"I was born in Durham in North-East England and life growing up was good. I lived with my parents and sister, just a normal family life," says the British welterweight Jamie Bates.
"Growing up I always wanted to be involved in something physical, I had thought for most of my teenage years I would end up in the military. However I've always wanted to be a fighter for as long as I could remember. Being brought up in the gym around fighters, and watching fights on the TV, it was always what I wanted to be.
"My dad owns the MASAC Gym in Annfield Plain and I was pretty much brought up there as a child. From the age of four I studied Karate, and moved onto Jiu Jitsu before finally moving onto kickboxing aged eight. I had my first fight only because my dad was asking other kids in the class if they wanted to compete on a local show and I got jealous and demanded a slot myself. The rest is history."
Bates says he's fighting for "a better life for myself and my daughter" but also that he has "never been a strong believer in the 9 to 5 lifestyle, so I'll do whatever it takes to succeed outside of that realm so I don't have to live that lifestyle, I did it for long enough to know its not for me."
Underlining that point is Bates' other sideline outside the fight game: he's a master falconer, with a stable of birds of prey that he trains and flies daily. Some of them are strictly for display participation while others are professional killers engaged in pest control.
Bates is also notoriously tough, with a reputation for being difficult to put away even when he's on the losing side of a fight. He went into his fight with Richard Abraham carrying a shin injury so painful that he "couldn't even stand to have the bed sheets over my leg the night before" and against Eyevan Danenberg he suffered broken ribs in the very first round but continued fighting all the way to the end of the bout nearly ten minutes later.
Is Bates impervious to the kind of pain which would lay other people out? He says not. "Each kick I took on those broken ribs made me want to lie down and vomit, but there was just no way I was going to allow myself to quit," he says.