On Saturday, San Jose hosted the annual World Combat Series at an MMA Evolution Expo, a gathering of mixed martial arts fighters training in jiu jitsu, taekwondo, muay thai, kickboxing, wrestling and other combat sports. Liam Purvis, a 22-year-old fighter training in muay thai, participated in his first amateur mixed martial arts fight at the event.
“There’s a lot of creativity needed,” Purvis said. (Story continues below.)
For Saturday’s fight, Purvis prepared to get thrown off his feet. Muay thai is a standing combat sport, but mixed martial arts combines grappling and striking with close contact on the ground.
Purvis emphasized the discipline and technique that’s involved when training to become a fighter. For eight weeks prior to his fight, he ate light, avoiding “chemicals and junk food,” sugar, wheat and gluten. He trained five days a week with his coaches and ran two or three days of sprints.
“You can see yourself improving,” he said. “That gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
But Purvis also stressed the mental engagement and strategic thinking that’s essential when in the ring: “Every few months, it has to be something new you’re doing, because otherwise your opponent will know” your next move.
It’s that spontaneous creativity, which is only possible through rigorous preparation, that gets Purvis fired up to fight.
“I’m going to keep doing it as long as it’s fun,” Purvis said.