Colin Fletcher Interview: Talks Conor McGregor, John Maguire and Walter Gahadza

When you think of ‘The Freakshow’ Colin Fletcher you must think of two things. The first is the amazing striking and submission game that he has built over the years and the second is that he is one of the most enigmatic MMA stars not only in the United Kingdom but in the world.

The problem with being one of MMA’s favourite personalities is that you don’t tend to have a lot of time on your hands but eventually, we were able to track down Fletcher for a rare lengthy interview in which we discussed his upcoming fights, the North-East MMA scene and his future plans.

 

Q: Welcome Colin, so how are things at the minute training wise?

 

A: You know training wise I don’t think things have ever been better. I had a lot of time off last year with injuries etc. and this year I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve got away scot-free so it’s brilliant really.

 

Q: So you’ve been booked for two fights this summer, with a fairly short gap between them. Why?

 

A: The simple answer is because I can now. I I’ve always loved fighting in the North-East so Made4TheCage made sense. The thing with me now is that I don’t kill myself in the gym anymore.

With sparring I don’t train like a madman and go all out so it’s no big thing for me to fight twice in quick succession like that anymore you know.

Both fights are tough but if I can come out unscarred from the first one then I’ll be totally fresh going into the second. I know I’m no spring chicken but I’ve still got the heart to do that.

 

Q: So first lets talk about the fight with Walter Gahadza. The man has looked very impressive on his way to a 15-0 career. How are you looking to neutralise that come May 14?

 

A: I’m going to look to stop him, to destroy him. That’s the way he is, he’s a kill or be killed fighter and that’s the simplest way for me to put it. We have a gameplan in place but it would be daft for me to talk about it here.

The thing with this fight is that he’s going to have to take a big step up as he’s coming into this fight. I don’t, I’ve done this all before and fought some of the best in the world. Like I say this is something that has to figure because he’s never fought at this level before.

I know he’s had injuries so he’s going to look to come back with a strong performance but let me make this clear. I’m nobody’s stepping-stone in here. I’ve got enough about me that I’m a tough fight for anybody in this division.

 

Q: Similarly with John Maguire on Mad4TheCage, he’s a former UFC fighter himself so what’s the plan with him?

 

A: Again I’m going to go in there and enjoy myself. John’s a great fighter in his own right you know so I’m going to have to be at my best that night.

I think the thing that separates me at the minute is that I’m not looking for the UFC anymore. I’ve done all that and I’m happy with where I’m at now, which is just making the best fights that I possibly can and putting the best show I can for the United Kingdom crowd.

I’m training with top guys at the minute and we’re getting everyone in the gym at the same time now so I’m in good condition and I’m training with the best people now. I’ll be fine come June and will look to defend my title at Made4TheCage.

 

Q: You mentioned there the guys you were training with; I think it was Alex Enlund who put on twitter that he had the likes of you, Ryan Scope and Davey Grant in training. I mean that’s not even a who’s who of North-East MMA but UK MMA, what’s it like training with them?

 

A: Do you know what it’s strange because I don’t think of them like that, to me they’re the same guys that I’ve been training with for six to seven years now you know and to me they’re just the lads. It’s great that we’ve got them all in at the minute at the same time because that’s been difficult in the past.

I’d consider us a hot bed of talent here in the North-East and to be honest it’s some of the guys that haven’t had as much success that are just as good. You know we’ve got kids around the doors that haven’t done as many things or haven’t had as many opportunities but are just as good you know what I mean?

You know so we’ve got some killers up here when you look at it. Like I say this issue in the past has been getting us all together but of late we’re all alright like so it’s great, it’s a good thing to be a part of.

 

Q: So obviously there’s just been a huge announcement for the UFC in the Irish Conor McGregor taking on Nate Diaz again. You yourself being a former UFC fighter and knowing the strength of publicity do you appreciate what Conor’s doing in changing the game?

 

A: I do aye! I like him because he’s got personality you know. Foremost, he’s a great fighter and secondly, he puts bums on seats. I think what people forget is that we’re in an entertainment industry.

If I go to a promoter and he’s going to me how many tickets are you going to see and I’m saying something like two or three it’s not realistically viable for him to want to get me matched up. So I think it’s a huge part of the game that a lot of
people neglect I think realistically you’ve got to be selling tickets, you’ve got to be entertaining and you’ve got to be going out there fighting to win.

When I say that too I mean fighting to win well and not just kind of grinding out decisions because people don’t want to see that.

People want to see exciting fights, they want to see good people fighting and not fighting bums getting knocked out but that doesn’t happen all of the time.

To be honest, I think a lot of guys fit in the middle of the road now because they’re copying what they see. Now there’s a whole bunch of Conor McGregor’s mouthing off and trying to get by that way because they’ve seen his popularity. I would love to see people become their own personas and bring new things to the sport and that’s the way forward.

 

Q: Was that something that you consciously set out to do at the start of your career? You know you’ve created that whole clown alter-ego or was that just you being yourself and you kind of fell into that role?

 

A: No, no, not at all, no definitely not you know what I mean? It’s kind of just happened really. It happened over time completely with me. I’m just a bit of an idiot if I’m honest; I’m a bit stupid. I don’t take myself or anything for that matter very seriously. I just wanted to do it at first for a bit of a laugh early doors and I did. It was quite funny.

Then a few people kind of took offence to it like ‘you can’t do this, this is a serious sport’ and that just made me want to do it more. I’ll do whatever I want you know what I mean? Because I’m a bit of an idiot like.
There’s no doubt that Fletcher’s off-camera performances are at the highest level in Mixed Martial Arts but if you really want a treat, then, in association with our fantastic partners at Great Annual Savings, come down to Rainton Meadows Arena on Saturday June 25 to see the Made4TheCage World Champion defend his belt.