Get To Know – Mike “Sea Bass” Shipman

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Next up on our ‘Get To Know’ series is a heavy-hitting Middleweight in Mike “Sea Bass” Shipman.

Mike Shipman, who currently sits at a professional record of (13-3-0), has been competing in martial arts since 2013. Fighting out of the London Shootfighters in England, Shipman has been successful under every promotion he’s fought on. He’s collected championship belts at BAMMA, UCMMA, and Killacam.

Currently, the Englishman is competing in Bellator, in the middleweight division. Shipman has made the walk to the Bellator cage six times, going (4-2), with 4 of his wins being finishes. That, most notably, included his win v Carl Noon at Bellator 200, which ended within 10 seconds of the first round by KO.

With Shipman finishing 13 straight opponents, he was to be feared and a delight for any promoter. Bringing a (62%) KO/TKO and (38%) submission ratio to the table it’s a joy to watch. However, 2019 saw Shipman take two tough losses to Costello van Steenis and Fabian Edwards. However, we have no doubt he will be back with a bang.


How did Mike Shipman get into mixed martial arts and can you remember the first time you stepped into a gym and how it made you feel?

Shipman – “I’ve always been drawn to combat sports. I did judo and boxed a bit as a kid but then mainly focused on rugby. I always knew I would end up doing MMA, I just underestimated the amount of skill and work it would require. When I got my first experience of training with well-schooled fighters I realised the depth of the pursuit and was fascinated.”

What did you do as a job before turning professional and making a career in martial arts?

Shipman – “I’ve had a bunch of jobs, handyman, driver, gym receptionist, trainer and like a lot of fighters starting out I did a few years as a doorman. This allowed me to work at night and train in the day.”

Have you got any other hobbies outside martial arts, what do you like to do in your time off to take your mind away from fighting?

Shipman – “Between training and spending time with family and close friends I don’t have much time for hobbies. I read and have recently started playing chess, and not sure if it counts as a hobby but taking my 2-year-old daughter swimming is pretty fun.”

If you never had found MMA and took that first step into the gym, where do you think you’d be right now?

Shipman – “I don’t really think that it was ever an option, I was always drawn to it. I’ve always been fascinated by combat.”

Did you have any combat sport inspiration/heroes growing up and, if so, who and why?

Shipman – “Andrei Arlovski was UFC heavyweight champ when I first started watching UFC. I remember watching him beat Tim Sylvia and he just seemed superhuman to me and I thought I would probably grow up something like that. Dan Henderson stood out for me later on, because he was a tough guy with ungodly power who fought at heavyweight when he was probably a big welter and had no business being that strong with that frame.

Later, I came to appreciate Bisping. I wasn’t a huge fan growing up, I didn’t find him especially likable, and while he was competent everywhere, he had no particular gifts that took my imagination. However, watching him go through heartbreak after heartbreak, repeatedly losing title eliminators, losing an eye, being knocked out horrifically and never accepting the evidence that maybe he just wasn’t quite good enough to be champion was as inspirational as any fighters career. He stayed in the fight and finally got an opportunity which he executed, that epitomizes competitive, fighting spirit for me.”

What does it mean to you to be a fighter, a lot of fighters would look at this question differently?

Shipman – “I suppose it’s a personal thing for each individual and, to be honest, my ideas have changed over time. I suppose it means taking pleasure in the fight, whatever that may be, rising to challenges posed by your opposition or your circumstances or your self-doubt and revelling in the opportunity to test yourself.”

After fighting’s done, do you have any plans after that? Do you want to stay in the fight industry or step away?

Shipman – “I really don’t know, I don’t know whether it’s something I could or would walk away from completely. It’s made too much of who I am, I sometimes think I would like to accomplish what I can then move to the mountains somewhere and mind my business, but realistically I think I will probably always be involved in some form.”

In 5 years’ time, where do you see yourself and what’s the end goal, to retire look back and be happy with what you’ve achieved?

Shipman – ” In 5 years’ time, I’m hopefully reaching the peak of my powers and having some beautiful fights. I think that’s my goal now, the idea of a legacy or a name doesn’t really do it for me now. I want to be able to have my mind, body, and skills coordinate to do this thing I’ve worked at truly beautifully at least once and be able to support my family while I’m striving for that.”

Thanks to Mike Shipman for taking the time to have a chat and get this together. Be sure to follow Mike’s social media accounts linked below as well as London Shootfighters.

Follow me on Twitter at @LGS_MMA and follow us @OT_Heroics for more great content!

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