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Interviews

Introducing: James Nichol of Combat Gym in St. Albans

We caught up with James Nichol of Combat Gym in St. Albans to ask him a few questions ahead of his bout with current UK 53.5kg #6 Eshan Kurshid at this weekend’s Roar Combat League 12.

How did you get started training Muay Thai?

“I got started in Muay Thai about when I was 15. I’d never really been into sports growing up, but my school mate discovered the club near us and ask if I fancied giving it a go.

“I looked it up on YouTube and thought it looked pretty cool, so I went along with him. I’ve been in love with it ever since and have been training consistently since my first session. It was the first thing I ever really developed a passion for, and it’s only grown over the years.”

Where do you train/have you trained?

“I train at Combat Gym in St Albans, with incredible head coaches Brian Boyle and Nick Samways and a great bunch of training partners who help test me every day. This is where I had my first session, and where I’ll stay – I love it here and have everything I need to help me reach the top.

“I trained at Gym 01 in Portsmouth when I was at uni, which was also a great experience and definitely helped develop me a lot as a fighter. 

“In Thailand I’ve trained at Lamnammoon Gym in Ubon Ratchathani, Namsaknoi on Koh Phangan and Sitmonchai in Kanchanaburi. They have all been amazing experiences, I love Thailand and the life out there; nothing to care about but training, that’s the life for me. Sitmonchai especially stood out for me, training with legends like Pornsanae and Thepnimit and being surrounded by likeminded people from across the globe. The family atmosphere, amazing training and the Sitmonchai style mean it’s the perfect gym for me out there. I plan on returning to Thailand for an extended period of time as soon as I can and Sitmonchai is where I’ll be heading.”

What do you love about Muay Thai?

“For me, it’s all about being the best fighter I can be. I don’t care about records, I just want to get in there with the toughest competition in my weight division and fight my heart out every time. I’ve taken a lot of risks in my fight career so far, some have paid off and some haven’t – but I’d rather have that than always be thinking ‘what if…’. 

“I like how anything can happen, anyone can get knocked out, and one style doesn’t beat all. There’s no certainties in fight sports. I don’t feel like talent and genetics play a large role in Muay Thai, there are so many other factors that come into play other than natural ability. I’m not a naturally gifted athlete by any means, but heart and hard work is what I pride myself on.”

“There’s nothing else like it in regular life, it gives me a release and allows me to express myself and test my limits over and over again.”

Any final words?

“Thanks to Gary and Fight Record for the feature, massive shout out to my coaches and training partners at Combat Gym, and for anyone wanting to follow my journey I’m @jamesnichol01 on Instagram.

“My next fight is this Saturday Dec 1st on Roar Combat League, I’m prepared to go to war!”

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