Ep. #41 – Trent Girdham

Trent Girdham is an Australian mixed martial artist who competes out of Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. The 22 year old has a 12-4 record as a professional competing in organizations such as Rizin and UAE Warriors.


Trent Girdham: Oh no right now, i’m in sydney, it’s pretty it’s like sunny, but chilly all day. Basically, what’s up, what’s the whole lot lockdown been like? Have you guys been locked down like i’m i’m in canada, so where training training here has been impossible? Uh everything’s kind of locked down we’ve been on lockdown, but i have like uh. I have mats set up at my house, so i’ve been training with a few boys and i went down to wollongong or some training too just trying to get it in where i can sort of thing. Do you have an idea of when gyms will open up there or uh? I think they said the 15th. So next monday, oh nice, nice yeah. What are you? Are you planning on staying in sydney for a little bit and training there, or are you going back to uh to thailand yeah? The plan is probably they’re, saying i’m gon na fight in july, the end of july in abu dhabi. So i was just gon na stay here for that and then fight there and then work out what’s next, so what what’s it kind of been like working in thailand? Obviously, you’re there you’re you’ve got a variety of high-level fighters that train out of there alex wilkanovsky uh valentina shivchenko. What’S it like working with with those sorts of fighters, it’s pretty unique. It’S like yeah. You really get to see your own level by testing yourself against the best i trained a lot with uh peter yan, alex volkanovsky, recently leron murphy and who you’ll see signed fighter so a lot of like good, different bodies from all over the world. As you think, more asians would be there, but we got europeans. English aussies, japanese come through. So it’s real good because i get a lot of different looks and i just pick up new styles pick up new tricks from new people. Basically, so it’s a good lifestyle. It’S just a bit hard, not having like one coach or you know back here in australia. I got my boxing coach that he’s all about me. He’S only got a few fighters, but in tiger there’s a hundred there’s a hundred pro fighters, sometimes in one place. So it’s a bit hard to get the attention you need sometimes, but it’s a beautiful place, beautiful, gym and they’ve always supported me. So that’s right! It’S important! I was hostile. I mean i’ve wanted to go to thailand. My entire life never been how’s how’s, the country. Basically, it’s just it’s third world country, but i love it. Beaches are beautiful, weather’s, basically, nice all year within the monsoon season. That’S a bit messed up where you going to training the whole road’s flooded and five four people have to rock up to training, but other than that thailand’s i’ve i’ve. Basically i’ve convinced six, seven of my friends to go there. I always try to convince people to go there, just because i think it’s something good good in life to do live a different lifestyle and i’ve lived there for about two years and i love it. So you you’ve fought for several organizations. You fought into thailand, you fought for uae warriors verizon. Where is your next fight and what organization? Oh you said, abu dhabi, but what organization is it going to be for yeah? My next fight will be for uae warriors and i think they said late late july. They got a show this week where my jiu-jitsu coach, tariq suleiman will be fighting so as long as that shows going good, they’re doing covert tests. I think in july i’ll be on end of july, so i’m basically starting to get ready now is there? Is there an opponent that that’s been mentioned or you just whoever they throw at me? I don’t care yeah, i don’t really care, but they did mention a canadian dude, actually his brother’s in the ufc. So there’s not many canadians that have brothers, i don’t know who it is then yeah. I didn’t know that there was a canadian fight, not in the uae, but uh. That’S exciting man. It’S it’s definitely got to be good to get back in there. After a long period off yeah, my last fight was in february, so it’s actually just been. I was a bit upset with my loss at rising because i don’t know about these judges. I think it was a bit dodgy sort of. I thought i was fighting not doing jiu jitsu and the guy basically just had my back for a round, and they gave him a win on that. So i’m just i’m taking it. Basically, as i win it sucks because i lost my two fights in rising and japan’s always been my dream, but they want me back so this is just get one more win in the win column and then hopefully, uae warriors will give me a belt and i’ll Be back in horizon yeah, you said your goal was always to compete for inside timer right. So, okay, what was uh. Why is that? Uh? Basically, because i i grew up watching a villager you’ll see, but once i heard about this thing called pride, i just went back watched it all. Basically, in the k1, with my khan, just the the spectacle and the respect shown like i fought in pubs and clubs around when i was growing up, so not the best atmosphere, i’ve seen people lose bottles, get thrown at them. When japan is