08:30PM, Thursday 08 October 2020
Windsor’s Terry ‘The Dominator’ Brazier will fight in the first ever major Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event in France on Saturday evening, his first Bellator bout for nearly a year.
The former Paratrooper, who has battled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since his tours of Afghanistan, has been through some highs and lows during lockdown but he sees Saturday’s cage bout with Yves Landu as a ‘big, big light at the end of the tunnel’.
Brazier has 11 wins and three losses to his record, but the last of those defeats came against Denmark’s Soren Bak in a Bellator London feature fight back in November. He admits to being blindsided by his team’s tactics that night but plans to follow his instincts when he steps into the cage against Landu.
Brazier arrived in Paris on Monday, spent 24 hours in lockdown as he awaited the results of a COVID-19 test which came back negative. He’s now free to train and explore the city but will be tested twice more before taking part in Saturday’s show. The lightweight bout will take place in front of 1,000 fans at Paris’ Accor Arena. For the first time the event will be shown on BBC iPlayer from 4.30pm this Saturday. Also, in action will be the UK’s MMA poster boy Michael ‘Venom’ Page against Scotland’s Ross Houston, a former welterweight world champion.
“With it being shown on the BBC for the first time this is a historic event,” said Brazier.
“Yves Landu has won all the French titles and all the smaller shows in France and around Europe. I’m happy to have been matched up to him and it’s been nice to knuckle down and get a fight in because I haven’t fought since November.
“To be honest I’ve gone back to my old way of thinking. I’m an instinctive fighter and in the last few fights I’ve been following too much direction. As a former soldier I follow orders if that makes sense and that’s blindsided me to my natural responses. I’m been almost blinkered. But I fight better when I’m left to the fight in hand and I’m going into this one with no direction at all. I’m just going to be myself and I feel like we’ll see a better version of me. He’s a good striker, with his kickboxing but he can also grapple. He’s a good all-rounder but I just feel like I’m better in every area.
“I’m excited to be here, this is a good project and it’s been one of the easiest weight cuts I’ve ever done. I’ve got teammates out here rather than coaches. Because of COVID restrictions it’s hard for them to leave the gyms for a week before and then quarantine for two weeks after, but it’s still a good vibe.
“We can now train and go out and explore, but we get tested another two times before the fight, so we don’t want to go out too much and risk catching it (COVID-19).
The fans that are allowed inside the Accor Arena will be firmly in their countryman Landu’s corner. But Brazier going into the ‘lion’s den’ holds no fear for the Windsor fighter and he hopes a good victory will put his name in the frame for another Bellator bout, possibly in LA before the end of the year.
“At the end of the day, once you’re in the cage and the bright lights are on you, everything else gets switched off,” he said. “I’ll be zoned into my team and focused on what I’ve got to do.
“I’ve been in the lion’s den before. I’ve fought people from Ireland in Ireland and there’s no rowdier fans than the Irish. It only adds to the excitement and my drive to win the fight.
“To get this at the end of the year is a massive reward for all the hard work and all those down times that I’ve had to get through. But this is a big, bright light at the end of the tunnel and I just want to make the most of it. There are thousand of other fights out there who haven’t fought yet so I’m grateful I’ve been matched up for this. I’d love to beat him and get another fight in before the end of the year. There’s more shows planned, one in LA that I’d love to be on, but it’s one step at a time.”
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