Mark Mullan has had more than thirty fights spread over a fifteen-year career. In that time, he has trained in the Netherlands at the toughest gym in the world and fought in Europe, Asia and Australia. The time has come to hang up the gloves and he intended to go out with a bang when he took on old rival Simon Coutsouvelis this Friday night.
How many fights have you had now, Mark?
I have had a total of thirty-five fights now in K1, Kickboxing and Muay Thai.
Which titles have you held?
State Amateur Victorian Boxing Title, Professional State Title in Kickboxing, South Pacific Title in Kickboxing and an Australian K1 Title. This upcoming fight will be for the Commonwealth K1 title.
How long have you been fighting?
I had my first Muay Thai fight when I was 16 years old in Sidyodtong stadium, Pattaya in Thailand. That opened up my career and my love for Kickboxing and Muay Thai. I have now been fighting for 17 years.
What was it like to fight in Thailand?
It was a brand new stadium; I was the first farang to fight there. I was with Daniel ‘The Rock’ Dawson – he did my corner. I was not very keen on school back then and saved some money up and wanted to go to Thailand.
He was a Thai opponent; I was just there for training at the ISS camp. The opportunity came up and [Daniel] said, ‘You can do this!’ So I decided to take it.
It went two rounds. I dropped him in the first round, but it wasn’t enough to finish him.
In the second he caught me with a knee to the ribs which winded me and I didn’t make the eight count.
I was very nervous, but [afterwards], I had the bug. I was boxing training at Fitzroy Stars at the time with Bobby Scrivano and then decided to move to Muay Thai and kickboxing. I got a job at the Underworld Gym [in the Banana Alley Vaults] and was introduced to Paul Fyfield, my current trainer.
You trained in Holland at Golden Glory for a while. How did it change your approach to fighting?
The Dutch emphasized a lot of partner work and sparring [with] less bag work, which meant that we would focus on a lot of reaction times and reflexes – a heavy bag doesn’t hit you back.
Most of my training was done under the legendary Fred Royers who was affiliated with Golden Glory and owned Kickboxing Armhem. Fred trained under Jan Plus who was trainer of Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost and many other amazing fighters.
While training there, I learned that the [standard of] competition in Holland is a lot higher than in Australia so I had to push myself to ensure that I was up to the Dutch standards and styles of fighting.
Did you fight overseas? How was the experience?
I have fought in Hong Kong, Thailand and the Netherlands. The best part of being able to travel overseas to fight was meeting great friends and learning different training techniques all over the world.
One of the best experiences was to meet and spend time with Ramon Dekkers before he passed away. It was like meeting the Mike Tyson of the Muay Thai world.
Why Simon Coutsouvelis for your retirement fight? Is it true you guys have a bit of history? How did the last fight end?
I’ve now fought Simon on three occasions; he beat me [by] split decision both times. Both were very close fights. Simon has a style of fighting which is awkward for me and challenges me to have a much higher work rate.
When I retired last year in April, I met up with James [Roesler] to chase up some old fight material. He then mentioned to me that Simon was having his retirement fight and he asked if I would be interested. I then spoke to my trainer Paul Fyfield to see if we could take the fight. Paul gave me the green light and here we are.
How did it go?
He beat me fair and square – again!
What are you going to do with yourself after you retire?
I have some goals ahead of me which I will be focusing on to help the community to become healthier and fitter. With my experience of fighting and learning from a variety of trainers, I will be looking towards expanding my business, ‘STRIKEFIT’ and using the knowledge I have gained to teach others. Health, Fitness and Self Defense are my main priorities.
Just because you are a good fighter that doesn’t mean that you are a good trainer. I am fortunate that I have been able to learn from the very best and the most humble, Paul Fyfield.
His support, along with Christian Ennor and Brendan Pardy has given me the support to [get me] where I am today.
Retirement is going to be a win/win situation for me. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life. I’m also considering having an MMA fight.
Full article can be read here