If there’s a man who knows how to dig deep, it’s featherweight champion Dean Trueman.
Trueman has been in CW since 2016 and has been around some of the biggest names in UK MMA for some time. Carrying with him tons of confidence and a will to break his opponents down, Dean Trueman is the quintessential Cage Warrior.
“I left school, and you don’t really know what to do. You used to go out with your friends and stuff like that, down the park, but you don’t really do that as much so I was sort of bored at night. A bloke I used to know used to go down to Bushido MMA, the home of the Rough House so I started going down there and doing a bit of training and kind of got good at it.”
The gym where Trueman got his start has become notorious in UK MMA. Bushido MMA became the home of the team known as the Rough House. A team known for its nothing-for-free attitude that may be the best example of an old school style UK MMA team and gym. Trueman now trains at Hardy-Wallhead MMA alongside some of the Rough House’s finest though that team no longer exists.
“I’ve known Jimmy for years and obviously I’ve known Dan for years, before he was in the UFC. So yeah, it’s kind of weird how everyone sees Dan as the UFC fighter and I just see him as the guy in the gym that I’ve been around forever.”.
The current featherweight champion got his opportunity to win the title in the featherweight tournament that took place at CW98 and CW100. Competing against four other men, he knew from the moment it was announced that he was bound to win.
“I thought I would be fighting McBain in the final but I knew I was going to win it.”
🥨 Dean Trueman ties his opponent up and scores the biggest win of his career! 👏
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) December 8, 2018
With his unrelenting pressure and output, he wore out both his opponents, Lewis Monarch and Aiden Lee, to secure the title in Cardiff. No matter what both men threw at Dean Trueman, he came through it and came straight back at them.
After winning the title, it was announced that Trueman would defend his title against Soren Bak who would be dropping down a weight class to fight for the featherweight title. He was forced to pull out of the fight against Bak following an injury, delaying his first defence.
“I was gutted because I pulled out of it, it was my fault. It was my injury. Then I went over to Copenhagen to see him and honestly, after seeing the way he performed at featherweight, the fight no longer really interested me. I just don’t think featherweight is for Soren.”
Though the fight with Soren “The True Viking” Bak did not take place, the champion will still defend his title against a foreign invader. The fighting men of Denmark are travelling to London to try and claim multiple Cage Warriors titles and among them is 11-3 Mads Burnell. Burnell came into Cage Warriors off the back of a short UFC career that many saw as being cut far too short. Burnell went 1-2 in the octagon, being cut after losing to top UK prospect Arnold Allen.
What’s your prediction for Trueman vs Burnell?? pic.twitter.com/krFNJTUENE
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) May 13, 2019
On his arrival in Cage Warriors, Burnell has picked up back-to-back first round submission wins, proving his quality. Waiting in London for him will be Trueman, who will not let anyone take anything from him without a fight first though he does believe the Dane is a step-up in competition for him.
“Burnell is 100% a step-up. He’s been where I want to be and I don’t think he did bad in the UFC. In the UFC you’ve got to win no matter who you’re fighting though, it’s the pinnacle of the sport. Fighting Mads is a bigger fight for me, it’s a better fight, a more motivational fight than Soren because when I beat Mads it proves where I belong.”
Trueman is the quintessential Cage Warrior not just because of his fighting style or roots in the sport. It’s his mental strength, confidence and attitude towards fighting. The featherweight champion only knows how to fight one way and that’s all out. Any likely invaders looking to take what is his will quickly learn that you get nothing for free in the cage against Dean Trueman. Whatever your intentions are, you better be prepared for a fight.
“Pressure for me, I thrive on. When the belt was on the line and in the tournament, I thrived on that pressure and performed better. Hopefully Cage Warriors 106 brings more pressure because it’ll just make me perform better anyway.”
Dean Trueman will defend his Cage Warriors featherweight title against Mads Burnell at Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions on the 29th June at the Eventim Apollo, London.
Tickets are on sale HERE.
Words by Kyle Dimond.