The ball is rolling at Caged Steel once again and Dominic Gibbs and his team are back with an electrifying twenty bout fight card on April 10th. The event will be broadcasted live on pay-per-view for fans at home. Due to ongoing struggles in the United Kingdom with COVID-19, Caged Steel 25 will be a behind closed doors event.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ben Schneider, a man who is no stranger to the Caged Steel octagon as he prepares to snap his 12-fight losing skid against five-times kicking boxing world champion Robbie Kennedy.
The full fight card features highly anticipated amateur title fights, a preliminary card and a stacked main card. Taking the main event slot on the night is former Cage Warriors bantamweight title challenger Scott Malone, and a young Elliot Hoye who relishes the challenge and is out there to make a name for himself.
Ben Schneider (3-22) hasn’t had the easiest of times as of late, riding a 12-fight losing streak, but that certainly hasn’t dampened the Welshman’s fighting spirit. Ben Schneider’s last outing occurred in November of 2019, falling short, taking a unanimous decision loss to Jay Thomas Tovee. Schneider’s last victory came at UCMMA 47 in 2016, where he secured a first-round finish over Ben Main for the second time, earning his third professional win.
Ben Schneider isn’t fazed by records, money, or winning every fight. He’s a man that believes if you concentrate on those three factors, you’ll lose sight of why you started. Fighting’s not just about the money, nor the fame for some athletes, it’s about the true love, passion, and discipline the sport can give you. After speaking with Schneider, I can see he’s an individual who blocks out negativity, continues to grind for the mental and physical challenges, and more importantly, to showcase to his family no-matter-what, you never give up, and to me that makes a dangerous man.
After concurring the kickboxing scene and gaining world titles in his craft, Robbie Kennedy made the transition into MMA in 2018 at UK Fighting Championships 8, where he obtained a knockout victory over Jason Melvin. Since then, the 32-year old has gained a record of (3-2) in the amateur circuit, with all three wins coming via a finish. However, the amateur scene is been left behind him ahead of Caged Steel 25, as he makes his professional debut.
How are you feeling ahead of your upcoming bout on Caged Steel 25, am I correct in saying you’ve not competed in over a year. How has that been for you not? Have you still been training continuously, learning new skills in the gym, and developing in your time away?
Ben Schneider – “Yes March last year was my last fight, it’s not been easy without having something to look forward to as I’m sure it has for everybody. It has felt like groundhog day but it feels amazing to have something to focus on. None of us can compete forever and I feel like I’ve lost a year. I work away all over the country and that allows me to train at different gyms with different people but with COVID-19 sadly it’s not been easy but I have been training.”
You have a record of (3-22) in your professional career, and I am by no means discrediting that. Facing loss after loss in your career, what keeps you fighting, what keeps you pushing your body daily and wanting to compete and get into the cage? Can you talk to me if that plays on your mind mentally, or is it just the pure love of the sport that keeps you grinding?
Ben Schneider – “Well sadly I have had more losses than wins that is on my record, but how can I look my kids in the face and tell them to never give up on something they love even if they come up short. Yes, I love combat sports but not everything about it. Winning is not 100-per cent the only reason to fight. If you go into a fight only focused on money or winning it’s easy to lose sight of why you started. No one has ever bought a ticket to a fight and said I’ve bought this ticket to see someone win, they say I can’t wait to watch them fight. I know I’ve let my team, my family, and myself down. I love all of them but without sounding selfish, I fight for myself, it’s something that burns inside. I have been fighting since I was 19 professionally and I now know what I am capable of and have nothing to prove to anyone but myself.”
I believe you’ve fought on Caged Steel before twice, suffering defeat both times. What do you need to do this time to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself come April 10th?
Ben Schneider – “I think it’s no secret that I’m a slow starter. I tried starting quick and forcing the fight, it didn’t work so I just need to do me.”
What are your biggest lessons and takeaways from your previous bouts that you hope you can implement into your next fight?
Ben Schneider – “The biggest thing I’ve learned and sadly only in the last 2 years is that it’s 99% mindset. I’ve heard people say this over the years, but I’ve never listened. My last two fights have gone to a decision, losing one and a draw in the other. This is not because of my skill or ability, but because of my mindset going into the fights. I know nobody wants to hear my opinion on fighting but it’s true. Instead of going into my fights and overthinking what if he is this, what if he does that, I’ve already made the decision that no matter what he does, I will be here for the final bell and I have belief in my skill-set and training to not think and just react.”
For people that don’t know you, nor have never watched you compete. Can you tell them a little about your story into the sport, how did you find MMA?
Ben Schneider – “My past is something I don’t like to talk about. Without going into too much detail, I moved around a lot growing up and was never in a happy home, but because of that I never really felt like I belonged anywhere. I wouldn’t change it because it made me strong and I learned as long as I have my back, I’m good.”
Your opponent in Robbie Kennedy has an amateur record of (3-2), and will be making his professional debut, off-course you have the experience advantage over him, do you feel this will play into your advantage in the fight and do you know much on him?
Ben Schneider – “Yes, I know all I need to know about my opponent, any fighter coming out of AVT is going to be prepared game and ready to go. I don’t think my experience will have any effect on the fight. It’s going to be a hard fight.”
What would you say to the fans who think your opponent is in there just to walk over you and secure an easy victory?
Ben Schneider – “I don’t blame them for thinking that, you can only judge a tree by the fruit it bears. I haven’t given anyone any reason to think this fight won’t go the same way as any other. Time will tell.”
As you know, one shot is all it takes when the heavyweights collide, where do you feel the keys to victory are for you if you are to come away with the win on April 10th?
Ben Schneider – “In any fight, it just takes one mistake to change the outcome. In MMA there are so many ways to lose and that’s what makes it exciting.”
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All image credits to Caged Steel
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