more of a doesn’t matter, what happens? It’S just you show your heart, you show all your skills, you know more of the culture, it’s like the samurai code. You know you just as long as you fight and you don’t quit. They’Ll love you forever. Where, over here, they’re like oh, what’s your record, you lost your last fight. People don’t want to talk to you in japan, it’s just you’re, a father you’re a hero to them. It’S like you’re, like you’re, a comic book hero. Basically the way they do their promotions. It just really gets me excited to fight. I feel, like i’m a character in a video game when i’m over there in japan. Basically, you’ve mentioned mark you mentioned mark hunt in there is is, is he one of the main guys that got you involved in in fighting uh? One of my first coaches was good friends with mark, so i met mark at a young age, just the power and he was a superstar in japan. No one knew him in australia in new zealand, but i’d always watched him and he he was always the underdog. So ma khan’s yeah, definitely a big role. I do really enjoy styling the walk off kos. I don’t have a lot of power, but my dream is definitely to ko someone just walk off. Did you watch the the walk off ko this past? You got last night. Yeah sean o’malley that was uh and in cody garbrandt, two crazy knockouts yeah. That’S where i feel realized like the bandwagon division in the ufc recently has been a bit. You don’t know what’s going on who’s there, but now i see about probably the top 10 15 or really legit fighters sean o’malley. We got the same manager. I used to tell my manager. I want to fight him, but now he’s looking he’s looking good and now i’m i’m definitely a believer now, because i knew his first three opponents that are definitely not at his level, but anyone when first wec champion almost 45 something to put someone away like that. That that gave my respect a lot. It was one of the greatest knockouts same as cody gabriel. I always say, he’s a bit chinny. You know everyone says his chin’s, not the best, but he showed that coming back from three losses. I’Ve had to come back from two, and i can only imagine how hard free would be, especially in the position he’s in in the ufc, but it was a beautiful knockout. I really like how he turned his body in he never took his eyes off his target and that’s why i think it landed. So perfectly yes, so i i was uh. I like submitted my who i thought was gon na win my predictions, and i thought he was gon na get emotional. I was like it’s just he’s just gon na do what he does he’s gon na get emotional, it’s gon na cost him and he looked composed. He looked ready. I haven’t seen him fight that way since dominic cruz, uh yeah. For sure, i think that’s a lot from mark henry and the boxing coach, and just you need someone in your corner that can they need to know you you know like you, can have a coach tell you what to do, but you need someone that knows your Emotions because most fighters are very emotional, cody very emotional fighter me. I i have a bit less of a motion. I don’t really care. I just have fun in there trying to win any way possible for some of these people. They get hit once and they’re they’re. Not happy about it: yeah, you’re, uh, so you’re, really young in the game, you’re 22, but you’re very experienced. You know you have a 12-4 record in mma, but you fought in you’ve done boxing and other sports yeah why’d you. How did you get started at such a young age? And what do you recommend for people because a lot of people like shouldn’t start so young, like it’s? It’S not good to get that many fights in um. But it’s it’s unusual to see someone with so much experience uh, especially at 22. yeah. I always just thought the best way, how’s the best way to get good at anything doing it. So, the more fights you have, the better you’re gon na get the more comfortable. So always, i think, my first year of fighting i was 15 years old. I won two fights and lost three and then the year later i fought 10 times in a row with 10 wins and won a few amateur titles. So i just felt like sometimes life where i’m from is a bit hard as a kid, but fighting always kept me on the right direction and if i had a fight, i had a purpose to live and i heard purpose to get up in the morning. So fighting just always been why? How do you say it like self-expression for me, so the more i can self-express the more i can fight the more often i can do it the happier i am as a person. So basically, i just i love to fight, because it keeps me happy in terms of these last few months have been harder. When am i gon na fight messaging, my manager he’s like there’s nothing happening as soon as he messaged me. I went and ran on half marathon, just just to wake up the body. It just gets me excited as someone competing in other organizations. What’S your take on what the ufc is doing, putting together these crazy events, you know through a hard time getting a bunch of stick as a fighter um. Do you wish that those opportunities came for you over there and if the ufc had called you uh? What would your response be? Basically, like i love what the ufc dude is doing at the moment and any show that’s like putting on shows, because