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'You don't realise what you've got till it's gone' - MMA star Eaton comes out of retirement to fight at Contenders 27

PUBLISHED: 17:31 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:31 10 September 2019

Corrin Eaton is coming out of retirement to fight Abubakar Kukaev at Contenders 27 in Norwich on September 28. Picture: CONTENDERS

Corrin Eaton is coming out of retirement to fight Abubakar Kukaev at Contenders 27 in Norwich on September 28. Picture: CONTENDERS

Archant

When Corrin Eaton decided to walk away from MMA last year, he said he'd fallen out of love with the sport. Now, it's love that's bringing him back.

Ipswich MMA star Corrin Eaton celebrates one of his victories - he's returning to the sport after retiring last year. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDIpswich MMA star Corrin Eaton celebrates one of his victories - he's returning to the sport after retiring last year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ipswich star Eaton revealed his surprise decision to retire last summer, having just pushed future Cage Warriors champion Dean Trueman all the way in a fight of the year contender at the O2 in March.

At the time, he said he could no longer motivate himself through working days in Suffolk and the gruelling training regimen his standards required at his gym, Team Titan in north London.

MORE: 'I've definitely fell out of love with the sport' - Ipswich MMA star Eaton reveals he's quitting the cage

As it turns out, the 30-year-old needed to walk away to come back - and he'll make his return to the cage against the unbeaten Austrian Abubakar Kukaev at the stacked Contenders 27 event in Norwich on September 28th.

"It was either come back or end up in a straight jacket," the former Chantry High School pupil said. "I've been in a bad way, trying to work and not having the escape of going to the gym - I started to go a bit crazy.

"I was thinking about going to Phuket in Thailand, but I spoke to my oesteopath, Nilesh Patel, for some advice and he convinced me to stay here and sort things out, so I came back to Titan and started training again.

Corrin Eaton, right, is one of the best featherweights in Europe. Picture: JERRY DAWSCorrin Eaton, right, is one of the best featherweights in Europe. Picture: JERRY DAWS

"I've definitely got the love back for the sport. You don't realise what you've got till it's gone. So I'm now living in the gym and that's helped me because I don't have the stress of travelling back and forth from Ipswich, and I can earn money teaching here.

"I can sense that I'm approaching my prime - it's like a switch has been flicked."

Eaton also praised Cage Warriors matchmaker Ian Dean for his help in turning things around.

MORE: Eaton wins Fight of the Year in 2018 Flying Knee awards

"He was such a blessing" Eaton explained. "I spoke to him and he really helped me with my mental health. I told him I was back in the gym and he said it would be good to get back in the game.

"He told me to get myself back on the local scene and work my way up, whatever I needed to do to make me happy. I really appreciated that."

Corrin Eaton, right, is 9-3 as a pro. Picture: JERRY DAWSCorrin Eaton, right, is 9-3 as a pro. Picture: JERRY DAWS

And so the first step on Eaton's climb back up the featherweight ladder comes at the Epic Studios later this month, live on MMA TV.

"I don't care anymore," Eaton laughed, when asked about his foe and the fight. "I'm just going out there and having a scrap, I don't feel any pressure any more.

"I'm just going to enjoy the lifestyle of being able to live in a gym, teach, train and fight. The way my mindset is right now, I feel like I'll be up there with the best, if not holding the belt, in any promotion out there."

- You can buy Contenders 27 tickets here

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