North East MMA heavyweight Tony ‘Oosh’ Mustard(7-3-0) spoke exclusively to Sportsbyte ahead of his bout on BAMMA33 at Metro Radio Arena.    

‘Oosh’ is set to fight Darren Towler (9-8-0) and will be looking to secure his second win this year after his 1st round TKO victory against David Wilson at Made4thecage 25: Legacy.

Tony Mustard after winning the heavyweight belt at Made4thecage 25. Photo credit: Angy Ellis Photography

Here, Mustard gives his insight to the world of MMA and why more people should get involved:

Q: How did you get into MMA?

A: “When I was at school a mate let me lend the UFC video and I saw Ian Freeman doing his thing on there, ever since then I wanted to do it.”

“My football team wrapped in through lack of funding so when I was 30 I started (MMA) before I got too old, haha”

Q: Do you feel Conor McGregor has boosted the popularity of MMA?

A: “MMA was always on the rise, but McGregor boosted it slightly.” there has been a massive rise in the popularity of MMA in recent years, more kids are being attracted to the sport.

Q: Is enough being done to get people into MMA?

A: “No. There is plenty more that local organisations like local shows and gyms can do to promote MMA.”

Q: Do you think that there is still a stigma surrounding the sport?

A: “Only from people who don’t watch it and have never done it”

“When you actually watch and do it, you actually start to appreciate all the aspects of the sport. wrestling, jujitsu, kickboxing Etc. putting everything together it is actually amazing to watch”

Q: Would you encourage people to get into MMA? 

A: “Yes by all means I would encourage people to try it. People should be punched in the face at least once in there life, just to show them they are not made of glass.”

Q: Do you think the serious risk of injury is one of the reasons people are still opposed to the sport?

A: “There is always risks in any contact sport you do – whether it be football, boxing, rugby.

“There are safety measures that try and cut out the risk of injury but at the end of the day its the nature of the sport.”