fighters got to get paid fighters got to fight if a fighter doesn’t fight they’re, not a fighter. That’S what i strongly believe. I know people that fight once a year you’re, not a fighter if you’re fighting once a year. I try to fight as many times as it i can and with the ufc yeah, it’s amazing what they’re doing, but for right now. I really want to conquer the rest of the world, i’m only 22 23 in august, so my ufc plans are probably i always said. I want to get 20 pro wins. I wanted a world title and striking a world title on mma, so this sort of goals i’ve set out for myself that i, like i like to keep my promises to myself. I always wanted to be a superstar in japan. I wanted to win a world title at uae warriors. My next fight will be my full fight for them, so hopefully i’m getting closer to that and yeah. I think it’s amazing fight island. I know it’s happening, not a few people that are going to be fighting on it and yeah. I’M excited, i’m excited i’ve been watching. All the fights is amazing. I think, with the no audience the no crowd people are fighting smarter, they’re, more calm up when they talk in their posts, right, uh, post fight speeches, they’re just they’re more themselves. So i kind of like the idea. Yeah, have you ever fight without an audience at all um? I saw it in china once and i walked out and no one looked at me and i beat the chinese champion. I didn’t hear one word unless he hit me so i’ve had that experience. I also fought in india at sfl and yeah. It’S a it’s a different experience, especially japan. There might be, i think, both times i thought, there’s probably over 5 000 people there, but the japanese culture. They don’t really make a lot of noise, they’re, more they’re, more spectators of the sport, so i’m kind of used to the quiet crowd, and especially just you want to. Sometimes you need the crowd to get a bit emotional, but i like to quiet, because i can listen to my coaches and i can talk in there too. I don’t mind talking to my phone at some time, so i think it just makes it a bit easier to listen to stay more calm, but i like the idea so there there were two big two week fights on the weekend. Uh, like we mentioned uh the cody garbrandt fight, but also al-jamin sterling, picked up a huge win and he’s probably in line to fight a guy, you’re you’re, relatively close with and peter yawn. First off. What’S your thought on peter young as someone who’s trained with them and has seen him work? How do you think the jose aldo fight is gon na go uh, basically peter? I don’t. I know peter personally and i’ve trained with him, since i was about all right like two or three years. I’Ve been training with peter. When i first met him, he didn’t speak any english and we were both in. He was the acb champion and i just signed with acb, so he didn’t really like me a lot he used to beat me up in the gym, but he he always knew he was going to get tough and hard rounds for me. So the more we train together, the more we grew to like each other. Now he speaks a bit of english. He loves he’s. He’S i’m telling you if the russian conor mcgregor once he can put all these sentences together, he’s going to absolutely destroy people on the mind and as a fighter. One thing about peter his nickname is no mercy for reason. He really doesn’t care you hit him. I’Ve hit him with everything i’ve got and he’s just always standing in front of your walking forward. I don’t see anyone really. I think that’s why henry retired, if he stood with peter yarn, he would get knocked out cold stiff anyone that wants to stand in front of peter and box with him they’re gon na get knocked out and he’s only getting better youth wrestling and jiu-jitsu. I know he’ll be the champion for sure and similar question with uh someone else you’ve trained with alexander volkanovsky. Obviously he took a lot of people by a surprise when he dominated max holloway. Do you think he does the exact same thing yeah, i think alex is just he’s alex laid out the blueprint for me what i want to do with my career. Basically, he started at fighting at 77, but what was he when he got to the ufc 16? On one or something 15 and one yeah every he won every build in australia. He went over to pxc on the pxc belt. He pretty much destroyed the rest of the world, so when he got there he was ready. He’D already seen all the styles as soon as he got there, he was ready to go for the belt and i think against max he’ll. Just do the same thing again he’s pressure game and i don’t think he gets credit for being as smart as he is because he’s probably one of the most intelligent people, i’ve ever sparred with and trained with he just he just. He knows where some people don’t know how to be the hammer and the tongue sort of thing they love beating up on someone, but alex will lose a minute to figure out what you want to do to him and then he’s going to counter you so alex Walked on oscar, i think he’ll be the champion until he’s had enough, i guess, but i don’t see that happening anytime soon. He doesn’t slow down. What’S crazy to me about him. Is he he was huge like? I saw pictures of him as a rugby player and that he is a giant for a feather yeah yeah, but he’s also