James “Job Done” Brum talks training, pro wrestling and his plans for 2015


James Brum is a name that is well known in most European MMA circles, as it should with a 14-3 overall record and being 7-1 in Cage Warriors which is hands down Europe’s top promotion.

This Saturday he will be making his return to the cage at Shock N’ Awe 19 in Portsmouth, England opposite Niko Gjoka (11-9 MMA) for the promotions bantamweight strap. After a long layoff since his bout with former CWFC Bantamweight Champion Brett Johns last April Job Done is ready to kick off his 2015 with a big win.

Following a tenured career Brum looks back on where it all began and how he got to where he is today.

“The short version, because believe me I can waffle on, is I’m from London and went to the University of Portsmouth in 2005 and graduated in 2008. Originally I wanted to become a professional wrestler, I was down here at the FWA (Frontier Wrestling Alliance) Academy, I found my new love in Mixed Martial Arts. I started it as a hobby and even in my wrestling days I was told I should have a backup in case nothing happens. After graduating I decided this is what I want to do, let’s see how far I can go with it.”

Originally Job Done trained with Brian Adams at South Coast Submissions but when Adams moved, Brum followed and has stuck with him ever since in the new facility that is Gym01, which boasts three top ten UK & Ireland Flyweights, including former UFC competitor Phil Harris. With his pro debut just five short years ago Brum has compiled an impressive record and has shown dedication from the very beginning.

“Before my pro debut in 2010 I spent three months at the H.I.T. Squad to see if day in, day out, is this what I want? I found I loved it: eat, sleep, train and I loved it. Got to Cage Warriors in 2012 and became their fight of the year. I’ve always been active, except the last ten months. Now I’m just itching to get back and make 2015 my most active year.”

For anyone who doesn’t know, H.I.T. (Hughes Intensive Training) squad, while now a lesser known gym in Granite City, Illinois once boasted an impressive roster of fighters including former Welterweight champion Matt Hughes, who was its namesake and current champ Robbie Lawler as well as the top coaches from Miletich Fighting Systems. Other H.I.T. alumni include Glory kickboxer Dustin Jacoby and surging welterweight Neil Magny.

While not just a seasoned fighter, James Brum is also a well travelled one. While Gym01 is his home, he has seen many different gyms and venues in his relatively short career.

“I love travelling, and it’s the great thing about this sport. Fans think travelling is awesome, it’s a holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I have my weekends off and I love it but it’s a six to eight week camp training hard every day. At home, I can’t train as a full time fighter because I have work commitments to keep me going so when I’m away it’s all go. Whenever I get the chance to train with the best, with full time fighters I have to take it. I’ve been to Brazil with Nova União for four weeks in 2012, 2013 in Team Alpha Male and been there twice again and hopefully this year also in April.”

Having lived in Sacramento, roomed in the Favelas of Brazil and seen the sites (or lack thereof) of Springfield and Granite City Illinois, Brum has been around. In addition to this, Mr. Brum has fought in various places thanks to his association with Cage Warriors. These countries include: Jordan, Chechen Russia, UAE, Ukraine and in The Helix right here in Dublin. Now he’s returning on March 7th to the promotion where he made his initial impact at SNA19.

“Obviously it’s good to fight on different shows, but I fought here a few times at SNA. I’ll fight anyone, anywhere as my record shows. My last time here was my first main event against “Mr. Pink” Martin McDonagh. My first decision but it was brutal and a fitting send off. It’s kind of cool because everyone I know can see me live as I’ve always been fighting on foreign soil.”

Coming off the events of 2014 Brum has revamped his way of looking at things regarding diet and training.

“I used to put in too much volume wise, morning afternoon and evening and drastic weight cuts that I became known for I was just dragging my arse. I now get my Strength and conditioning done in the morning when I’m fresh and not prefatigued three times a week and then techniques and drills later. Training smart is now a big thing, I always avoided rest days but recently if I feel my body is saying no I’m listening to it. My weight cuts are changing too, I used to balloon after fights but my coaches have talked to me about it. It’s part of being a professional, your diet has to reflect that. Why go through such a drastic cut, especially if you want to be active and take fights on short notice. I even trained with Leandro Souza in Brazil. (Passed away following a brutal weight cut.)”

“Though my worst cut ever was at CWFC 51, New Years Eve in Dublin 2012. I arrived in Dublin having to drop nine kilos. I did everything, numerous salt baths and even had my coaches shave my beard. I can never watch that fight, I won but it after the first round it felt like I’d done four.”

His opponent on the upcoming card Niko Gjoka is the #11 Bantamweight on YourMMA‘s UK & Ireland rankings, and his record belies that of a crafty, gritty fighter.

“I’ve done everything to prepare myself for fighting Niko. His wins and losses can be deceiving and he’s fought at multiple weights, and comes from a respectable team in ABT. I’ve beaten his team mates but he’s beaten mine. We’re both up for fighting anyone and the best. He’s had his jaw broken and still won by armbar.”

After this title fight what’s next for such a proven commodity? Brum feels that after 2014 didn’t work out the way he had planned he’s a year behind. However, his fighter mentality won’t become bogged down in this and he’s taking 2015 head on.

“I’m gonna win this belt. It’s not just about writing your goals down, it’s shouting about them. Anyone who’ll listen has been told: I’ll debut in America and then I’ll debut in the UFC. I’m still gonna make it! I’m keeping in touch with Dave Rowan, the Ultimate Fitness Ops manager, but if I can’t hook something up before I fly out I’ll get someone late notice and I’ll fight.”

However life can’t be all go, even if he dislikes his rest days Brum has plenty of time for his passions in life, namely music and old school pro wrestling (NOT sports entertainment).

“I’ve gone to Download festival quite a bit, last year I got to see Five Finger Death Punch, this year I saw Slipknot and Korn. Unfortunately money is tight, was talking to (UFC Bantamweight) Vaughan Lee about this being the extreme year, travelling and living on next to nothing. However if I have the money, you better believe I’m going to Download. While I’ve dropped off as a pro wrestling fan recently, it is Wrestlemania season and with Sting vs Triple H I’ll watch that. Both legends, you have to stay up and watch that. Who knows, I might have to join you for Wrestlemania in the Woolshed in Dublin if I’ve nothing on.”

Every fight you see Brum has that pro wrestling training in how he carries himself with fans, with the crowd and let’s his personality shine through, a fact which separates him from a lot of fighters out there.

“You gotta set yourself apart, so many fighters look the same. The fans love the theatrics and meeting wrestlers makes me feel like a kid and I want to give people that feeling. I’ll never shy away from autographs, in fact my coaches tend to have to haul me away, I don’t want to leave people hanging. I like to have something that sets me apart.”

“Lastly a quick shout out to all my coaches and sponsors including: Physiques101 training and nutrition, xbrain.co.uk exclusive distributor in the UK for Onnit, and Machine Moving Lid. And a little shout out to NUTrition_irl and their Cleantella, unfortunately I can’t eat the whole tub, thank you all.”

By Ian Holland – @Linkmaster2

Photo: CageWarriors

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.

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