Ex-circus performer Alex Mead quit as fireman to emulate hero Jackie Chan in MMA as IMMAF World Championships – The Sun
ALEC MEAD has experienced it all from firefighting to working in the circus – but there will be no clowning around in Bahrain this week.
The 30-year-old Welsh Middleweight battles South Africa’s Peace Nguphane at the IMMAF World Championships in the Round of 32 this afternoon.
Mead, from Cwmgwrach, is a super-mad Jackie Chan fanatic and always believed he was destined to compete.
But the Brazilian jiu jitsu expert’s journey to competing on the world MMA stage has certainly been a momentous and well-travelled one.
Speaking to Sun Sport, he said: “I was travelling America as part of the circus. I was teaching people to perform in the Circus of the Kids.
“I applied for my visa through Camp America, then I went for a separate job with them, because they only take on eight people internationally a year.
“I got it and I was out there for six months, and it was amazing. I used to compete in gymnastics and that’s how I got into it.
“I was doing acrobatics and riding a bike with five people climbing all over me, the double trapeze and something called the human jump rope. They kept me busy out there.”
Mead continued: “I knew I always wanted to fight ever since I used to watch Jackie Chan movies – he’s my hero.
“I always enjoyed the contact of fighting, and there was a class in my local village of Cwmgwrach I started going to around 12, but at the same time playing rugby. I stayed from 12 to 17 and then my jiu jitsu coach packed it in but I took over his club and I still teach that class today.
“At one stage I never knew if I’d fight again. I was in the process of setting up my business, getting married and I was also in the fire service. Then we bought a house and had our daughter – there was so much on. I had to give up the fire service as there was so much to do and I was missing out on training.
“But in the back of my head I always knew I wanted to do something competitive and I felt I had still lots left in me and I could make a good run at it.
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“I am really competitive and that’s what motivates me and the thought of missing out on competing. It’s the hardest sport in the world but I probably wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t.”
Married Mead has a step son who has recently turned 13 and a three-year-old daughter, who he tries to spend as much time with while fitting in his training as running his own Neurological Rehabilitation business that works with people with brain injuries.
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“I’m flat out all the time but I’m quite lucky with my job as I get to pick what days I can have off,” said Mead.
“So I’ve chose to have two days off each week, and then when I drop my daughter into school, I can pick it up a bit later to do squad practice on Tuesday.
“Normal day would be dropping my daughter into school, train first thing in the morning and then I’ll have clients all the way until 12 and then I’ll have another session. And depending on the day, if I have time, I’ll do a third training session.”
Mead is now hoping that his hectic schedule will pay off as he prepares to compete in the Middle East.
He added: “I haven’t fought for a little bit but I’ve been training solid, solid, solid. I’ve been training with pro fighters from UFC and BRAVE, and against them I feel great.
“I’m a little bit heavier than them, but the sparring and wrestling I get has been quality. I’m really excited and I can’t wait now.”
The IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships begin today and will be streamed live on Sun Sport.
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