After his exciting win at BCMMA 20, James Webb detailed how the desire to escape his small-town led to a career revelation 400 miles away in Dublin.
Originally from Colchester, Essex, Webb uprooted his MMA preparation to SBG Swords, and it’s a change which the Englishman claims he’ll be ‘forever thankful’ for.
“It started off, I used to go away and do kickboxing in Holland and Colchester’s a town where everyone knows everyone so I just f**king wanted to get out,” he told MMA Plus after beating Henrik Lie on Saturday night.
“I’ve done a lot of jiu-jitsu tournament since I like 21, I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu tournaments all over Europe and met some guys at SBG, Joe Breslin and he was the one who directed me to Chris, f**king forever thankful for that, the best person I’ve ever met within this sport.
“He’s opened the door to me training weekly with like Cathal [Pendred] and Philip Mulpeter, training with savages week in, week out, getting battered, the fight never feels that hard.”
Webb (2-1), although successful, remained rather critical of his early efforts against Lie at Charter Hall, but admitted that guidance from his mentor, former Cage Warriors middleweight champion Chris Fields, helped him secure the rear-naked choke finish at the 2:15 mark of round two.
“I’m a little bit disappointed in the first round, you know, trying to be first, I felt a little bit heavy in the first round but in the second round, I loosened up a little bit, listened to my coach Chris,” James Webb said, dedicating the victory to the younger sister of two good friends, Amy, who passed away in the Summer.
“As soon as I listened it worked, that’s why you’ve got to listen to your mentors.
“I’m very happy with the finish, it was a tough fight, I didn’t want it to be like that, I wanted it to be a grind, but not a f**king brawl, I’m fed up of having brawls with people.
James Webb on learning from his first pro loss
That ‘f**king brawl’ he eluded to? A 15-minute barnburner against Miro Jurković at Cage Warriors 84 in June.
When asked to reflect back on his first professional defeat, Webb expressed how pure determination and the desire to prove himself worthy among ‘the elite’ furthered his preparation for Lie.
“The problem is, I got very comfortable with my back on the cage so when I was there I was very comfortable,” Webb said. “I wasn’t taking the piss, but settling and you’re losing the fight.
“I learnt a lot about myself in that fight, I needed to push a lot harder and grind harder so I worked with these guys for about three or four times a week for the last three or four months now just pushing, wanting to be with the elite, you know.
“If I can’t always be the most skillful, I can definitely make it as one of the f**king toughest, the fittest as well you know. I’ve worked on a lot, hopefully I showcased that there,” he said, as he began to fully soak in his win over Lie.