When I sat down to talk to 21-year old Crevan Scrivens, I will admit I was a little nervous. I felt sure I would be chatting to a typical millennial and that I might struggle to find something to talk about. However, not for the first time since I got involved with MMA, I was completely wrong. Within a few moments I was stuck by the focus and maturity emanating from him. Rare at any age, but especially in one so young.
I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Sometimes our path will seem to be guided by signs the universe has sent to us. Usually these signs are, of course, figurative. In Crevan’s case, however, the sign was a literal one. At the age of 16, he came across a poster advertising Ben Davis’s Shaolin gym and so his story began.
“I went into the club and started really enjoying it…It’s a very humbling sport.”
As Crevan made the transition from school to college, he lost focus with his training as the temptations of “adult life” began to create a distraction. I am sure many people can relate to this, I know I certainly can. During his second year in college, Crevan became disinterested in academia.
“I just ended up not going in, drinking, partying… I went to see my coach (Ben Davis…) and he reminded me ‘Shaolin is there, we’re all there to help each other to progress.’ That pulled me back, I dropped college and I am working now full time and training full time.”
As someone who banged her head against a brick wall to complete her degree, I admire Crevan’s courage in walking away from something which was not working for him, in order to chase his bliss.
As Crevan and I chatted it became very clear to me that for this young man, MMA is not a hobby or way to impress his friends. He appears to treat it with vocational reverence. He reminded me of the part of Kill Bill Volume 2 when the Bride goes to train at the temple of the legendary martial arts master Pai Me. Even his construction day job seems to serve as a training tool more than anything else.
As the child of immigrant parents, Crevan has been brought up to understand the value of hard work, and he certainly doesn’t appear to shy away from it.
“That shaped me. It made me realise that hard work is what I need.”
Crevan is at the very beginning of what looks set to be a successful MMA career. He has had two amateur fights so far, recording one win and one loss. Speaking about his recent defeat at Clan Wars he said
“That was a very tough fight for me, my leg got seriously injured. It also taught me a lot of things. That I have heart, I need to refine technique more. It’s not a game, you can get hurt, you need to be prepared 100%”
Crevan has made a full recovery and is looking forward to his return to the Clan Wars card on March 2nd, when he will be facing Sean McCormac. Both fighters look very evenly matched, so no doubt it will make for an entertaining evening.
Like many young fighters, Crevan is eagerly pursuing every opportunity to hone his craft in the cage. I was interested to hear if he found the cost associated with being an amateur fighter in the Republic of Ireland prohibitive. While Crevan did agree that the financial pressure was an issue, the bigger picture is the lack of shows being put on in the South.
“Over the past few years I have noticed the affect it has had on the amount of shows in the country.”
As a young guy, with a bright future ahead of him, I wanted to ask what his ambitions are. I was expecting to hear about lofty goals of The UFC, but again his response was measured and realistic.
“I want to fight the best amateur welter weights in Ireland and I want to prove that I am combat ready. When I feel that I am ready and that I have had title shots, I’ll go pro.”
Inevitably the conversation came around to the subject of weight cutting. Crevan walks around at about 86kg and fights at 77kg. This is not an insignificant amount of weight to be trying to cut. Especially for amateurs, who may be juggling a physically demanding job with the rigors of the sport. Crevan seems to have a good approach to cutting though, employing a slow and steady method with no gimmicks or quick fixes.
Shaolin was recently voted Best Gym in the Clan Wars awards, and to hear Crevan talk about the support and positive influence Ben has had on him, it is easy to understand why. Not only has Ben been instrumental in developing Crevan’s talent, but he influenced his parents’ attitude towards their son’s MMA ambitions. Obviously, no parent wants to see their child in harms way, but Ben was able to reassure them.
Because of the Master-apprentice relationship Ben and Crevan enjoy, I asked Ben for a word on his protégé.
“Crevan is a great young man. He has a powerful energy and enthusiasm that could make the most socially awkward person feel welcome and at ease. He is open minded and would help you in an instant without compromise. I cannot tell you exactly why he is fighting. Maybe he doesn’t fully understand yet himself? Personally, I feel we’re fighting ourselves. No matter where or what social background we come from. He is definitely doing that. He is taking control of his own reality and perhaps inspiring the world to do the same.” – Ben Davis.
I have been lucky enough to have a handful of great mentors throughout my life, but I am not sure any of them would have had such wonderful things to say about me! Crevan seems to be in exactly the right environment to flourish, and the with the drive he has, it is hard to imagine anything stopping him. We can’t wait to see him in action in the spring.
Written By: Arwen Sheridan
Check Out Arwen’s Health and Lifestyle blog here