Tolly “The Pitbull” Plested 8-0 BJJ Black Belt and UFC Bound?


Tolly Plested is a Mixed Martial Artist with an undefeated record of 8-0.  He fights out of First Generation/Icon BJJ and is a Welterweight Fighter.  Although an undefeated fighter who has been fighting since 2009, Tolly is still flying under the radar but this won’t be for long. We caught up with him to find out more about his history and plans for the future.

We initially wanted to know how Tolly got into MMA originally.

“I got into MMA by my friend and student Oli Thompson.  He started competing in MMA so I thought that I would prove my BJJ techniques would work in a ‘real fight’ so I started to fight in MMA”.

When it comes to training Tolly puts in a lot of hard work and tells us what a typical week is like for hm.

“When I am not in camp I train between 5-10 sessions a week and if I am training for a fight anywhere between 10-15 sessions a week”.

Tolly is lucky to be able to work in the field of MMA full time.

“I teach BJJ and MMA full time at my own Gym in Eastbourne, First Generation”.

When it comes to who Tolly looks up to as a fighter, he tells us his number one and the reasons why.

“It has to be GSP.  I admire him as an athlete and martial artist.  I also think he is a great role model”.

With a lot of support whenever he fights, we wondered how Tolly’s family and friends feel about his chosen career.

“I think my friends and family are proud of me for pursuing my dream”.

Tolly made his professional debut against Matt Wilkins back in October 2009, so how did it feel to be making the debut and get the all-important first win.

“I was nervous but also excited at the same time.  I find it hard to remember the fight properly, it is all a bit of a blur but when the bell went, I was on top of him and raining down blows and winning is the best feeling in the world”.

Tolly’s debut against Wilkins is the only fight out of the 8 that has gone past the first round. Is Tolly pleased he is finishing fights so quickly or would he like to showcase his skills more?

“I would like to show more of my skills but of course I am happy to get the job done”.

Out of the 8 fights, Tolly has had, he has won 4 by TKO and 4 by Submission.  It suggests that he is a good all-rounder but does he agree?

“Yes, I consider myself well-rounded but I am always looking to improve in all areas”.

Athletes with unbeaten records often say they feel the pressure more, as they want to keep their undefeated streak so does Tolly find this is true in his case?

“To be honest, no. I  realise that all the best guys lose at some point so I try not to put pressure on myself and just enjoy it but realise any opponent I face is going to be determined to be the one to stop me”.

In terms of a favourite fight and the toughest one to date, Tolly tells us his picks.

“My first professional fight was my favourite fight to date.  As for the toughest, it was one of my amateur fights at ZT Interclubs.  I can’t remember my opponents name but it was the final and I had already fought twice and was exhausted by the time I had my third fight”.

Although Tolly competes in MMA he is also a Champion in BJJ and tells us a little more about this and also how he feels about being awarded his BJJ Black Belt.

“I am currently the British and European No Gi Champion and got Silver in the European Gi Championship. My BJJ helps me when I am in an MMA bout and I enjoy competing and choose to represent my style of Jiu Jitsu in both forms of competition.

It took me roughly eight and a half years to achieve Black Belt and it was an awesome feeling and honour to be graded by my Master Ze Marcello”.

Tolly was out of the cage for a year from November 2012 to November 2013 and we wondered why.

“I had been busy building my own gym up.  I still competed but only in grappling and Jiu Jitsu competition”.

We last saw Tolly in an MMA fight against Arunas Kilmavicius at UCMMA 37 so we wondered how the fight went for Tolly and when we can expect to see him back in action.

“The fight didn’t last long but I felt the most relaxed I had ever felt in an MMA fight.  I do have a few offers in the pipeline so we shall wait and see”.

Looking to the future, we wondered if Tolly had his eye on anyone specific and what his long term goals are in the world of MMA.

“I am not really into calling anyone out and will fight anyone who pushes my career forward.  Long term, I would like to fight abroad and ultimately make it to the UFC”.

Tolly’s Manager tells us that Tolly has his backing 100% and that he is more than ready to take on some top level guys.  How does that kind of backing make Tolly feel?

“Mogul Management have been a great support to me and it is good to know that they have my back”.

Having been around MMA for 5 years, we wondered how Tolly feels he has evolved as a fighter and what advice he can offer to others.

“When I started out I was strictly a Jiu Jitsu guy.  Now I am happy standing or on the ground.

If I had to give advice, it would be to find a good instructor/coach and learn all aspects of MMA before competing.  Start at Amateur and get experience before stepping to Semi Pro and Pro”.

It has certainly been interesting catching up with Tolly and he really is one to watch out for.  It won’t be long before he is climbing the ranks and taking steps to get closer to his UFC dream.  We would like to thank him for his time and he would like to thank the following people.

“I would like to thank my business partner and boxing coach Paul Morgan for always believing in me; my Jiu Jitsu Masters Ze Marcello and Alexandre Lizdro for teaching me the beautiful art; Oli Thompson for inspiring me; Sid from Mogul Management for the work behind the scenes and all my students and team mates that are there to train with me day in and day out”.




Written by Suzy Athey, Senior Manager of Athlete Services, Mogul Management



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