like five four five, five foot, six yeah he’s not very he’s, not very tall um. You never think he’s as strong as he is, but when he gets a hold of you, you go oh okay. Here we go, i’m going down, i’m not getting up so so i’ll. Ask you a couple of non-mma questions, kind of just to end it um. What have you been doing outside of training during the pandemic? Like you said, you were going crazy without being able to fight you’ve been fighting, since you were 15., what sorts of things you’ve been doing for the past three months to keep yourself occupied? Well, since i’ve been back, i’ve been me and my dad i’m real close to my dad, but it’s been pretty hard living over in thailand. You know and just trying to get back to remembering where i’m from you know. Sometimes you get a bit too comfortable in thailand, but i’m not from the best area. Most people call it their area in australia, not many people like coming from where i’m from, but i love where i’m from, and i really love representing this place and basically just being backers inspired me, i wan na i wan na, like what i said: makhan and Alexanovsky and all the superstars has done for me. My goal now is to inspire people. Just like myself. I was bullied as a kid and fighting changed my life and saved my life and just while being back basically been catching up with old school friends. Um hanging out with my dad training. Still, if i don’t change i’ll, go crazy, so i’m still training every day, um yeah! I don’t really do much, i’m kind of a loner, a lot of friends. I’Ve got a lot of friends, but i don’t i don’t like to leave my house, i don’t like the outside world. Really i love you. I love that. I love the gym and i love the people i earth. So you said you were bullied and got that’s. How you got into the fighting overall, i guess kind of what what advice would you give someone uh who’s kind of experiencing that uh like and and why would you recommend, uh martial arts? Well, basically, martial arts, because i’ve been on both sides of the field. You know because i used to play football, but i’ve always had a when i was younger. I had a real bad speech impediment. So a lot of people pick on me for that, but then i would pick on other people and take it out on them and just through martial arts and learning about boxing and as martial arts. The number one thing is. The first thing you do is respect who you train with respect your coaches, respect you and that teaches people to respect everyone. Anyone that knows me knows. I don’t really care who you are if, if you’re nice to me, i’m going to be nice to you if you’re mean to me i’ll, probably i’ll, probably hate you, but i don’t really care just anyone going through bullying, i say sign up to a gym. Even even just to protect yourself or build the confidence, i think it’s more. The confidence knowing that you can protect yourself is a very important thing. If there was no money in the world who would run the world i’ll, be the fighters because we can protect ourselves or i just think, martial arts or anyone’s struggling with anything depression, obesity, any bad mental health or physical, deformity or disability? It’S the perfect sport. Anything boxing jiu-jitsu, i do it all and i love it all in and it really keeps me insane. I i start. Ah, i don’t think i know how to put it, but without fighting i’m i’m probably a bit. I don’t know where i’ll be. My parents always say that i left school when i was 15 uh become a prana chef and after about six months i got myself fired. My dad looked at me and said: if you lose a fight, you’re gon na have to get a job. So for the i just didn’t want to lose, i didn’t want to lose my dream, so i kept chasing it and i just say anything you want to do in life, just just go for it and that that will build your confidence. Believing in yourself is the only way to build your confidence and then one last question before uh before i let you go. If there’s people here in canada in the u.s may not watch fights from rising um. What, if there’s one fight of yours where you’re like this describes me as a fighter you got ta watch this fight, which fight would it be um? I, like all my thoughts. Basically, i think the reason not many people can work me out is because i always do something different. So basically you can watch any of my fights and there’s always going to be different. I always want to excite the crowd. Probably my last fight, i liked it, but i laid off a bit. My fight with victor henry and ryzen was really good, but he caught me in a reverse triangle: um all my fights in uae have been exciting. I’M just trying to be an insider inside exciting fighter. Just look me up even send me a message whatever all right, man well uh. I appreciate you taking the time uh. I know the uh there’s difficulties finding a time coordinating because you’re on the other side of the world, so i just keep falling asleep. I appreciate you uh you’re, making time no problem all right, man, all the best and looking forward to seeing you beat up a canadian there at the end of july. Thank you, yeah all the best

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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