We sat down with Isaac Thomson. 17-year-old Australian Maori fighter ahead of his June 14 Mixed Martial Arts fight on XFC Regional Gladstone 1.
EC: So Isaac you’ve recently returned from your US Camp. How was that experience?
IT: It was awesome. So good. I was fortunate enough to be able to train in MIAMI Florida for 10 Weeks training. I was able to train with some of the best coaches and fighters in the world my striking coach is 3 time Muay Thai Champion Gregory Choplin who also trains Champ Colby Covington so I got to train with him a lot. Also training at Hardknocks 365 and Fight Sports as well
EC: 2 part question -What do you find is better about US based training versus what do you think Australia does better despite Australia’s smaller size?
IT: Over there I think they regularly get a lot of great guys into one gym, that are not necessarily from that, but they spar together regularly. It means a lot of different bodies and different styles that you encounter in training.
As for training here I think we build foundations and technique for beginners a lot better. You get to train side by side by the elite here whereas over there it’s a bit different like the way they have separate pro training. Some of the bigger US gyms you aren’t even training in the same location as the pros.
EC: What did you do for your strength and conditioning while you were there?
IT: I did a lot of training with my management team’s guys. So, we bounced around with that group and did a lot with them
EC: Do you think you aim to take a fight in the US soon?
IT: All comes down to the sanctioning. I have to be 18 to take a fight in the US. Their sanctioning is a lot stricter than NSW. Then turn pro and fight in Australia a few times; then overseas with the goal to fight in the UFC and ultimately get the belt!
EC: How was the SubStars pro-grappling experience?
IT: Yeah it was great. There were 13 fights on the card so it was a great event. My fight was great. Had a guy who was aggressive on the leg attacks but I shut that down and got the win. He was beating up a lot of guys and I think he was expected to win. So it was great to get the victory when I wasn’t expected to and overall it was a really great experience.
EC: Would you like to take more on more grappling events like SubStars?
IT: Yeah I would love to. Its really hard to get fights. There aren’t many 17-year-olds with the amount of experience I have. At the moment I don’t have the profile for the big grappling fights. But once I’ve been signed to one of the bigger MMA promotions Ill have to the profile to get grappling matches with guys like Nicky Ryan.
EC: Yeah you definitely need that breakout performance grappling wise to get booked on international grappling cards. Craig Jones really wasn’t booked on cards until he smashed it at ADCC.
IT: I would love to the ADCC trials. I missed these last trials because I was in camp in Miami, but I would love to the trials in the future and hopefully it means a platform for me to get a lot more grappling fights on cards like SubStars.
EC: It was amazing to see the number of Australians winning at the last ADCC trials in Japan. There was a huge contingent from Australia and more importantly a lot of Australians won
IT: Yeah hopefully it means we will be getting the trials in Australia soon! I’ll definitely enter
EC: Its crazy the amount of great NoGi grapplers coming out of Australia at the moment
IT: Its because in summer its just too hot haha same thing in Miami, I didn’t do any Gi training over there. It is over 30 degrees everyday so it means nobody is wearing a Gi. And with me focusing more on MMA it makes sense to concentrate on NoGI and wrestling.
A few of the guys at HardKnocks were surprised and said my wrestling was good for an Australian haha I’ve been wrestling since I was 13 but it was amazing when I first went to Team Alpha male back in 2017 and saw how good their wrestling was so when I got back from that trip I worked a lot more on my wrestling.
EC: So with that was is the plan for the Fight on June 14
IT: I see me setting up my grappling with strikes and then look for the submission
EC: Anyone you would like to thank?
IT: My parents I am very grateful for that sacrifice a lot so that I can train with the best and of course my manager, coaches and training partners you can’t do it without them so I am very thankful I have a great team around me.
Also thank my sponsors for the support means a lot when someone believes in you and supports your journey
EC: Thanks so much for your time and all the best for Saturday night. We are looking forward to it.For those that want to catch the fight via stream further streaming details will be available on XFC Australia Facebook page