Harry “Mad Mac” McLeman has only been fighting professionally for 3 years but will be competing for the BAMMA British Middleweight title at Bamma 15. McLeman holds a 6-2 record and his last two wins have come under the BAMMA promotion. He stopped Team Rough House’s Matt Hallam at BAMMA 13 and then picked up a decision win over Matt Howard at BAMMA 14 which has resulted in a title shot. I caught up with the former soldier to discuss his fight preparation, fighting for a title and to get his views on fighting at the Copper Box.
TQ – You are set to take on Andy De-Vent for the vacant BAMMA British Middleweight Title at Bamma 15. How excited are you for this fight and what does fighting for the title mean to you?
HM – I’m incredibly excited to be fighting for the BAMMA British Title this is a huge fight for me and I can’t wait to bring the belt home to Plymouth.
TQ – Your opponent Andy comes from a Thai Boxing background, do you feel that he will have the advantage on the feet and is this something you will be looking to focus on in your training?
HM – Not really, I don’t go into fights with any sort of game plan to be fair I just make sure I train all aspects of MMA so that I am best prepared. I’ve also fought a lot of very skilled strikers so I don’t feel like Andy will have any advantage on the feet.
TQ – This will be your third fight on the bounce for BAMMA. What can you tell us about the promotion and what they do for their fighters?
HM – For me there’s no place better to fight than BAMMA. You get to showcase your skills on the biggest stage and they look after their fighters very well.
TQ – And to be fighting in the Copper Box must be an exciting prospect in itself. Will you be bringing much support from Plymouth?
HM – I’m really looking forward to fighting at the Copper Box and yea I should have a “janner army” in London!!
TQ – In your days prior to fighting you served in the armed forces. Clearly there is a correlation between fighting in the army and fighting in the cage, did you find it easy making the transformation and do you feel that having a background in combat has given you an extra edge over your opponents?
HM – I definitely picked MMA up very fast, I’ve only been training for 3 and half years. I suppose my time in the forces taught me a lot of self-discipline which certainly helps. I’m incredibly competitive anyways but yes I guess you could say my experiences also give me an edge.
TQ – You are still fairly early on in your career with less than 10 pro fights to your name. When you started fighting did you see yourself fighting for a title this early on?
HM – I remember when before I first starting training MMA I was watching BAMMA when it was on Bravo. I’d have laughed if you told me in a few years time I’d not only be fighting on BAMMA but challenging for the British title.
TQ – Now I know you train out of MacMillan Martial Arts Academy down in Plymouth. Are there any prospects coming from the team we should be looking out for?
HM – Jamie Reynolds is a feather/lightweight you should definitely watch out for he’s got some great skills I believe it’s only a matter of time before he steps up to the bigger shows
TQ – How much weight do you have to cut to get to Middleweight?
HM – I used to cut an awful lot of weight but I found it really affected my performances. I now make sure I maintain a healthy lifestyle all year round. I also try and stay active and compete in grappling tournaments when I haven’t got a fight lined up
TQ – What other fights excite you in the BAMMA Middleweight division?
HM – Scott Askham and Max Nunes is a fight that has to happen, there’s been a lot said on Twitter and they both match up really well.
TQ – Anyone you would like to thank/mention?
HM – Danny Macmillan and all the guys from the academy, my conditioning coach Adam Domyslawski, all my sponsors, Discount MMA + British Fighter and my family and girlfriend Nese.
Harry can be followed on twitter @harrymadmac and you can purchase tickets to his April 5th fight on BAMMA 15 here.