Alex79uk wrote: ↑
September 28th, 2017, 9:31 pm
That's an extraordinarily random job you have there, Ben. Did you have a history in MMA or? I'm basically asking how you got in to judging UFC as that just seems like a pretty cool job!
I started training mma in about 2006 but quickly found out I was allergic to getting hit in the face. At least that's what I told myself. I'd been a fan of the sport for ages and a guy who was on the Ultimate Fighter Season 3 had a gym near me so that's where I first started training. I fell out of training in about 2008 but carried on doing bits and pieces of grappling. In 2009 the guy who's gym I trained at put a local mma show on and asked me to do commentary. I'd never done anything like that but I said I'd do it, and I really enjoyed it.
I got a few more commentary gigs before a guy I knew asked me to judge, it was back in 2010. I'd never judged before but I learned the criteria and practiced a bit until I felt confident. I started getting more high profile commentary gigs in the UK and a few in Sweden randomly, but I noticed that I was enjoying the judging a lot more so I started focusing on that.
I was also writing about mma for a few different websites and even had a column in Fighters Only Magazine where I used to interview fighters who played videogames.
In 2012 I got the chance to judge for a UK show who'd just been bought out by a Jordanian organization. They were called Cage Warriors, the show where Conor McGregor first won world titles, and that was my first real taste of high profile international judging.
I went on to do 36 events with them over 3 years and after the first year, the UFC messaged me and asked if I'd like to try out with them. I did at an event in Nottingham and it went well, so in March 2013 I did my first full show with the UFC over in Japan and it's carried on from there really.
This past weekend I worked UFC again in Japan and it was my 25th show, which has a really nice symmetry to it.
That's my MMADecisions page and it shows all the bigger shows I've done where I've had a fight go the distance. It's a crazy job, and it's such a big adventure as well. I travel quite a lot doing it which is why I get the time to get good at certain games for the channel. It's tough being away from Alison (Wife) and Larry (Dachshund Puppy) but they're both super supportive which makes all the difference.
Balancing it with a full time job and responsibilities is tough sometimes, like I got back from Japan on Monday and was in work Tuesday, but you get used to it. It's an amazing job though, and it's a real honor to get selected to judge on this level really.