Issue 203

April 2024

Mixed martial arts has a resounding impact on everybody it touches. From athletes who dedicated their entire world to the craft to fans feeling the highs and lows of watching their favorite fighter compete, few people have been impacted by the sport as much as Kane Mousah, who credits the sport with saving his life. Fighters Only's Jake Smith caught up with him to hear his incredible life story.

As of today, the 37-year-old holds an impressive 14-6 record and has competed for numerous major mixed martial arts promotions, including Bellator and PFL, while simultaneously being the mastermind behind a hugely successful clothing company. But for Mousah, things could have turned out very differently. 

At 15, the UK MMA stalwart found himself becoming deeply involved in the ever-growing gang culture that was rife throughout Manchester in the 90s. Giving Fighters Only a glimpse of what life was like at the time, Moushah revealed some harrowing tales of just how bad it got. 

“At the time, when I started fighting, Manchester was heavily immersed in gang activity, explains Moushah. “There were shootings, murders happening on a regular basis. There were young children being murdered on the streets, there were my friends being murdered. There were people who would at the time we would class as opposition, kids being murdered who were friends of my Mum's family.

“It was a crazy, dark time, but it was our time, and it was the life we were living in. It was the life we were immersed in, and to be able to navigate through that to be in a position where MMA was able to take me away from that, MMA was able to show me that I have got potential to become something more than just a street thug.”


It was clear from the outset that Mousah had a natural talent inside the cage, and this Manchester man is eternally grateful for finding a passion for the sport. He admits that if he hadn’t, there was a serious chance he could have ended up dead or convicted for an extremely serious crime due to the nature of the life he was living at the time.

“If it wasn’t for MMA, I would have either been a victim of murder, potentially convicted of murder because at the time I was defending my friends and I was willing to do whatever it took at the time to defend me and my friends, they were family, and there were people that were threatening our life and our existence, and I was willing to do whatever it took to protect ours.

I feel like, at that time, I could have ended up dead or in jail for life. I have got friends that are serving life right now, I have got seven or eight friends who are serving life, the majority for murder, and that could have easily been me.

So, if it wasn’t for MMA pulling me away, I could have seen myself in a bad situation and such a waste of talent. I got ‘Blessed’ tattooed on my hand when I was in prison, and I always say I am blessed by god. I am grateful for the blessings I have been given in life, and that is why I stay positive. I stay an influential member of society to build society as a whole.”


Just as Mousah was beginning to make a name for himself on the UK scene, his past ultimately caught up to him, and after being charged for a crime committed years prior, Mousah found himself in prison at the age of 23. Having seen how much of a positive impact the sport could have on his life, ‘The Danger’ stayed out of trouble while in prison, which led to him being moved from a Category B prisoner to a Category D prisoner. The change meant that Mousah could now do his Level 2 Gym Instructor course, something he credits as a catalyst for changing his whole life. 

“Regardless of whatever I achieve in this world, based on how my life went to how it turned out to this point, I have been successful. If blessings were financial, I would be rich beyond belief. You might as well class me as a billionaire of blessings because from where my life was to where it is now and the transitions and all the circumstances and events that have led to me being in this position, it is nothing but magical. 

“If it wasn’t for the level two, I wouldn’t have got the level three. If it wasn't for the level three, I wouldn’t have worked at Pure Gym. If it wasn’t for Pure Gym, I wouldn’t have met Andre Winner and Jimmy Wallhead to carry on my career. Everything happens for a reason, and that is why I say I am blessed.”

Since being released, Mousah has focused on becoming the best mixed martial artist he can be, competing against some of the biggest names on the British and European scene. Having spent four years under the Bellator promotional banner, Mousah most recently fought for PFL in their 2024 European season.


As the sport continues to grow in popularity and gyms find more and more young people coming through the doors than ever before, the 37-year-old has witnessed how his role within the gym has developed and relishes the chance to be a role model for young men who may be on a similar trajectory to the one he found himself on in his earlier years. 

“It feels amazing,” when asked about being a role model. “I was a young man raised with no father. I feel like young men are always searching for a strong male role model in their life, whether it be the father at home, someone in the streets, someone in the gym. I am happy I can be someone who can be a strong male role model in these young guys’ life but in a positive light. In fighting, and being able to protect themselves, protect their family, and work hard and, it feels so rewarding. For me, that’s part of the game, to give back, and I believe that’s as humans as a race, to give back to the younger generation and help lead them into the better.

“I feel good, and I feel like I am doing the best I can to contribute to the future of the next generation.”

Fully aware of the impact he could have on the upcoming generation, it is apparent that Mousah carries a massive sense of pride in inspiring the next wave of athletes and anyone who may look to him as a source of inspiration. Mousah is hopeful that as the sport develops, it can help change more people's lives than ever before.

“(I am proud) To be one of the first people to lead the way, to show the younger generation that we can actually become. Now look at it, we have fighters from all over the country, from every hood, whether it is London, Birmingham, Liverpool, we have got fighters coming from everywhere now. These young kids are coming from these raw areas, and people are becoming superstars, and people have been able to change their family’s lives. The tide is changing, and hopefully, over time, MMA can impact more young people’s lives.”


Away from competition, Mousah had dedicated his life to building his hugely successful clothing company, BADR, an idea that also stemmed from his time competing in MMA. 

“I owe everything to MMA. My brand BADR, Being A Dangerous Rival, has been built from the sport of MMA and the opportunities that’ve come with that. I have been able to live a lifestyle from a clothing brand that has been representing people of struggle and hardship and it all just ties in.

“Once again, if it wasn’t for MMA, I would not be here. I wouldn’t be in the position I am, so shout out to the MMA gods that put the sport in place.

How Mousah has turned his life around is nothing short of outstanding. The Manchester native will no doubt be a beacon of hope for many up-and-coming athletes who may find themselves on the wrong track, not to give up and to show them that no matter where you come from or how bad it has been, you can turn your life around. 

Although out of the PFL European Lightweight tournament, ‘The Danger’ wants to remain active, and with several PFL and Bellator European shows planned for the rest of 2024, fans will no doubt see Mousah make the walk at least once more this year.