Scotland’s standout amateur Bantamweight, Reece McEwan, who fights out of The Griphouse in Glasgow, leaves the amateur scene behind to take on the new challenge of the pro scene and to kickstart his career.
Evolution of Combat 6 will take place on Saturday, February the 15th, in The Maryhill Central Halls, Glasgow.
Reece McEwan comes out the amateur circuit with a notable record of (8-1). That began in 2015, stretching to his most recent bout in September of 2019, where he captured his second title.
Malek Ghrib comes into the bout with a pro record of (2-2), his debut dating back to 2017. Malek Ghrib competed twice in 2017, going (2-1). However, he’s only competed once since then, taking a loss via Guillotine in round 1.
McEwan cruised through the amateur rankings. He won his first 7 fights before taking his first and only competitive loss inside the cage. That came via unanimous decision in a close well fought contest v Louis Lee Scott. Since then, McEwan bounced back, with a 47-second submission win.
The amateur run of McEwan has saw him collect two Bantamweight titles in two different promotions. The first coming at ‘On Top: Night of Champions‘ in 2017. From there, he’s defended his title against No.1 Ranked amateurs in Ireland and Japan.
More recently, the second title being secured at ‘The Art of Combat 11‘ back in September of 2019. McEwan wasted no time, taking a 47-second win back to the Griphouse.
McEwan has shown a real commitment and dedication to his training, being awarded with his purple belt in Jujutsu. It’s not only inside the cage we see him compete. From K1 to grappling competitions, it’s clear to see McEwan is trying to get it all under his belt. That can only do wonders for his experience.
McEwan was kind enough to give us some time to answer a few questions ahead of his professional debut. Below you will see what the Scotsman had to say.
How do you feel ahead of making your professional debut and why do you feel the times right to turn to the pro rank. Was there a lot of thought behind the decision or did you and your coaches just know the time was right?
McEwan – “I feel amazing. The fight preparations have been as smooth and perfect as possible so it’s exciting me that I get to showcase my work on fight night. I’m actually a little bit gutted the fight is only 15 minutes… but I know all my training will benefit me beyond this fight. There’s a great insight to future fights. There was a lot of thought in the sense that we knew professional was the next step after an amateur career. Even though I was fighting amateur rules for 4 years, my training was always focused to suit professional rules, as we train long-term rather than being short sighted on one fight. Then we felt that after my last win, the next logical step was to go professional.”
Taking your first competitive loss inside the cage back in March, did it have an effect on you at all and how important was it to bounce back with a win in September at ‘The Art Of Combat’?
McEwan – I went through a mix of emotions after this bout. I was absolutely gutted seeing my opponent’s hand raised, walking out to everyone after the fight and the tonne of messages everyone saying sorry for my loss, watching the fight going “should’ve done this, that…” – I felt like I let everyone down not getting the result. The next day, I felt everywhere I went I was getting looked at as if I lost now. But then I was also pleased with how I performed, as I felt it was a strong performance. It was the biggest show and crowd I fought on so far and my response was great. My opponent just had the edge and that’s what competition is all about.
A few days after a win or loss, the emotions fade away and you start looking at the contest objectively. That’s exactly what I did. I watched the fight a thousand times with my coaches and we planned how we would take my skills to the next level. Going into the next fight, I put that loss to the side, that’s in the past now. Focus on what you can control, which is getting better every day and performing well. The fight might’ve only lasted 47 seconds, but I felt I was unrecognizable in terms of my skills, and mind, from 6 months prior – that means I’ve done my job well in improving between fights.”
What motivates you to be a successful MMA fighter and what drives you to train day in day out?
McEwan – “I enjoy training and improving. That’s the most powerful and genuine motivation you can have. I make sure to have fun and push myself as hard as I can, nobody needs to tell me to train or be obsessed. It’s instinct and I do it out of genuine love and appreciation for getting better. I’m also crazy competitive, so if I’m not at the gym I’m thinking someone’s getting better than me and it drives me crazy”.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
McEwan – “In the UFC, selling out arenas and fighting for world titles.”
How much has competing in all forms of martial arts competition, like the K1 bouts and the grappling competitions, benefited you? I can imagine that’s done wonders for your experience and confidence?
McEwan – “It’s been amazing. For my skill set and mind. Going into a sport that other competitors only train and beating them (when my purpose is for experience) is a sensational feeling. We spoke about going professional and planning for the future. The K1 bouts allowed me to incorporate knee strikes that weren’t legal at amateur. Then the BJJ competitions allowed me to compete under some submissions that aren’t legal at Amateur, as well as getting a lot of experience in one day. At the end of the day, you are competing in front of a crowd and that experience is invaluable. It also lets me utilise all aspects of MMA, and tap into different parts of my skills and game.
Being an MMA fighter that can win striking-only fights, that can win high level grappling comps really makes me a true mixed martial artist. Like I said earlier, I enjoy training and I really enjoy competing. It’s when I’m at my most free & relaxed – I get to show off my skills to everyone. That’s what this sport this is all about.”
Make sure to support Reece McEwan ahead of his debut.
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