oct 18, 2011
(PRESS RELEASE) -- SCOTTISH middleweight Allan Love has described his appointment as head coach at the MMA Clinic’s new gym in Australia as a “dream move”.

The 28-year-old will relocate to the 8,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Perth, having been selected for the role by MMA Clinic chief Graham Boylan.

“I saw that the MMA Clinic had opened a gym in Jordan with Noah Thomas as head coach, so I sent Graham Boylan a tweet, saying: “Any more coaching jobs coming up, I'll do it”, more as a throw-away line than anything else,” explains Love, a veteran of eleven professional bouts.

“I figured if I was going to do something with MMA it'd need to come off my own back; no one was going to hand it to me on a plate. But Graham got back to me and told me to send him a CV.

“I jumped at it, not knowing where it was or what the script was, but knowing it was a chance to make a go of MMA in a way that wouldn't come about again.

“I thought it'd be somewhere in the Middle East, as at the time there was talk of Cage Warriors (of which Boylan is director) doing a few shows in that area and it was a place with a very young MMA scene but with loads of potential.

“I was prepared to go anywhere but when he came back to me and said Perth, Australia, I was like a kid at Christmas. I met Graham for an informal interview and we talked about what the plan was, where it was going and shook on it.

“I was so impressed with the vision and scope of what's being planned, but I expected nothing less given what's happened with Cage Warriors in the past 12 months.

“It’s a dream move. Australia is a country with a great sporting culture and a great lifestyle, English-speaking and I’m going to a ready-built, brand new gym. It's pretty much ideal for an MMA coach, you couldn't ask for more.

“I've known this might come off since mid-August and I've had to constantly keep myself in check from getting too excited in case something fell through and it didn't go ahead. I'm an excitable sort at the best of times and when something as big as this comes up, it's a hundred times worse.”

Love, a mechanical engineer by profession, admits the move Down Under will be a life-changing experience.

“Obviously it's a major change. From spending 40 hours a week in the office with a 90-minute round trip each day and trying to fit in training and coaching at night and at weekends, as well as going to shows to fight, corner and referee, to being involved in the gym all day, every day, it might even give me some free time, which will be a novelty. I might even have enough free time to get a girlfriend, which would be nice!”

The Dinky Ninjas fighter will bring plenty of experience as both a coach and a fighter to his new role in Australia.

He said: “I've been doing some coaching at the Griphouse in Glasgow for the past two and a half years. I've had my own class at the Griphouse Southside for the past six months or so as well.

“I've coached MMA, wrestling, BJJ, both gi and no gi, and conditioning classes so I'm comfortable with it all. I've had a great time training at the Griphouse in Glasgow over the past four years and I'll be looking to try and bring as many of the good things from there across to the MMA Clinic in Perth as I can.

“I want to introduce an open and friendly atmosphere, good quality training for all levels and a strong team spirit, to make it somewhere you want to be even when you can't train.

“I think once you get that sort of vibe, you're on the right path. I've been shadowing my good friend and coach Paul McVeigh for so long that I've absorbed pretty much all his ideas for coaching MMA.

“With the Dinky Ninjas doing pretty well over the past few years and the Griphouse Gym increasing in size pretty much monthly, if I can replicate what he's been doing I'll be more than okay.”

Love also says he’s looking forward to tapping into the massive appetite for MMA in Australia.

“It’s probably a stereotype that the Australians love sport, but they really do. They had the fastest sell-out of a UFC show when they were in Sydney last, there’s talk of a UK versus Australia series for the Ultimate Fighter and big shows like AFC are also putting on high level cards.

“Things like that don't happen unless there's a demand for it and it's continuing to grow. I'm expecting the MMA scene out there to be similar to what we have in the UK but slightly smaller in line with the lower population. I can't wait to get out there and find out.

“As a coach, I just want to see people come in and get better at MMA. It'd be nice to be able to build a fight team and get guys fighting and winning on the bigger Australian shows, and even beyond that.

“It's great fun working with fighters and it's a great advertisement for the gym, but it takes time. If people keep coming through the door and keep getting better, a fight team will build itself.”

Love is an experienced fighter on the UK scene, having racked up seven wins since making his professional debut in 2008. The Glasgow native hopes to eventually resume his own career as soon as the MMA Clinic in Perth is up and running.

He added: “My first thought was that it'll be better for me as a fighter as I'll have more time to train, I'll be in the gym more often and I'll just be spending more time on the mats, which is the only real way to get better.

“So I think it will definitely improve me as a fighter but the problem comes with opportunity. I know the UK scene and I've got a management team at Warrior Promotions Fighter Management who are known all over the MMA world, so I can get fights when it suits me when I'm in the UK and Europe.

“I don't know how good the contacts are out in Australia. I also don't know how well I'll be able to coach when I'm cutting weight, or how much time off I can take to go and fight if I need to travel for it, so maybe it'll have to take a back-seat.

“I'm currently surrounded by a great bunch of professinal fighters in the Dinky Ninja Fight Team and not having them around will be hard when preparing for a fight but, at the same time, they're all midgets and having some big Australians around to chuck me about may be an equally good fight camp.

“I'll take some time out from fighting until I've settled in but I'll be fighting in 2012 as and when I can. I'm looking forward to it already.”


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