Fighting for your country – Ian Bone
Making a transition from the Armed forces into the world of fighting is a backstory for a lot of fighters. It seems like a natural progression really and Ian “Hitman” Bone knows all too well just how well the disciplines learnt in the Army can be adapted to Mixed Martial Arts. “I still remember it in my first fight” he laughs. “I went out there thinking of the fight as a mission. That I had the enemy in my sights and I was going into war.” Little did he know that the mission he was embarking on would lead into a life style.
From that first fight and going in as best prepared as he knew, Ian learnt that in order to be successful, you always have to be ready to learn. “I quickly learnt that I couldn’t fight very well.” Ian explained. “In that first fight I didn’t even have a proper coach in my corner, I kind of just went in as well prepared as I thought I could be and that was that.” Ever since that fight an addiction was born. “Once you have that first fight it turns into its own monster. You can’t help but want to fight, especially when you know it’s going to make you better. I like to try and fight six to seven times a year. You can’t get better at something if you don’t get thrown in the deep end.” That kind of attitude is what makes Ian such a great coach, he knows what works and he uses that to help others perfect their craft. At Body Torque in Townsville he is the head MMA coach and it’s something that he is passionate about. “I love coaching and I love trying to help others get better and learn from things that I didn’t do too well in the earlier stages of my career” he explained.
Winning an Australian championship has certainly helped Ian dictate the course of his career and he knows all too well that the latest trend of picking of choosing your fights just in case Zuffa is watching your record may be hard for him to fight top level opponents. “With the fallout from The Smashes trials you are going to see some guys duck top tier fights and that’s a shame. I think that you have to fight the best to be the best and I know that I will fight whoever is winning and I will do whatever I can do win.” Doing everything to win is exactly where the nickname “Hitman” came from “I didn’t want something like “bad to the bone” and one of my old sponsors came up with Hitman, I like it, it kind of rolled off the tongue and it also made sense because I go into fights to finish them. I wanna hit you with a knockout or a submission or anything to finish that fight.”
On his future MMA plans Ian had one thing at the front of his mind. “I want to get on the Legend FC card.” Ian stated. “I want Mike to know that I will step up and fight anybody that he wants to put me against. I would love to get some back for the ANZACs and get a fight against Li Jingliang. Give me someone who has won a few fights, give me anybody that you want. I will take the fight and I will show everybody what Australia is made of.” Ian was realistic with his intentions on fighting with Legend and realizes that in order to fight some of the best on the Asia-Pacific scene he would have to take his training camp to some of the best camps the region has to offer. “I know that I will have to train with the best. You kind of have to mix things up and if you are stepping up in competition you have to train against the same calibre guys that your opponent is training with. You are only as good as the guy you spar with in my opinion.” Ian was also realistic with the timeline that he could fight with the fastest growing organization in the Pacific region, “If they can’t put me on the next few shows I would take something three or four shows away, I will work towards a sponsor that can fly me around to the best camps and I would walk out of Legend with a win that they would remember”.
Ian’s career wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for the help of his sponsors. Ian made note of the help that Australia Sports Nutrition has not only given him in his career but their support of Australian Mixed Martial Artists of all levels. “These guys even support amateur level fighters and I know that without their support from early on in my career I wouldn’t be where I am today. These guys are a credit to the Mixed Martial Arts community.” Help from other local sponsors and also Roy Luxton allowed Ian to take his camp to the Gold Coast for his fight with Ben Mortimer and he knows all too well that without them he wouldn’t have been able to focus solely on perfecting his craft.
Winning the Welterweight title with one of Australia’s most respected fight shows has put Ian “on the map” so to speak, with his injuries quickly recovering Ian is ready to string together some wins and challenge himself. Whether it is on Legend FC (hint hint Mike) or whether it is on another show in Australia, Ian is ready to fight any top level competition in any country and the “Hitman” is ready to put on a show and a half in the process!