If you’re a fan of Australian MMA, then you’ve more than likely heard the name Jamie Mullarkey. He’s a fighter who personifies the term ‘well-rounded’ and, when he steps into the cage, is in constant pursuit of the finish. Mullarkey is facing the experienced BJJ brown belt Jesse Medina, in the main event of Brace 51 this weekend. At only 23, Mullarkey has built a strong resume, starting his career by going on a long win streak, capturing two Brace titles in the process.
Having suffered two losses in his most recent outings, Mullarkey will surely look to win in a decisive manner when he steps into the cage with Medina. With only days to go until fight night, we caught up with Jamie from his home on the Central Coast. We talk to Jamie about the new Brace weight cutting regulations, getting through injuries, training with MMA veteran Ross Pearson, and what we can expect on Saturday night.
The Neversphere: Jamie, how’s the lead up to this fight been for you?
Jamie: Fight camp’s been really good, just been fully energised for the whole camp, knowing that I don’t have to get to 66kg. I couldn’t ask for a better fight camp, I’m feeling really strong, really fit.
The Neversphere: I’ve seen the regulations Brace put in place for weight cutting; trying to stop people from dehydrating, relaxing the weight classes. What do you make of these changes?
Jamie: Yeah, it’s basically moving all the fighters up a weight class, and I’m all for it. If that means I get to eat more, train harder and worry less about depleting and dehydrating myself a day before I fight, then I’m all for it. I don’t see how anyone would ever have something bad to say about it, unless people enjoy the weight cut? I’m pretty certain no fighter enjoys it.
The Neversphere: I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who does…Earlier in the year, you were scheduled to fight at Brace 47 but you had to pull out due to injury. Can you walk me through what happened and how you made the choice to back out of the fight?
Jamie: About four weeks out from the fight, I was going through a training session and I threw a flying knee at the pads – I was wearing shoes, on a hard surface – and when I came down, my ankle rolled unearth me and I ended up tearing some ligaments in my foot. I struggled with working and walking, and obviously I couldn’t train on it. I was trying to push through it, but after two weeks of not being able to train for a tough guy like Shane Young, for a 5-round title fight…my coaches just decided that the best thing to do would be to stay healthy and live to fight another day.
The Neversphere: That sounds absolutely dreadful, ankle/feet things are the worst. How did it heal up?
Jamie: It healed real quick, but I was just so heartbroken because I was feeling so good in the lead up to that fight. I was certain I was going to get the victory, the way it played out was just a bit of bad luck. Everything happens for a reason though.
The Neversphere: You’re training wih Magnus Martial Arts but I saw on social media that you were getting some rounds in at Australian Top Team earlier in the year, is this going to be a regular occurrence for you or are you still training mainly out of Magnus Martial Arts?
Jamie: I’m just out of Magnus Martial Arts…Well I’ve just started training with Central Coast MMA as well, with Ross Pearson.
The Neversphere: Ross Pearson? He has a gym here?
Jamie: He runs a gym here on the Central Coast, so I’m based out of that gym as well. But I’ve always been Magnus Martial Arts, that’s my home. Obviously, I’m seizing the opportunity of having such a talented fighter like Ross Pearson to learn from, and pick his brain. I’ve been upping my game and improving with the training I’ve been getting in with Ross. It’s helped me grow by leaps and bounds.
The Neversphere: Last week, I spoke to Jesse Medina. When I asked what he thought of your skillset, he was respectful and said he held your skills and accomplishments in high regard. What do you make of Medina?
Jamie: He’s a tough dude. He’s a very skilful fighter, and I respect his skills. That’s why I was excited to take this fight, because I think it’s going to be a good fight. I’m very confident that I’ll be winning this fight but I’m not taking him lightly at all.
The Neversphere: I feel the date of this fight with Jesse may hold some significance to you. You made you pro-debut on October 26, 2013. Brace 51 is this Saturday, October 28, almost exactly 4-years later. Over those years you’ve gone through a massive win-streak, and recently picked up a few losses. How has your perspective on MMA changed over that period?
Jamie: That’s right. I’ve learned so much, especially in my last two losses. I blew through a lot of guys who got put in front of me and I think I just got into a bit of a false sense of security, I got into some bad habits. I think those last two losses that I had have just made me so much better.
The Neversphere: Should everything go to plan on Saturday night, what’s your next for you?
Jamie: I’m just going to look to stay active. I don’t want to look past this fight, so I’m basically just looking to get this victory and then go from there. To be honest, I’m just happy to be fighting again, it’s been over a year now and I’m just happy to be competing, and doing what I love.
The Neversphere: Good to hear you’re happy! We’ve got Christmas/New Years break coming up, probably time for a bit of a relax at the end of the year?
Jamie: [Laughs] Yeah, it’s always a good time to eat!
The Neversphere: We cover music and gaming, as well as MMA. So, before I let you go I have to ask. What’s your walkout song for Brace 51 going to be?
Jamie: I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to keep that a surprise. It’s going to be a cracker on the night, it’ll get everyone revved up!
A bit of intrigue…