Ilkeston’s Dean Trueman is hoping a victory on the massive Cage Warriors MMA bill at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, 24th March will earn him a shot at a world title.
The Cage Warriors MMA World Featherwight belt has recently become vacant and Dean sees the London show, which will be televised live on BT Sport, as a perfect chance to stake his claim to a title tilt on the biggest of stages.
After winning three out of four amateur fights, Dean, 28, turned professional in 2011 and has won seven of his 11 contests so far.
His stunning 12-second knockout of Frenchman Arnold Quero in Newport in October 2016 saw several promotions queuing for his signature, eventually signing an exclusive deal with Cage Warriors, whose events are screened live in the UK and Ireland on BT Sport and internationally on UFC Fight Pass.
Dean lost his first fight under them to Frantz Slioa at Liverpool’s Echo Arena last April but has worked hard to improve and knows how big this month’s opportunity is.
“The fact the world title belt is now vacant gives this fight even more of a buzz to it,” he said.
“I am hoping if I get a good win they will put me forward to challenge for it – it’s the perfect scenario.” Dean will be up against London’s Corin Eaton, who has a record of nine wins and two losses.
“He is a good fighter from a good team which makes it a better fight for me and a better guy to beat,” he said.
“I have watched him on Youtube and I know a bit about him, but I am concentrating more on what I am going to do than what he does.
“I think I am more of an all-rounder now. I used to rely a lot on my grappling – probably a bit too much.
“But then I got beaten in a contest I should have won.
“So I have been working on massively improving my striking.
“In my last fight I made a bad decision. I saw a finish but it was a risky move. I went for it and didn’t pull it off which cost me dearly.
“In hindsight if I’d not done that I would probably have gone on to win it. It is a cliché but you have to learn from your losses.”
Bored in the evenings after leaving school and starting work, Dean took up MMA fighting after following a friend along to a class and was quickly hooked.
He also found he was good at it and decided to compete. Since then he hasn’t looked back and has quickly gained a good local following.
“I should have 60 or so coming down to watch me in London which is nice,” he said.
“But there are still tickets available if anyone wants to come – just send me a message on Facebook.”