I recently spoke to one of the top promoters in the UK in the run up to possibly one of the biggest shows going at the moment. If you know about Muay Thai in the UK then I am almost certain you will have heard of this guy. His name is Phil Shedden, he is one of a team of three promoters that promote and put together the ‘The Main Event’ show, which will be happening on the 23rd May at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham. This is going to be one of the biggest shows the UK has seen! With the likes of Stephen Meleady, Chad Sugdan, Greg Wootton, Daniel McGowan, Andrew Lofthouse, Michael Wakeling, Dean James, Panicos Yusuand and many many more!
If there is going to be any show to go to, it is going to be this one! I will hopefully be making the journey down, if you would like more information regarding tickets just give me a shout and I would be more than happy to help as would Phil, you can contact him on the details at the end of the interview!
Well with no further ado, lets get cracking with it. Let me introduce to you a man who needs no introduction in the Muay Thai world. Mr. Phil Shedden!
Q. What sparked your interest in Martial Arts/Muay Thai?
A. Split up with an ex and had nothing else to do! Starting training, never looked back
Q. How do you see Muay Thai, K1, kickboxing developing? Is it something you think is on the rise?
A. Muay Thai will explode in the next couple of years. We are working tirelessly towards that aim with The Main Event and I am 100% confident that the sport will be on mainstream TV in the next 5 years.
Q. Who or what is your inspiration to do the things you do?
A. I just love the sport mate. It’s entirely changed my life in so many ways and I really want it to go all the way.
Q. Are you big on goal setting to have something to work towards?
A. Yes we wont stop until Muay Thai is where it deserves to be
Q. What does a normal day look like for you?
A. Depends what stage the planning is up to really. As you get closer to event week it can get pretty manic!
Q. Have you ever been to Thailand to experience life over there? If so, what was it like?
A. I haven’t been. The guys from the gym I used to co-own went twice a few years ago. However I had a serious injury from a previous fight and was just getting back into being able to do any training so it wasn’t worthwhile me going. I will go over at some point in the future though
Q. Could you ever see yourself doing something different?
A. Nah, I enjoy promoting and seeing progress for the sport. I have a few other interests but in terms of promoting, no, we’re here for the long haul
Q. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome? Looking back, is there anything you would do differently? Is there anyone you would like to thank?
A. Too many to mention really. Every show brings it challenges. Our last major show we suffered pretty badly with pullouts, close to event day too so it was bad times, very stressful. Generally the challenges are weeding out the bullshitters, as there are plenty of them around, and avoiding them, not relying on them for anything. Unfortunately that comes with trial and error so you have to be stung before you realize who they are but that’s the same in anything really. Too many people to thank, the people who matter already know they matter.
Q. Do you think certain personality traits are essential for being a Muay Thai fighter?
A. Definitely. Having only had a handful of fights early on I didn’t get to experience some of the stuff fighters go through, certainly at a higher level. But having been around the sport a fair while I can tell you that discipline, determination and heart are the 3 most essential attributes you have to have. Without all 3 you might as well not bother. The rest comes after those 3.
Q. Have you made any sacrifices to get where you are today?
A. Absolutely loads. But I wouldn’t change a thing (in terms of Muay Thai)
Q. Do you ever hit a wall where you think you can’t do what it is you want? If so, how do you overcome it?
A. Yes, sometimes. Sometimes it can get on top of you and you just need to take a bit of time off. Can be a day or a week, depends, and then you get back on it. Everyone deals with stuff differently don’t they but for me a couple of things keep me going; my love of the sport and desire to see it succeed and the shoving it in the face of the people who bad mouth us and wish us to fail. Combined, I don’t think there’s any more inspiration needed J
Q. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
A. By career I presume you mean events? Difficult to say, each one has been both enjoyable (and not enjoyable) and successful in different ways. The Main Event in 2012 is probably, in many people’s eyes, the best Muay Thai event this country has ever seen, still. Pivotal fights took place, we had the record attendance there, the feedback was incredible and the buzz around it all was intense. But for us it was a nightmare backstage, although the paying spectators didn’t see that. The Point show in November 2013 was top I really enjoyed that one. The USN show in June 2014 was great, despite the pullouts we managed to put on a great card, increase the attendance to a new record and try some new stuff that we hadn’t done before. So I couldn’t really pick a ‘highlight’, each one has had its highs and lows.
Q. Any advice or words of inspiration to people wanting to join the Muay Thai community?
A. Do it. You’ll never look back
Q. Is it essential to have other like-minded people who are a part of the sport around you to help you?
A. Yes, of course. You’ve all got to be aiming for the same goals or you’ll never achieve anything
Q. What sponsors do you have? How did you get them?
A. We are lucky enough to have very loyal sponsors and partners around us and some incredible people involved. Sandee has been with us from day one and continues to play a major part in what we do. BANNED Fightwear, our apparel partners, joined us in 2013. Recently we signed a deal with DMC Group, incorporating Ducati, KTM and Triumph Birmingham with our brand, which is a massive step forward for us. We have other people who we have worked with for a good while, like Protec boxing, who we have a great relationship with and a number other businesses and great people who support us.
Q. What is it like getting to meet and host some of the up and coming and best fighters?
A. It’s great; I’ve met some really genuine people in the years we’ve been doing this. Made some friends for life. Half of them are really unassuming, modest guys who you’d think wouldn’t have a fight in them then they get in the ring and they’re smashing people to bits, it’s ace. When I look back on the fighters we’ve had on our shows it makes me really proud of where we’ve come so far.
Q. Where and how do you see The Main Event developing over the coming years?
A. The Main Event will be the brand that catapults Muay Thai into the big time in the UK, it’s that simple. The sky’s the limit…
Q. Anything you would like to add before you go?
A. Yea, Id like to thank everyone whose helped get The Main event to where it is today. There’s dozens of people and they know who they are. Loads of people who are always there in different ways and whom it wouldn’t be possible without. Id also like to say that those within the sport in England who claim to want it to grow, get the mainstream exposure and pay fighters a decent living, it’s time to put up or shut up and start supporting those who are trying to make it happen. There’s hundreds and hundreds of clubs across the UK, if half of them made the effort to bring the students they are coaching to watch a top-level event, things would happen a hell of a lot quicker! Why wouldn’t you want to come and watch what you’re supposedly aspiring to achieve? The Main Event is on May 23rd, shows don’t get any better in this country than that – be there!!
Further information a can be found at www.themainevent.media
Well there you have it! Again, thank you to Phil for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions! Massive respect to him and his team for all they do for the sport! Remember to head over to Facebook and Twitter to get more information on The Main Event and if you want more information on getting down to The Main Event, hit me up and I will sort you out with the information you need. Not that you need anymore than, you need to get down! You would be a fool to miss it!
If you want to find me on social media, you can find me at:
And of course here at www.muaythaibloguk.com
Thanks for reading! Take care and keep being awesome!
Peace love and respect to all! Dom – MTBUK