Mitchell vs. Amasinger


© Marc Wickert www.knucklepit.com

Special thanks to Izzy Carnwath

December 10’s stoush between Danny Mitchell and Dean Amasinger looks like being a very tough test for both combatants at BAMMA 8 with both men being colourful characters and contributing their own blend of cage warfare.  They share similar stats: Danny 9-3-1, Dean 9-4-0, and both athletes have scored more wins by submission than knockout.

But the similarities stop there.  Dean’s game incorporates kickboxing and superior strength, whereas Danny is better known for his technique and ground game; however, since hooking up with strength and conditioning coach, Brendan Chaplin, Mitchell has greatly improved his core strength through squats, deadlifts, weighted pull-ups… and he is much more competitive in clinches and now utilizes more powerful takedowns and g’n’p.

Danny is looking to make a major statement at BAMMA 8 against Dean, and this should be a very interesting contest for MMA fans.  Amasinger may want to test Mitchell’s stand-up, but it’s likely the action will find its way to the canvas.

Knucklepit caught up with Danny for his thoughts on the December 10 showdown and, by the serious tone in his voice, I’m sure he wasn’t having a lend of me with any of his answers.

Danny, is 9-3-1 your correct MMA record?

Yeah, that’s correct.

I believe you have 15 years’ experience in martial arts.  What was your first martial art and what prompted you to take it up?

I started age 10 with Tae Kwon Do.  As a kid I wanted to be a boxer but my parents didn’t think it was a good idea at the time.  Me and my friends used to scrap with each other a lot, wrestle, punch each other – as kids do.  One day it got out of hand and one of my friend’s dads said to teach us all some discipline we should go to his TKD school and train a month for free.  I lapped it up and trained every day; all my friends quit, but since then I’ve never stopped training.   

Six of your victories have come via submissions; is BJJ your base?

I wouldn’t say I really have a base; I tend to just go with the flow and take what my opponent gives me which so far has been a lot of submissions.  If I had to label it I would say my base is Dan-jitsu.

Are you looking forward to making your BAMMA debut?

Yeah, I’ve fought on a lot of big shows internationally and I’m really excited about now fighting on BAMMA right here in the UK.  I cornered Jason Ball on BAMMA 5 so I got the feel for it then.  Can’t wait to step in that cage and do some cartwheels.

Who have your training partners been and what aspects of your preparation have they assisted you with for BAMMA 8?

I left running Caged Steel recently and I’ve put my own team together called AVT (Asylum Vale Tudo) in honour of my old Asylum gym.  I have a lot of pro fighters who travel to train with me and great coaches involved, so it’s basically a case of looking at the people around me who share a similar style to my opponent and going from there really.  I have some great training partners and friends like Wayne Murrie who is always willing to help me out.  Sometimes I like to go out to the woods and just wrestle animals, starting small with rabbits and stuff then working up to cattle and bears.

You appear very cool entering your fights.  Are you relaxed before bouts?

Yeah, I’m a pretty relaxed guy really.  I don’t get so many nerves; I’m kinda weird like that, I guess fighting just comes naturally.  Training and cutting weight is the hard bit.  I enjoy fighting so much that I get stressed out when I don’t have a fight booked.  I can’t wait til I’ve done all I want to do in MMA and I can get fat and just fight at heavyweight every month till I die.

I have a lot of people who help me out in different areas.  Most of my stand-up is taken care of by Craig Burke.  I’ve been working a lot of wrestling with Trevor Hoskins recently; Combat Base UK is full of great grapplers and my S&C is all sorted by the guru Brendan Chaplin.  The other coaches I’m not supposed to talk about…

Do you instruct at Combat Base Doncaster?

That was my first gym in Doncaster, since then I’ve had my own fulltime weights and MMA gym ‘The Asylum’ (as it was full of nutters) then I took over at Caged Steel where I built a team that hit 40 wins in just 12 months (with only 7 losses) and now I’ve returned to that original freedom of my own team AVT, which included all the CS guys, some of the old Asylum crew and lots of new fighters every month.  It’s a pretty sweet job really.  Not well paid but rewarding none the less.

If your bout with Dean Amasinger goes to the ground, will it be a case of the wrestler (Amasinger) vs. the BJJ practitioner (Mitchell)?

Yeah, I guess I class Dean as a wrestler, so yes, if it goes to the ground I can agree with that to an extent but this is MMA and wrestlers and BJJ players don’t elbow each other in the face too much.

You’ve won by a variety of holds – leg locks, RNC, arm bar, guillotine… Will your mixed bag of techniques be your greatest asset on December 10?

My greatest asset will be my hair and my witty charm – the only mixed bag I will have will be a bag of Haribo.

Dean is known to be very strong; will that be an issue?

We will see when he gets hold of me! (Laughs).  I know he’s a strong guy so I’ve prepared best I can.  I am used to fighting stronger guys, though, in fact I can’t remember a fight when I was stronger!  So it fits my weakling style perfectly.

Do you find your unorthodox fighting game baffles a lot of opponents?

I find I just baffle people in general but, yes, I think I do a lot of weird stuff that hopefully shocks my opponent and looks cool too.  I’m still learning and things will get crazier as I get better.  It’s all about mastering the basics then adding your own flavor.

What will Dean’s strengths be?

His huge chest, guns and abs.

What will your strengths be?

My knowledge of all the combos on Tekken.

Danny, is there anything you would like to add?

Just hope everyone enjoys the fight as much as I do fighting it, and good luck to everyone involved in the show.  I’ll see you all there and I want to hear the chants of “Cheesecake, Cheesecake”.


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