Extreme MMA Protégé Joshua ‘Pretty Boy’ Riley will make his return to the AFC on July 28 when he battles promotional debutant Jamie Renouf. The main with the ‘pretty’ style has been spending arduous hours in the gym continuing to refine his game as he resets for another push at AFC Bantamweight glory.
Ask any professional martial artist about their journey in this sport and they will tell you that it’s full of ups and down, accomplishment and challenges and obstacles to overcome. Last time out at AFC 17, Josh suffered his first professional loss at the hands of Kairan Moses and that has no doubt been a bitter pill to swallow:
“I felt really good coming into the fight. I was able to control the majority of the fight, but unfortunately I made a mistake that Kairan was able to capitalise on”
It really was a fascinating fight as Josh was in complete control and then in a blink of an eye he was laying flat on his back and the fight was over. The result of the fight cannot be changed, however the reason in which the result occurred definitely can, and that’s what Josh’s focus has been:
“It just goes to show that this sport is a game of inches, you just can’t afford to make any mistakes. Good job to Kairan, he is a highly ranked Bantamweight and it showed in his composure. He is seasoned fighter. It’s a fight I would love to have all over again”
When you think about the premier martial arts facilities in Melbourne you immediately think Extreme MMA. Paul McVeigh has done a fantastic job building an empire, and the level of fighter’s Extreme continue to produce is exceptional. Josh has been lucky enough to have the crème de la crème support him as he prepares for AFC 20:
“As always, I will be preparing at Extreme MMA in Chadstone with my head coach Amin Yaqhobi along with my other coaches Vik Grujic and Paul McVeigh. I’ve also been sharpening up on my striking with coach Peter Hatton. My training partners Nikos Trepca, Michael Barber, Ramen Habib have all contributed in their own ways to help me prepare throughout this fight camp.
As Josh mentioned, Nikos Trepca has been heavily involved in this fight camp and has thoroughly supported Josh since they commenced this journey together as 16 year olds. Nikos himself is one of the brightest young prospects in the sport, and being able to walk down this path together has been of great benefit for Josh:
“Nikos and I are pretty much brothers. We started our Martial Arts journey together since our amateur days at the age of 16. We’ve gone through a lot together and we have helped each other develop into the martial artists that we are today”
Come July 28, Josh will square off with BJJ Purple Belt Jamie Renouf in a critical Bantamweight contest. Similar to most fighters these days, Josh isn’t really focussing any of his attention on Jamie and is instead preparing himself for whatever may come at AFC 20:
“Jamie Renouf seems to be a well-rounded fighter. I don’t tend to focus on my opponents; I just focus my energy on being prepared for whatever comes my way”
As far as potential advantages go, Josh isn’t necessarily honing in any one area as he believes that simply avoiding mistakes he has made in the past will see him through to a successful outcome on July 28:
Jamie is a well-rounded fighter. However, I have learnt a lot from my last fight and I will not be making the same mistakes again.
Josh is positioned right in the middle of a promotion that is experiencing the biggest expansion of any Australian martial arts promotion in history. The future will provide some incredible opportunities to compete against the world’s best fighters both here an abroad, so when I asked Josh where he sees himself fitting into that picture, his response was simple:
“AFC Bantamweight Champion!”
AFC 20 goes down on July 28 live from the Melbourne Pavilion. Get your tickets now: AFC 20 Tickets
Article by Josh Warner AFC