Troy Sheridan, Ready for the Journey

By Mike LNg

Troy Sheridan and Kru Minhas

Troy Sheridan is a  Muay Thai fighter from the Ultimate Martial Arts team in Ontario, Canada. Troy is a standout among a growing list of Canadian nak muay, noted for their skill and toughness. After making his pro debut in New York based promotion Friday Night Fight Troy has fought both in tournaments and single bouts each time being simultaneously underestimated and solidifying his undefeated record against good competition.  It should be noted its even more of a remarkable achievement given that often his opponents had more ring experience than he did.

Training with Kru Paul Minhas and team mate Joe Valtellini (recently appearing in Lion Fight), Troy returns to tournament competition in the high profile Journey Fight Series  drawing Shane “Shaolin” Campbell in the semi-finals match of Journey Fight Series 8. Much thanks goes to Troy for granting this interview and supplying the photos used in this interview.

What was your first exposure to Muay Thai and what made you want to compete?

My first exposure was my older brother. He began training at Ultimate Martial Arts and brought me along. I initially didn’t want to compete, but I saw it as a way to take my training to the next level.

Initially it looked like you were going to become an MMA competitor. What drove you to fight in Muay Thai?

I fell in love with the techniques used in Muay Thai. But also, training and competing purely Muay Thai gives you the chance to get to another level with the techniques. Whereas in MMA you wouldn’t be able to dedicate the entire training regiment to one style. That being said, I would still like to compete in MMA, but when the timing is perfect for me and my team.

You recently turned professional at Friday Night Fights where you ended the fight by TKO in 2 rounds against your opponent. Since then you have kept a busy schedule fighting professionally. Is there some urgency to fight so often for you?

I like staying active because it keeps me motivated. Although I’ll still be in the gym on the Monday after a fight, knowing you have a fight coming up makes you train that little bit harder. I also realize, embrace, and enjoy the discipline and dedication competition brings, it really does motivate me to improve as an individual, in everyday life.

Having fought in tournaments in the past and participating in one now do you have a preference for single bouts or tournaments?

It doesn’t really matter to me. Any chance to get in the ring is welcomed.

In the semi-final draw of Journey Fights Series you drew Shane “Shaolin” Campbell. Do you feel any pressure drawing such a well known and established fighter?

Absolutely, Shane was already established when I was coming up in my early amateur days. But I’m honing that pressure into an opportunity. I’ve felt this before, one of my most recent fights was an opponent with over 100 wins 50 by TKO or KO. So I have felt this pressure before, once the bell rings he’ll be just another opponent.

Troy Lands a Blow

Was it difficult making the transition from amateur to professional fighter?

Not overly, I was able to fit as an amateur under pro rules and without gear. So the transition wasn’t a big deal other than the 3 minute rounds. Which I actually prefer.

Recently, your team mate Joe Vatellini drew a tough fight against Gregory Choplin and actually hurt him during the fight. Do both of you seek out the toughest opponents?

We never turn down a good opportunity! We compete to challenge ourselves and our skill, we feel that fighting below your skill level to pad a record or easily rack up a bunch of wins is not something we want to do.

What goals do you have set for yourself as a professional fighter?

Nothing specific, I would like to continue to compete and hopefully get to do so all over the world. I keep climbing the ladder and I’m loving every minute of it.

What so far has been your best experience as a professional fighter?

Recently I fought in an 8 man tournament in Brooklyn, New York. That was the most incredible experience so far as a pro. I am hoping to have this tournament take that spot though.

You are also a coach for Ultimate Martial Arts. As a teacher what is the most important thing to teach new students of Muay Thai?

Train to improve your technique, and take your time. Sometimes people look to excel or compete too early, or they come in and train without a purpose. Always look to improve as a martial artist, not just get bigger, faster, and stronger.

What is the most common mistake new students make in Muay Thai?

It’s hard to say, people are all different. Physically, not warming up properly. i see people come in and go 0-100 in a few minutes. especially in the beginning you need to warm up, stretch, and get ready if you want to train again in the next few days. mentally, I’d say thinking overnight you’re going to be the next big thing. This stuff takes time!

Troy Sheridan connects a hard shot

 Of your undefeated Professional fight record you have won most by stoppage. What do you attirbute this remarkable record to?

My teacher Kru Paul Minhas, and my work ethic. From day 1 we’ve trained on ways to finish fights. Winning by decision is still winning. But no one can argue when you win by stoppage or KO. And it truly proves the power you have from proper technique.

What or who inspires you to continue as a fighter?

Everyone that surrounds me at Ultimate Martial Arts. It is very self-gratifying, but the sense of pride in your team is a huge motivating factor.

Who has been your toughest opponent so far?

There’s been a few guys who brought different styles to the table. Recently, I fought Villi Bello in the 3rd fight in the same night. So, that was the toughest in recent memory. Man was I exhausted and he was able to stay strong and surprise me throughout that fight.

In some of your fights I have noticed you take an unorthodox stance. Why do you sometimes do that?

I am regularly orthodox, but have fought as a southpaw to gain experience. You never know when that can come in handy if you get an injury. I do regularly use it to help my set ups and add a different dynamic to the way I attack.

At 6’1″ you are quite a tall light middle weight. Will you continue in this weight?

Yes, at 154 I feel I have a good advantage. And now with a proper strength training program at Tempus performance I feel in am perfect at this weight.

Troy Sheridan

During your CMTC-A championship bout against Hal Kriesel I noticed he put a lot of pressure on you in the later rounds yet you managed to keep calm and composed. What method do you use to stay so calm?

Training with Joseph Valtellini makes me able to stay calm under pressure. I feel I have a good defence which helps me stay calm and control my breathing. It’s all in the way you train.

In the same fight you threw your opponent often. What specifically do you train to be so good at throwing opponents in the clinch?

I think staying calm helps, for me personally. I try to feel out my opponent and let them make mistakes, then capitalize on their movement. Use their energy against them.

What goals have you set for yourself as a professional Muay Thai fighter?

To always stay grounded and realistic. I love to fight, I love to train, I love going to the gym because of the people who go with me. But I need to remember this isn’t an entire life, people who live solely on fighting are few and far between. So as I grow as a fighter I still wish to improve my life outside of competition.

To any fans do you have any final messages?

I like the fans to give me some messages! (@sheridanmma) Let me know what you think, who you’d like to see me fight. I get a lot of support and would love to entertain more if I can!

Thanks for everything so far, lets keep moving up! Team Ultimate !

Much thanks to Trevor Smandych, Team Ultimate and of course Troy Sheridan fighting at Journey Fight Series 8.

Check out Troy Sheridan’s Journey Fight promo below.

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~ by fatsoking on October 26, 2012.

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