Corrin Eaton out of BCMMA 14, The Phantom Knee speaks to the Titan Fighter

The #TeamEatonArmy got some bad news today. We wanted to know what happened, what’s next and why we should still be attending BCMMA 14.

As the good people at Kingdom MMA reported today, Corrin Eaton has been forced to withdraw from his bout with Brian Bouland at BCMMA 14 on February 20. The Phantom Knee wanted to know what happened…

“It’s my back, I’ve hurt my back. I don’t actually know how I’ve done it!” Eaton explained. “I woke up on the Sunday morning, felt a bit stiff – at least, that’s what I thought – did my sprints and a jog. Then I went to do some shopping, walking around all day. I came home, felt a bit achey, a bit of pain. When I woke up on Monday I was in bits!

“Like the idiot I am, I decided to still train. I only had Monday and Tuesday left at American Top Team, so I thought to myself ‘I don’t want people thinking that I’m just trying to get off lightly,” and I didn’t want to miss out.”

Eaton toughed it out and went to train, but soon found the injury was too severe to overcome. “I went two rounds with Charles Rosa and he kept saying ‘Are you alright? You don’t look like you’re moving very well.’ But I didn’t want to miss training.

“(Jake) Bostwick saw how I was moving and thought it was hilarious. After asking me if I was alright he suggested giving me a massage. I felt a lot better in myself after, it loosened me up. I woke up the next day, feeling rough again and went sparring… I don’t know how I did it, but I managed four out of five rounds before I had to stop.”

Having finished his time at ATT, Eaton made his way back to the UK – something of a challenge in itself. “It was eight hours home on the plane, I don’t think that helped one bit!” Eaton said.

Despite his discomfort, Eaton felt a need to carry on regardless, picking up where his training had left off in America.

“I felt like I just needed to keep moving, I needed to stretch. I went to the gym to show my coach in Ipswich some of the stuff I learned at ATT!” Said Eaton. “I showed them a couple of bits then it got to the point where I had to say ‘I’m done’.”

“Then I went to Team Titan on the Thursday which was sparring…”

This time Eaton managed just the three rounds before (Titan coach) Mickey Papas decided that he’d seen enough, he wasn’t happy with the state Eaton was in.

“I explained to him (Papas) I need to do this fight to do the weight cut, and to either get through it or to see if I can’t – I need to know where I’m at.

“He wasn’t happy, but he let me carry on. On the Friday I was meant to go to work, but I’d hardly slept. I phoned up my boss to tell him I couldn’t make it in.”

For an up-and-coming fighter, not being able to work can mean not being able to afford to train. For his American counterparts at ATT, even seeking medical assistance can mean being out of pocket, without access to a service like the NHS, fighters often have no choice but to fight injured.

“I honestly would have done that. If it wasn’t for my coaches Mickey (Papas) and Brad (Pickett) saying there’s only so long I can hold on, it’s not fair on my opponent, I would have,” Eaton explained. “I was trying my hardest to keep the fight on. I’ve done it before – I’m not going to say when, or make any excuses – but I have fought with injuries and I did say I’d never do it again. But it’s our way of making a living, and it’s my dream.

“We’re quite lucky in that sense, we may moan about the NHS, but at least we don’t have to run up big bills.”

It’s easy to criticise a fighter for pulling out of a fight, but it’s important to understand how much they often stand to lose in doing so. For Corrin Eaton, pulling out of BCMMA 14 has been an incredibly difficult decision to make.

“There was so much riding on this fight, you know? There was so much good going for it. I had so many friends and family that were aware of me going to ATT, they were excited about seeing how I’d come back from that.

“Brad (Pickett) mentioned us in his recent blog in The Sun, there was a lot of hype. I’d also heard that Dan Hardy might be coming to BCMMA, and the Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of UFC, James Elliot. Apparently he’s coming! For what reason? Who knows? But that would have been perfect! I’ve also sold over 50 Team Eaton hoodies for this show – that would have looked awesome!”

So without crowd favourite Corrin Eaton on the card, why should we still be making our way to Charter Hall in Colchester on February 20?

“Luis (Gonzalez) is on the card.” Eaton answered. ” I was out at ATT with him and that boy is unreal. He will definitely be up there with the best. I honestly feel that within a year, he will be Mike Brown’s new prodigy.

“They had a very good connection while we were out there. Anything Mike shared with him, Luis would try it twice and it was perfected. You could see the enjoyment in Mike’s face. I was thinking: ‘You lucky sod’.”

Anything else we should be looking out for?

“Steve Amiable vs. Stephen Martin.” Said Eaton. ” A small part of me is quite happy that I’m not fighting because I get to watch that as a fan!”

Brian Bouland remains on the card and will now face Jamie Pritchard. BCMMA #14 takes place at Charter Hall, Colchester on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Tickets are available HERE.