The Calm After the Storm: Insights from a Monster

Who: Moe “the Monster” Hussein
What: WKA New Zealand Super Heavyweight Champion
Where: Morrinsville, Impact Fight Night 5
When: 22 February 2020

We caught up with Moe a few days after his epic win against Riki ‘the Rock’ Barclay.

Were you happy with how the fight went in terms of game plan?

I think it was good for most of the fight, but I could always do better in some areas. I trust my corner and trainers 100%, so it’s easy to take instructions and navigate the fight as we go. For me it’s important to have that relationship with your trainer, as it gets the job done.

Do you think your corner was happy with your performance?

Yeah, I’d say so, after chatting to my coach Victoria Nansen Parr, who is not just my coach, but someone we have a good family friendship with, and someone known for her paternal style of coaching which helps me as I am family man and travel a long distance to get to my gym. I think so long as I get the strap, it makes all our sacrifices worthwhile! (laughs)

How did the fight camp accommodate your training around family and training your own fighters? That’s one hell of an achievement!

Well I did the best I could! I struggled to make it to training on time sometimes, but Victoria made sure it was well-structured and designed for me. I can’t thank Tori enough for coaching me this way. Not many gyms are flexible, and care enough about your own commitments. I’m lucky to have great support from people, including my Dannevirke fighters.

You got sick in the last 2 weeks of camp, first with the flu and then a painful tooth abscess. How did that affect your training and performance?

Well, I just had a bit of time off, it was a challenge, and I was on medication for most of the end of my camp. It took some serious mental pushing to get through. Luckily, it didn't affect my fight or the outcome but I know I can perform better when I’m 100%. Everyone (will) have something to deal with in training camp, so I wasn't worried.

What do you have to say to people claiming the fight was close - do you think there was some “tall poppy syndrome” going on?

It wasn’t the closeness of the fight that got me down; it was more the undermining of my achievement. Anyone that gets in the ring is a champ, but at the end of the day there’s one winner, and I’m thankful my hard work and sacrifices have paid off. I just wish people would let people celebrate their victories and not try to strip them away. I also wish stereotypes of who the person is, or what race or religion they are (could be set aside) all comes down to honesty and integrity as individuals. People have tried to vilify my race and my Muslim religion in the past, but I believe what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and hungrier. This sport is tough…

I would like to thank my wife, my boys, my coaches and my team both in Dannevirke and Featherston. I’m loving my journey with the people in it. This old monster has made some goals for the year - so watch out: I’m coming!!!

Written by Sam. S