How did you get started in MMA?

I trained in Muay Thai from the age of 14. When I was about 18 we had a guy called Dean Amasinger come in as the MMA coach to add a new flavour to the club, which was originally just Muay Thai. I started attending the MMA sessions and just loved it and have been doing it ever since!

What is your fight record and is there a moment that you’re most proud of?

MMA record is 6-2-0, and kickboxing 2-0. In terms of competition, it would be going out to Abu Dhabi for the IMMAF world championships, competing on an international stage and picking up a win there. In terms of personally, 2019-2021 were a rough 2.5 years for me. A lot went wrong in those years from injuries to family bereavement to Covid etc, and so at the end of 2021, injury free and a clear head, I competed and won after 2.5 years off, it meant the world to me as it signified to me everything was getting back on track.

How do you manage training and making a living at the same time?

I work as a PT, teaching kickboxing/MMA all day. I schedule my training in and then fit my clients around my training. The two go hand in hand and, because I’m on my time, I can train when I like. For an up and comer it’s the ideal job to manage earning money and getting adequate training in simultaneously.

What would help you get much further, much faster now?

In terms of progressing in career? – it’s about picking up good wins and getting win streaks to get noticed by bigger MMA promotions, you can only really do that faster by fighting more often. How many fights can you fit in a year and how many can you win? Can you stay  injury free, can your body hold up with the intense training, can your mind hold up with the intensity of competition? I feel it’s a slow game so accelerating the process is a tough one.

And even if you do get to one of the premier MMA organisations in the world, the best guys skill levels are world class and that takes years and years of training to develop. If there was anything that’d help you go further and faster it’d be a fat load of money so you could quit your day job and then all you have to think about is training, recovery, nutrition etc.

How do you think pro fighters are treated in the UFC?

It’s hard to say because I don’t fight in the UFC. I certainly think all UFC athletes should be getting paid more however.

What are the wrong assumptions people make about you and other fighters?

That we’re all just meatheads and love a scrap, haha! That’s the problem with the word fighters, it implies a bit of a thug. It’s far from thuggish, It’s called martial arts for a reason, it’s a proper art form, everyone has their own individual expression of martial arts but because the average person just sees limbs getting chucked about they don’t see the technicalities of what’s going on, and the tiny details of controlling a fight is where the beauty is, but that’s very difficult to see with the untrained eye.

What is your 1, 5, and 10 year plan?

1 year – string some wins together on the pro circuit.

5 year – have the belt in Europe’s best MMA promotions like cage warriors.

10 year – be competing in the UFC and stringing wins together there.

You’ve looked into The Lighthouse Group – what do you think about their vision?

Yeah I love it, bespoke training programs to help people get the best out of whatever they’re pursuing. If you’re helping people and genuinely changing lives alongside making some money I think it’s a great idea for a business.

How important is protecting your mental health for you and fellow fighters?

Absolutely paramount. I do not want to be a vegetable when I’m older!

Do you believe that fighters get paid what they deserve?

No. That’s the purist in me though! Considering the head trauma fighters take and the negative repercussions that come with it, fighters should be getting paid way more especially when the organisation can afford to pay more. It’s a rough way to earn a living, make it more worthwhile by paying more.

What do you think of the UFC business model?

As a business model it’s sick it makes a lot of money for the UFC. For the fighters, it’s not so great.

Is there a sports management company you’d like to be signed with?

Not really not off the top of my head. I don’t know the difference between the management companies so any company that manages me and my fight/sponsorship deals with my best interest at heart would be great.

Who is your role model in the MMA world and why?

Georges St Pierre. He is your consummate martial artist, super respectful, humble, doesn’t talk sh!t, great fight IQ, he let his skills do the talking rather than his mouth and was able to stay at the top of the game for years doing so.

Would you be open to helping Lighthouse in the future with academy and training work?

100%. If a company has helped me in the same way I’d love to help build it’s reputation and be a testimony to their vision.

Do you believe that making getting on the property ladder easy and affordable for young people in sport is a good idea?

Yes definitely. In my personal opinion as a young athlete having your own place is important it removes a lot of stresses and allows routine to stay less disrupted. Less stressed athlete is better, training is better and also less chance of injuries.

You’ve been introduced to Lighthouse by Amit Amin – how would you describe his mindset and his energy?

Amit’s class! He is all about growth and development and so his energy is infectious – he is a good person to be around. People clearly love him because in the 1.5hr chat I had with him about 6 people must have come to say hello – haha!!!

How important have your family been in supporting you?

Yeah massive, there’s never been any pressure to compete in MMA from them but because it’s something I do they’re there supporting all the way, even flying half way across the world to come and watch me compete. Love them to bits the support makes all the difference.

Tell us a few fun facts that people may not know about you?

I can belly dance really well!

What’s your motto in life?

Haven’t really got a motto but whenever I don’t want to do something that I know I should I’ve always said to myself you can always decide between what you want now, and what you want later. For example, I’ll have a training session come up and what I want now would be to stay in bed and sleep, but what I want later would be to be good coach in the future, and so with that I’ll go and train.

Can you share how people can see more about your world along with any fights coming up?

Main one would be on Instagram @harrywshaw95 and @headkickmartialarts. I post a lot on upcoming fights and all the rest on those two accounts.