Brian Houston on why he began martial arts, family, RFC and pre-fight routine

 “It’s weird, I never really thought I’d become world champion but once you do that you think you can do anything.”

Seven years ago Derry native Brian Houston, now 20, started to become overweight.

‘Do you fancy taking on a bit of kickboxing,’ was the question proposed to Houston by his dad.

“I gave it a go and after about three months I got fed up of it and stopped for two or three months,” recalled Houston.

He added: “Then I went back to it and it kicked off quick. I started to enjoy the kickboxing once I got the techniques right so it clicked from there.”

Houston succeeded in his quest to improve his health through martial arts. The self-assured humble character is now an Irish, Commonwealth, European and world amateur kickboxing champion.

How did his family react when he considered competing competitively rather than just training?

“My Da was all for it but my Ma wasn’t too happy to be honest, she’s only ever been to one of my fights, my world title fight,” laughed Houston. “After the first round she went outside and stood. She panicked too much.”

“My Da has always been supportive; everybody in the family seems to enjoy it. After the fight we have a few drinks and have some craic so they enjoy that side of it. Everyone from my immediate family to my aunties and uncles have been supportive.”

This year Houston commenced pro-K-1, winning his debut over Cliathon Rodrigues with a second round stoppage.

Despite the victory, Houston felt his display was below standard.

“I was quite disappointed with the last performance. I didn’t show what I have with my hands. I was raging with myself to be honest. First round, fell asleep, only woke up halfway through the second round and I finished him,” he stated.

On September 17 the Mayhem Martial Arts combatant will fight SBG’s Derry Guinan at the Real Fighting Championship at the Foyle Arena, Derry and he believes he will be “more aggressive and tighter” than his previous outing.

Houston told Fightstore Media that he knows nothing of his upcoming opponent Guinan but stressed that everyone is dangerous as one punch can alter a fight.

How much is Houston relishing fighting on a new promotion where MMA bouts will also be featured?

He said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be fighting on the show but I’m really buzzing to be fighting in a cage.

“The thing I like about a cage is that there’s going to be a bit more room which suits me because I’m 6 ft 4, your man’s plan is probably going to be to get in close. I’m so used to fighting in a ring now I wouldn’t mind a wee change.”

Although not a big mixed martial arts fan, Houston would “love to fight K-1 with MMA gloves on”.

The Derry prospect articulated his pre-fight habits before stepping into battle.

“I always go out to the crowd, out to me muckers and out to my friends and have a chat. But when it comes down to it, I like just me and my coaches in the changing room. They’ve known me for seven years now so they know how to calm me down. I don’t like people walking in and out of the dressing room; I prefer to be locked away with the coaches before the fight.

“It’s like a calm before a storm. But I like to relax, do a few rounds on the pads, nothing too heavy, just getting a wee sweat up before the fight. My coaches will go over the gameplan. Once I step out to walk out then all the nerves just go.” Here is a link to the interview we conducted with Brian Houston’s upcoming opponent, Derry Guinan.




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