In depth exclusive by Joseph Egloff of MMA Blaster, text copyrighted
“Look for something spectacular” is the mantra for mixed martial arts veteran Muhsin Corbbrey going into his next fight against Jason Nicholson. Muhsin is more than excited about his 155 pound ICF title fight at Parris Island this Saturday, expecting a big finish.
Muhsin was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During his young days he started learning Junior Olympic Boxing. His father urged Muhsin to also take Tae Kwon Do at the local rec center to start using kicks in his game. In regards to the early training, Muhsin said, “…one of the most important things I learned was head movement. Some guys think they can hit pads and be a great striker. If you don’t have head movement you are going to get hit a lot.”
From Tulsa, Muhsin moved around quite a bit going from Los Angeles, Alabama and Atlanta before settling down in Savannah. After high school, Muhsin realized that even though he was proficient standing, his ground game would still need work. He began grappling, learning judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Muhsin is currently a black belt in judo and trains under Lloyd Irvin in jiu-jitsu. He is an excellent grappler winning grappling tournaments in NAGA and ISCF.
Never content to fight only in one discipline, Muhsin has fought in pro boxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts bouts for a total of 35 pro fights. Muhsin also won a Shidokan World Championship. Shidokan is a fighting style which utilizes two rounds of bare knuckle full contact Karate, two rounds of Muay Thai and one round of mma style grappling. It is a tournament style event, so you have to quickly turn around and fight again in the same day.
Muhsin’s mma debut came in a Reality Superfighting event in 2001. Mushin was slated to face a veteran opponent with only one loss on his resume. Muhsin was able to wear him down with his stand-up game utilizing his superior cardio and grinded out the victory. In regards to the fight, Muhsin said, “My athleticism was the reason I won that fight. Compared to now, all my techniques have gotten better.”
Muhsin’s big break was when Pro Elite came calling in 2007. Muhsin started by fighting twice in the ShoXC banner defeating two very tough opponents in Bobby McMaster and Lee Gibson. During his fight with Lee Gibson, Muhsin utilized a stand-up approach throwing leg kicks, jabs and counter strikes to win a unanimous decision. Against McMaster, Muhsin hit him with a judo throw before securing a guillotine choke just before the first round ended.
Prior to his next bout, Muhsin traveled to Phuket, Thailand, to train at the world famous Tiger Muay Thai gym. “Thailand was phenomenal. Those fighters live to train. They wake up and train, eat, train during the day, eat and train at night. It is their life.” While engulfed in the Thai lifestyle, Muhsin was able to increase his Muay Thai skills help his overall mindset as a fighter.
Up next came a bout with Nick Diaz in Elite XC. Before that fight, Diaz came in at nearly 8 pounds overweight. Even with the weight disadvantage, Muhsin took the fight. “I had been training in Thailand for a month. I had too much riding on the fight.” Muhsin was able to win the first round and the second round was a toss up. In the third round, Muhsin became tired from a clinch strategy Diaz had utilized and eventually lost via TKO. “Diaz promised me a rematch and that’s a fight I definitely want in the future,” said Corbbrey.
Muhsin currently is owner operator of Champions Training Center in Savannah Georgia. His goal for Champions is to resemble a gym such as Xtreme Couture with pro boxers, mixed martial artists and elite grapplers training on-site. When asked how teaching others helps his own game, Muhsin said, “It makes you break down the moves better. Sometimes guys know how to do an arm-bar, but they don’t know the transitions. It helps me break down moves and improve my ability.”
When asked about goals for the sport, Muhsin stated, “I want to hold belts in a major mma promotion, major boxing promotion, and be a stadium champ in Muay Thai.” He would also like to go back to Thailand to further improve his Muay Thai game.
Getting a little off-topic, I asked Muhsin about his Muslim faith as he listed Faith, Family and Fighting as the three most important things on his myspace page. “I converted to Islam fourteen years ago. Without it, I wouldn’t have the discipline, focus and success I have today.“ When asked about the media coverage of the religion, Muhsin said, “[a]ll you see are the nutcases. You have to understand that these are people that wake up and see their family dead. They have been in a warring situation. Really, there are only small differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We have to learn to love each other.”
When asked about his biggest supporter, Muhsin credited his wife Angie. “She puts up with my life. I’m going out to camps to train for fights, I’m gone a lot. She is a big supporter.” He also gives a credit to his best friend and manager Najeeb Odom. Najeeb has helped Muhsin stay focused during training and helped him a great deal motivating him to be the best he can be.
In regards to who has helped him train for this fight, Muhsin's coaches are Din Thomas for mma, Lloyd Irvin for jiu-jitsu, John Blanken for boxing and Many Ntoh for Muay Thai. He also trains with 5-0 prospect Steven Bass and Norman Jones a top level pro boxer. Din Thomas doubles as both coach and training partner, as Muhsin stressed that Din has helped his mixed martial arts game as a whole.
In closing, Muhsin wanted to say this, “I want to show people my full ability. My full ability has not been shown. I’ll show you diverse techniques. Look out for me. I am going to do something spectacular.”
Muhsin would like to give a shout out to sponsors Attack Mode Fightwear, Tactical Nutrition, Johnson Construction, Advantage Air, Time Bomb Tattoo Studio and Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand.
*Check out http://www.myspace.com/championtraining for Muhsin’s gym.
*All text copyrighted by MMA Blaster. All photo's used with the permission of Muhsin Corbbrey.