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World class Manchester Top Team MMA Gym joins #TeamMorson

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago
  • Author: Jamal Niaz
In addition to our global recruitment expertise, Morson has a rich sporting heritage, working with some of the greatest athletes and sports teams in the country as part of our ongoing commitment to invest in skills, grassroots participation, and our local communities.
In this article, we interview former MMA fighter and head coach of Manchester Top Team, Carl Prince, about Morson's latest partnership, the rise of MMA, the sport's next stars, and how he's creating safe spaces for young people to not only train in martial arts but to live and learn.

"I wanted to create a place, that good, bad or indifferent, there's somewhere here where you can get everything that you need. You can lay your head, be fed, train with some of the best athletes in the world, be around like-minded individuals, and be coached by people who care about you. We're sharing each other's achievements, and we're going to share in something that's going to exponentially grow into the biggest thing nobody's ever heard of yet."

- former fighter and head coach of Manchester Top Team, Carl Prince

Our latest partnership sees Morson enter the world of MMA as we support world-class MMA gym, Manchester Top Team. MMA has been catapulted into the mainstream by generational superstars such as Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and Paddy Pimblett, who have each shattered preconceptions of the sport being nothing but "mindless cage fighting". The mass exposure that the likes of McGregor have brought to the sport has seen more eyes on MMA and, in turn, more people of all ages experience inner peace, friendships, and an increase in mental health training a martial art can bring.

Indeed, former fighter and head coach of Manchester Top Team, Carl Prince has seen the rapid growth of the sport first-hand. Carl redesigned his Stockport based All Powers gym into Manchester Top Team back in 2020. Recognising that many young people in the area lacked safe spaces, in addition to the gym where local and international fighters can train, Manchester Top Team also offers areas where they can sleep, eat and learn. Currently, Carl has a wealth of fighters competing in both the UFC and Bellator with Lerone Murphy and Kane Mousah leading the pack. In addition, the exciting young talents of new PFL signee, Dakota Ditcheva and 21-year-old knockout artist, Lewis McGrillen, are both on course to set the world alight and continue to stamp Manchester firmly on the MMA map.

Both Kane Mousah and Leron Murphy had difficult pasts and it was the MMA and the coaching of Carl that realigned their life and allowed them to showcase their talents on the world stage. Carl spoke about how the life-enhancing effects of the sport are evident each time a new person steps into the gym:

"People that are coming to the gym in their mid-twenties have often made some bad decisions in their life and found MMA as a way to centre themselves and direct themselves on the right path. We're always working towards a date, there's always a goal. When there's always a goal, you're never distracted. As people, we're routine individuals, so irrespective of being 15, 20, or 35 years old, we need a routine which they have when they're in camp. Everyone in this gym's life is in order because of that routine. They understand that when they come to the gym at 10 am by 3:30 pm, they're too tired for anything outside of it anyway."

He explained further how the gym fosters a family feeling and togetherness which can be a place of comfort for those that feel out of place in school, work, or any other social surroundings. It brings an opportunity to make friends, exercise, and progress weekly in a variety of disciplines: 

"That direction, it helps them with things. A lot of the guys are on the spectrum with ADHD, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety, the training, and the gym environment get them on the right path by showing them that they're not alone. I would say most people within this gym have been on the spectrum so, a large part of it is developing people who perhaps wouldn't find their place and have struggled to find like-minded personalities."

The unique aspect of Manchester Top Team is that the gym also offers dorm rooms to both travelling and local fighters, who are experiencing difficult home lives or just need somewhere to stay. Carl explained the impact the presence of dorms at the gym has had on his fighters:

"Using my influences from other sports I understood that you need a holistic facility that offers everything, from nutrition, from somewhere to stay, from two training sessions a day to safe passage. Everyone's life changes in an instant. You're only one conversation, one instant from everything changing. I wanted everyone to know, that good, bad indifferent, there's somewhere here where you can get everything that you need. You can get somewhere to lay your head, somewhere to be fed, somewhere where you can train with some of the best athletes in the world, be coached by people who care about you and are driven towards it. We're sharing each other's achievements, and we're going to share in something that's going to exponentially grow into the biggest thing nobody's ever heard of yet."

With the mental and physical benefits of training in MMA clear to see, Carl gave a message to people of all ages:

"If you're interested in getting into MMA, just jump into it. The more you think about it, the more time you're wasting and it'd be the best thing you ever did. If you want to do it, when you get here, it'd be even better than you thought it was ever going to be. The community we've got is so accepting, so welcoming and we're always looking for new members of the family. Anybody that wants to join in, please jump on."

Finally, Carl shared his excitement about Manchester Top Team becoming a part of the Morson family:

“I’m so thankful now that we’ve just announced our partnership with Morson. It’s such a massive thing for us as a gym and the sport as a whole. I’ve watched in the background how Morson have supported the likes of Ricky Hatton and Anthony Crolla and I’m really happy they’ve seen the same potential in us. MMA is becoming intrinsically part of the culture thanks to what people like Conor McGregor have done in the same way how Boxing became a part of our culture with Ali leading the way. It’s validation that Morson sees what we’re doing and see where we’re heading” 

With Morson's involvement in the journeys of boxing heroes such as Anthony Crolla, Natasha Jonas, and Kieran Farrell, the sport of MMA and Manchester Top Team are building superstars of their own that will proudly represent #TeamMorson in the years to come. We couldn't be prouder.

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