“Although Mr Raja is clearly not a gangster, he is a product of the same environment, can talk the talk, and demonstrates a degree of toughness that those within the radical extremist movement respect from a street level perspective.”
UFC 38 Brawl at Royal Albert Hall
From its conception over 2 decades ago, MMA has gone from involving an exclusive underground crowd to masses worldwide. There are very few that have been able to sustain acknowledgement within the sport from its origin.
One of these elite few is Usman Raja.
Usman Raja has trained fighters at the championship level since 1998; ardent fans perusing the library of the pioneering MMA events such as Night of the Samurai, Millenium Brawl, UFC 38, Cage Rage and the highly publicised Alex Reid vs Tom Watson fight on Bamma through to recent Bellator and UCMMA will notice one common denominator - Usman Raja in the corner guiding his fighters!
His training expertise has seen him aide many high profile MMA competitors including Roger Gracie and Brad "One Punch" Pickett aswell as continuing to support his brother Suleman Raja Head Trainer of one of the UK's Premier Fight Teams, Prizefighters.
A fighter who turned trainer through the demands of a busy Fight Team and his exceptional technical understanding, Usman Raja was the head trainer of Peacock gym's No holds Barred Fighting Team, an elite group of fighters which included UFC Veterans Leigh Remedious, James Zikic (Cage Rage World Champion), Jess Liudin, Mustafa Al Turk as well as K1 pan pacific Champion Jon Thorpe, Iron Man Heavyweight Champion Kamal Lock, Suley Mahmoud, Micheal Johnson, Gaz Roriston, Sol Gilbert and Jean Silva (Pride).
The past decade has seen not a year go past without Usman having fighters competing in top fight competition. He is an MMA stand up specialist having earned his stripes with some of best including a 15 year Professional Boxing Training apprenticeship under world renowned Boxing Trainers Johnny Eammes and the legendary Jimmy Tibbs.
The MMA Cage is an environment to find oneself, a battlefield for both the mind and the body.
There is no pretence of toughness that survives the testing ground of the Fighters Gym, no bravado that allows you to hustle respect.
For the Raja brothers this became a route to find inner peace and give back to the wider community.
Growing up as victims to horrific racism and violence from an early age, Usman and Suleman Raja were moulded by the streets with a ready fighting instinct and short fuse. It was in their late teens after regular run in’s with the Law that they were introduced to professional fighting and the discipline of training.
This crossroads allowed a change in the direction of life that saved them from the professional criminal path that those they had grown up with would eventually take.
The pedigree of the Raja’s training and fight experience speaks for itself. From personal accomplishments in multiple disciplines including national championships to a stable of World Championship fighters.
The strong relationships that have developed have allowed for a family atmosphere within the fight team where each member feels welcomed and valued.
The pioneering training methods have not just included the mechanics of the various arts whether it be Professional Boxing, Muay Thai or the grappling arts from wrestling or BJJ, but have also included the psychological aspect. Training the fighters in Operate Flow Combat a system of response rather than aggressive reaction allowing the fighter to execute techniques from a mindful flow state rather than a referencing state.