AddictedMMA has stepped outside of the cage once again and we were fortunate to catch a few minutes of Daniel Burzotta’s time. Dan is the leader of Team Sure Grip based in Essex which is home to many of the UK’s top prospects and top UK heavyweight Stav Economou.
As well as being a successful MMA fighter (and as he reveals below that career may not be done with!) and a trainer that all of his students cannot speak highly enough of, we also believe that he is the only man in the UK to have been awarded a BJJ Black Belt by the great Royce Gracie.
Introducing Mr. Daniel Burzotta.
AddictedMMA: Hi Daniel, thanks for sitting down to answer some questions for us.
DB: Cool, no worries.
AddictedMMA: There is so much to ask you and so little time. Your MMA Career, Team Sure Grip, Ultimate Warrior Challenge, your charity work…….but firstly I’d like to ask what’s it like to know that you’re the only man in the UK who has a Black Belt in BJJ under the great Royce Gracie?
DB: Its an honour…and nice to know that I’m part of Gracie history.
AddictedMMA: So how proud were you when the great man awarded you the Black Belt?
DB: It was one on the most memorable moments in my life!!! I started watching Royce back in the 90s and training with him was a dream…. let alone becoming a black belt under him.
AddictedMMA: Looking on the internet your MMA record stands at 3-0. Firstly is that accurate and secondly how come it was only a few fights?
DB: No my record is 5-0. At the time there were only a couple of MMA promotions and I was a member of the British ju jitsu organisation competing all over the world. So I started focusing more on the ju jitsu as well as my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu…and judo to. So it was hard to focus just on MMA.
AddictedMMA: So what made you make the switch to trainer then? Did you really start your training school inside a church?
DB: I’ve trained for 24 years. I just thought I needed to find somewhere where I could practice my BJJ and MMA all under one roof and pass on the knowledge.
AddictedMMA: Do you prefer life as a trainer as opposed to a fighter then?
DB: I like doing both. I am still a fighter; I don’t think you ever stop being a fighter. I spar wrestle and practice my jiu-jitsu most day and I do think I would like to have a couple more fights before I hang my gloves up for good!!
AddictedMMA: You’re a religious man I believe; do you find that some of those beliefs help and cross over into MMA?
DB: for me definitely. I believe it gives you that mental strength….. And sometimes the path of the fighter can be a lonely. Being away from your loved ones, travelling, training, etc..
AddictedMMA: What’s it like to run TSG (Team Sure Grip). All the guys I have spoken to seem really good guys, it must be a lot of fun!
DB: TSG is more than a club……its one big extended family. We are a team as well as all good friends and it’s a pleasure to work with people who give you 100%.
AddictedMMA: Let’s play word association….. I’ll name a fighter and you tell me the 1st word that pops into your head……
• Stav Economou: Crazy
• Murray Fullarton: Technician
• Shane Omer: Relentless
• Lee Wieczorek: Carrot Juice haha/Ninja
• Walter Gahadza: Sniper
• Terry Montgomery: Sick (Laughs)
AddictedMMA: So in your opinion who’s going to be the next big thing to come out of TSG then?
DB: Walter (Gahadza), Terry (Montgomery), Shane (Omer), there are loads of guys who are working their way up the rankings.
AddictedMMA: UWC 17 is fast coming up now, which fights are you most looking forward to on that card?
DB: All of my guys because they are all different…and to be honest all the fights, especially Simeon Thoresen who to me is one of the best prospects in Europe!!
AddictedMMA: When you’re not in a gym or a MMA arena what do you do to kick back and relax then?
DB: I like to spend any spare time with my two boys and taking my dogs out (Presa Canarios) or should I say they take me out haha!! Watching dvd’s and going out to restaurants
AddictedMMA: Is there anyone you’d like to thank or send a shout out to?
DB: All the TSG FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD!!! My family for supporting me, ROYCE GRACIE for inspiring me to take up jiu-jitsu……and god for blessing me and my family!!
AddictedMMA: Before we let you get on with your day I’ve got to ask….. What are you Addicted to?
DB: ha ha…..too many things. I love what I do so first I would say training, Italian food and buying trainers!!!
I must have at least 100 pairs! Shopping for clothes haha, oh yeah and kids toys. I buy my kids all the toys I couldn’t have lol.
AddictedMMA: Thanks again for your time Daniel. All the very best with TSG, UWC and all your future endeavours.
DB: Thanks for giving me the time!!
Pictures (From L-R)
1 – Alex Burzotta, Alistair Overeem, Daniel Burzotta
2 – Daniel Burzotta, Royce Gracie
3 – Ultimate Warrior Challenge 17 Poster