After starting his martial arts journey a decade ago, top Scottish prospect Calum Murrie proclaims ‘it’s my time’ ahead of his professional MMA debut at ACB 47 on October 1.
The highly touted amateur will battle Sunderland’s Josh Abraham at The SSE Hydro on Absolute Championship Berkut’s debut show in the United Kingdom.
ACB 47 will be Scotland’s first major event since UFC Fight Night 72 on July 18, 2015. The Summer showdown was a significant night for MMA in Scotland, as Robert Whiteford, Joanne Calderwood and Steven Ray helped pack almost 11,000 people into the Hydro.
For Calum Murrie, that fateful night in Glasgow was equally important. Inside the Hydro cheering on his countrymen, the Higher Level MMA fighter soaked in the ‘deafening’ and ‘electric’ atmosphere, knowing one day he wanted to follow teammates Stevie and JoJo’s footsteps.
Murrie will celebrate his 29th birthday this Sunday, six days before his pro debut. He initially began training Taekwondo in his late teens as a means to escape trouble. Murrie would end up spending the next six years at the Scottish Martial Arts Centre in Alloa.
“I started martial arts when I was 18, 19, I was getting in a lot of trouble, getting in fights, getting in trouble with the police. I wanted to belong to a Taekwondo gym, so I started there and I just really enjoyed it. Initially you think it would be good to fight like that so you can beat up guys. Three-four months into training, your perception changes, you’re whole mindset changes, you learn your discipline.”
Despite a plethora of striking experience under his belt; competing in semi-contact Taekwondo bouts, Murrie’s intrigue towards MMA and learning the ‘ground game’ would see him venture south to practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Murrie regularly commuted to Grimsby’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, where he would spend up to three-weeks at a time, living at a Bed and Breakfast so he could train frequently.
However, three years ago, eager to improve as a well-rounded MMA athlete, he made the jump to the Dinky Ninja Fight Team (Higher Level MMA) in Whitburn, to train under James Doolan.
“James has always managed to stay ahead of the game,” said Murrie. “Also, the majority of the best people in Scotland are at Higher Level. So you’re getting to train with all the best guys. We’ve got guys like Stevie Ray, Graham Turner, Martin Delaney, all these guys are well established professionals.”
With an amateur MMA record of 11-3, Murrie has forged a strong start to his career since debuting in 2010. Spending six years on the amateur scene, the Scot noted how the collegiate-styled sport has evolved to become the ultimate ‘sub-pro level’ proving ground.
“When I first started, people were coming out throwing punches and you’d just clash in the middle,” said Murrie. “Now, a lot of these amateurs you’re coming up against are sub-pro level. I’d say my last three fights between Bjarki Ómarsson, Dave Cunliffe and Scott Pederson all three of those fights have been pro level fights. The full game’s evolving so you either keep up with the times or you fall behind.”
Aside from his growth as a martial artist, Murrie is also a very proud family man. However due to his rigorous work week, he often only gets limited time to spend with his girlfriend and young daughter.
He works 40 hours a week as a Foreman and that doesn’t even include the time spent in the gym training every night. It’s a rigorous lifestyle and unfortunately one which many fighters have to experience on the road to the big time.
The massive sacrifices often out-weigh the scarce rewards, but Murrie is hoping to change that with a big start to his professional MMA career at ACB Glasgow.
“It’s hard but you’ve just got to keep going. Where I’m at right now, the stage I’m at, it’s my time to make a shot at it and I’m going to see very shortly where it’s going to go. I’m not just going to fight to make the numbers up, I’m here to fight to be up there [with the best] or not be there at all. I’m not looking for easy fights.”