Ashely Reece Ready To Make Moves Up The UK Rankings With A Win Over Adam Proctor
It’s little over two weeks until ACB visit the UK once again and an exciting welterweight bout between British welterweights Ashley Reece and Adam Proctor features on the card.
Reece (6-0) has gone unbeaten throughout both his professional and amateur careers and has fought twice already under the ACB banner back in 2017. On May 19, he will look to claim another scalp of a British welterweight when he faces Proctor, a man with an impressive 8-1 record and with wins over many of the same names as Reese has defeated.
Speaking to MMANytt.com earlier this week, Reece said he was looking forward to testing himself against Proctor at the Motorpoint Arena on May 19.
“He’s going to be my best opponent yet and he’s very well rounded,” Reece said. “We don’t really know what his weaknesses are because we’ve never really seen him put in bad positions yet. Hopefully in this fight I’m going to be putting in places that he’s never been before.
“My coaches have been looking at his fights, but I think like me if you are looking at my last fights and expecting me to be the same guy then that’s going to be a mistake. I think he’s going to always be improving like I am so I don’t want to look at him too much before the fight and then get caught by surprise when he does something we haven’t seen before. I’m just going to focus on myself and making my own improvements.”
Get all different looks in
Reece trains out of the HAMMA MMA gym in St Helens and says that the variety of training partners there has been key to him getting the best preparation possible. While some prefer to train with fighters in their weight class, Reece says he feels a benefit training with partners both heavier and lighter than he is.
“I’m getting so many different looks from so many different fighters in my training, I’m improving everywhere,” Reece said. “I spar with people a lot stronger than me in weight classes above, and then I spar with people a lot smaller than me who are quicker. It just means I get to work on a lot of different things in the gym and no one person is really the same.
“Sometimes in sparring I’m not always on the right end of it, but that’s ok because it prepares for me fights and we’ve seen already that I can come back if someone if someone is getting the better of me. I don’t get disheartened from that and I can push through things that other people can’t.”
Rising up the rankings
According to FightMatrix.com, Reece is currently ranked #19 in the UK welterweight rankings with Proctor ranked #13. Making his was up the ladder in the UK remains Reece’s core focus and he says he won’t be getting ahead of himself and thinking about fights abroad until he does just that.
“At this point I’m just focused on climbing the rankings as much as I can,” Reece said. “There are some good fighters still ahead of me and I’ll only start thinking internationally one I take them over. I’m really happy with ACB right now and they pay me very well. I don’t think there’s anyone else that can compete with them in that respect.
“I would love to fight abroad in the future if the right matchups come up. There are still so many good fights for me in the UK that I don’t really need to get distracted thinking about fights overseas, but sure, yeah I want to fight the best eventually.”
The added responsibility of fatherhood
Reece recently became a father for the first time and has been juggling the responsibility of fatherhood around his job and his fighting career. The birth of child has now put things into perspective for him though and he knows now is the time for him to make a big run in MMA.
“It’s not just me I’m focusing on now,” Reece said. “I’ve got to put food on the table and it’s not got a whole lot more serious. I know I’ve just got a small window to make things happen and I’m 29 now, I’m not a spring chicken. The clock is ticking, but I know I’ve got what it takes to get the ball rolling and push my way up the rankings.
“I have thought about quitting my job and focusing on this full time, but my manager has been honest with me and said that I’m only a few more fights away from him being able to sort something out for me properly. I’ve worked through the whole of my career so I don’t see a reason to change it now. I work in a school and I enjoy my work, so why change that now.”
Ready for anything
Time is of the essence for Reece but he knows he can’t look past Proctor on May 19. For the next two weeks at least he says he’s going to focus solely on getting his hand raised and making sure that he’s prepared for anything come fight night.
“I think is going to be a really tough fight for us both and I can see it going everywhere,” Reece said. “Both of us can strike and both of us can grapple. I can’t wait for this and I’m prepared for everything. I can’t wait for it.”
ACB 87 takes place on May 19 in Nottingham, England and will be headlined by Robert Whiteford taking on Kane Mousah.