Josh Payne Interview


1. How did you get into the sport
Basically I’ve always been interested in the martial arts and in particular Japanese culture. You could say Street Fighter 2 started my desire to want to compete as a fighter, but ultimately it was watching old UFC and PRIDE video tapes with friends that got me training in mma

2. What’s your favourite strike/submission to use in any fight?
In a game with so many variables, its hard to give just one. But I’d have to say the good old left hook and spinning backfist as far as strikes; and twister as far as submissions

3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My inspiration to push and train comes from many different places. But talking athletes and fighters I’d have to go with GGG Gannady Golovkin, Robbie Lawler, my brothers in arms Ruthless Robert Lisita and Vaughan LoveLee. The list goes on but these guys have helped me alot in recent times

4. Which team are you training with in preparation for your next bout?
The large portion of my preparation has been with Phuket Top Team. I’ve been here for most of this year and have the pleasure in having many guys with the same drive and intention. I’ll be heading back home to finish my preparation with Lions Den Academy in Sydney.

5. Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?
Haha not a great deal of thought needed for this one. My ideal fight is standing in the pocket and trading punches for 15 minutes or as long as it takes. A wise man once said: JUST BANG!

6. What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
To me being a fighter is of course training and striving to be the best you can be inside the arena, but I also try to live my life like that of a Samurai. I try to be both immovable and humble, always aim to better my combat as well as my compassion. I also believe that a warrior should partake in an artistic endeavor as training for the spirit. For that reason drawing is always part of my life as I try to better myself as a pugilist.

7. What holes do you see in Greg Criticos’s game?
I havent seen a great deal of Greg in action, but I know hes been around the game for a while. He comes from a good gym and looks to me when it comes fight day; his head definitely in the game. Going by assumption as far as holes, I see my wrestling defense and clinch game too much to be able to get the fight to where he wants it, and my pressure with the hands too much at range. If I’m proved wrong, I see my sub defense and control getting it back to where I’d prefer.

8. What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
I think a main thing that separates me from alot of other fighters is mindset. I dont come from a sporting youth, a competitive family or a tough upbringing. I was always more interested in the arts. My mum would applaud my humility and smarts over anything else, but I always had the want to prove myself. Basically considering my style, I can be pretty level headed. Physically I think my durability seperates me from others.

9. If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
Hard question. Buakaw in K1 or Gomi in PRIDE.

10. How do you see yourself beating Greg Criticos
By whatevers necessary is my immediate answer, but I’d say on the feet. A toss up between an inward toe stab or a hurricane kick.