Hello James. For starters, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
I am James ‘Job Done’ Brum, a Professional Bantamweight Fighter and one of Europe’s top unsigned prospects with a record of 18 Wins and 3 Losses against Europe’s top talent. I fight out of Gym 01 in England and have fought all over Europe and the Middle East on Cage Warriors, BAMMA & Final Fight Championship.
When did you start with martial arts?
I dabbled in MMA as a hobby whilst at university but my MMA journey really began when I graduated in June 2008 and decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.
Which is the victory in your career that you treasure the most?
There are a couple of victories that are important to me for different reasons including my debut on CWFC against Gontijo, my war against Savill and my latest fight against Schranz on FFC. One of them would be my first Main Event on Shock N Awe against Mr Pink. There was some animosity going into that fight and career wise I had, had a real up and down year so it was great to finish the year on a high and win in front of a home crowd. It was also the first time I went the distance in my career. Until you go the distance there is always that doubt in your mind how your fitness will hold up. I never have that doubt now.
What is your life motto?
My girlfriend has the following sentence tattooed on her leg: “Everything will be ok in the end, and if its not ok its not the end.” I’ve taken this on board and do my best to always keep a positive outlook on life.
You fought in many big organizations. Where did you feel most comfortable?
I loved fighting for Cage Warriors between 2012 to 2014. It provided me with the platform to fight the best fighters in Europe and it is why I have such confidence in my ability and ever growing skill set. There is a reason the number of fighters that have fought in CWFC have gone on to have successful careers. They did not call it the proving ground for no reason and I hold Cage Warriors longest winning streak. It also gave me a huge amount of exposure with each televised and streamed event, I got to fight and visit some cool countries and meet tons of fans.
You have an impressive score – do you look for a particular rematch?
I would like to fight UFC Bantamweight Eric Perez again. We fought on BAMMA back in 2011. BAMMA were struggling to find an opponent for him because no one wanted to fight him, whereas I was game and stepped up on 2 weeks notice. I was not as well rounded back then and he was the better fighter on the night. I lost via technical submission, which meant I went to sleep rather than tapping out. It will never be regarded as a bad loss. I took the fight on 2 weeks notice and since then he has gone on to do really well in the UFC. I believe he still holds the fastest K.O at Bantamweight. When I get into the UFC I would love to have that rematch. I think there would be fireworks and an action packed fight for the fans and ultimately a different outcome with my hand being raised!
Many people think that MMA is not a sport at all, but violence. What is your message to those people?
People are always going to hate and you will encounter it in all walks of life. Some people are ignorant and won’t even attempt to view or understand the sport for what it actually is. I have had many people that have had reservations or felt anxious about coming to a live event but afterwards they can’t wait to view the next one. For others, combat sports on the whole are just not for them. In the same way I don’t follow golf for example. It’s just not for me and ultimately everyone’s entitled to their opinion. If you look at how fast the sport is growing and how far it has come in the last 10 years you can see a lot of people’s mindsets are changing.
You are an inspiration to many young fighters. What advice would you give to those starting out?
Choose your gym and your coaches wisely. Don’t just go to the gym 5 minutes down the road because it is the closest one. I have trained all around the world at some of the best gyms and with the best fighters for various fight camps but I have been with the same 2 coaches I first started off with back in 2008. Before my gym relocated I use to have to cycle then catch a ferry and then cycle some more before I got to the gym. My coaches have always looked out for me and done everything right by me. Another important piece of advice is to not rush turning pro. Take your time and enjoy the journey. Evolve and make your mistakes in the amateur ranks before you turn pro.
What are your goals and wishes?
My goal this year is to finally debut in the USA or Asian Market. I hope to be signed by one of the big promotions and finally making a living from the sport I love. Then I can finally call myself a professional full time fighter.
When and where is your next fight?
My manager James Lake of On Top and my Coach Brian Adams are on the case right now planning the next couple months looking at the timescales and available options. It is no secret I would like to fight for FFC again but at 135lbs and I would love to debut in the USA when they go there later this year. Will have to wait and see what happens.
Which fight do you remember best?
I remember bit & pieces from all of them. The funny thing is I hate watching my own fights. I think it is because I’m constantly critiquing my performance.
You travel around the world a lot. Can you share some anecdotes from your travels?
I have so many stories I should probably start a blog but there is just not enough hours in the day especially for a big procrastinator like me. Maybe after I retire I will write a book one day!
When we meet few times in Vienna you always emanate positive energy. Are there moments when you are in a bad mood at all?
My team will tell you I can be very grumpy during fight camp. In the past this has been the result of the volume and intensity of training coupled with drastic nutrition plans and weight cuts. It got so bad my coach threatened to kick me out of the gym. Thankfully for everyone those days are over! I train smart and have a nutritionist by my side, which makes dropping the weight a lot easier. During ‘Fight Week’ the only time I am grumpy or down is when I am cutting weight in the salt bath or sauna. It is always a very emotional time. Other than that I love it. Its fight week! This is what all the training and dieting has been about! It had been a while since I last fought and I think everyone who bumped into me fight week could feel how excited I was to have that feeling back.
Your last victory is in FFC 23 in Vienna your feelings after a hard fight?
I loved it! Fighting is what I love and I have missed out on this feeling for too long. I would have like to have stopped Schranz and came close with a heel hook at the end of round 1 and taking his back in rounds 2 and 3. Although it went to a decision I think we rightfully deserved the main event spot above the 2 title fights on the card and we delivered an entertaining back and forth fight that saw us both rocked during the fight.
What is your favourite food?
Honestly I love all food! Whilst on one of my CWFC trips the fighters and staff nicknamed me ‘Buffet Done’ Brum! I have never lived it down! Believe me for a little guy I can eat!
Describe yourself in three words?
Dreamer, Dedicated, Hungry
What do you do in your spare time, if there is any?
My parents and my girlfriend live in London but I live 2 hours away down south on the coast in a city called Portsmouth. Pretty much every weekend or chance I get I visit them and spend quality time with them all. For me family is important.
What’s your opinion on the use of prohibited substances in sports?
If you are an athlete there are certain things that are expected of you. As a fighter you are expected to make weight and as an athlete you are expected to be clean. Those are your requirements. The simple fact is there are always going to be clean athletes and there are always going to be athletes that are going to look for away around the rules. It will never change.
What goes up in your mind when walking into the ring – are you focused on the fight, what is the level of nervousness and adrenalin?
All my nerves go when I warm up backstage! Fight night is the fun part! When the music hits and I walk on stage its like my alter ego comes out. I transform into Job Done. I feed off the crowd and you can see in my face how excited I am. The crowd feels my electricity. There are no nerves! Just adrenalin and excitement that I am going to do what I love and entertain people in attendance and around the world.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll be 29 next month. I’m hoping I’ll be 39 looking back on a successful career fighting the best in the world, injury free and money in the bank. Ofcourse I’d like to own my own home but I am not greedy. The missus and I are always planning and talking about the future. I don’t know where we will be, whether it will be Copenhagen or the U.K but I do know she wants 4 kids. So hopefully fighting has made our dreams come true and along with it provided us both some wealth so I can be a stay at home Dad haha!
Your message to fans and friends?
Those close to me know how tough the last couple of years have been and especially the last 6 months. Things are finally looking on the up and I’ll never forget everyone who has been there for me and helped me. The support before, during and after this fight has been phenomenal. I have truly been overwhelmed! I just want to say thanks to everyone and let them know BRUM IS BACK!