Exclusive Craig ‘The Thundercat’ White Interview
Craig White on his call up to the UFC says “It’s a dream that i thought would never come true”
But this Sunday in Liverpool that dream becomes a reality when he steps in at short notice, to face the ranked Neil Magny. Craig has kindly given up his time to give me an interview.
Fightpost: Your story is definitely an example of how quickly a fighters career can change. From finally securing a Cage Warriors title shot, you are now fighting on the biggest stage possible, the UFC this weekend in Liverpool. Can you believe what has happened.
Craig: In some ways yes and in some ways no. It came as a complete surprise when the UFC got offered, although another win or two with CW, especially with the belt, likely would have put me down the same path anyway. Just not quite as soon. Either way though, this is my opportunity to show everyone that I am ready to be fighting at this level right now and come Sunday everyone will see just that.
Fightpost: How did you end up on the UFC Liverpool card, did it come out of the blue.
Craig: I got a message from Graham Boylan asking if me and my coach had some time for a chat. We then had a call at lunchtime that day, with Graham saying there was a space if I wanted it. I said yes and the rest is pretty much known to everyone now.
Fightpost: Obviously your opponent is the perennial top 10 welterweight Neil Magny, were there any doubts about facing someone of that calibre in your UFC debut.
Craig: None at all. I am a martial artist and part of that means I strive to push myself in any way I can. Fighting someone of Magny’s skill set is just so exciting. If you’re going to doubt yourself going into a fight then you’re in the wrong sport for sure.
Fightpost: Is the move to the UFC a potential life changer, what difference does it make to you.
Craig: Obviously the UFC is a life changer for anyone. It’s a big step up and you have to take everything that bit more serious because of that. But how it’s going to impact me is hard to say as I’ve not really had the chance to work that out yet, due to the short notice of this fight.
Fightpost: Are you a full-time MMA fighter or do you have to work your fighting career around holding down a job.
Craig: I work full-time in financial services. MMA is a hobby which I get to do professionally and have some of the best experiences with you could ever ask for, and I have no intention of changing that whatsoever.
Fightpost: You have got a nice little win streak going, have you made any specific changes to your training in recent times.
Craig: None at all. My training has always been well-rounded and a mixture of all aspects. Just as I’ve got older and my fight IQ has increased, I’ve been able to put everything together that little bit more each day and improve on the whole.
Fightpost: Finally what one thing would you change in MMA
Craig: Same as everyone. Weight cuts. Introduce some extra weight divisions, do day of the fight weigh-ins for everyone etc etc. Having professional athletes at the top of their game competing at about 70% isn’t really ideal.
Fightpost: Thank you so much for your time, especially during fight week when i know your time is even more precious, and good luck for Sunday.
Craig fights Neil Magny on the main card this Sunday when the UFC makes its first ever visit to Liverpool. Magny is the 9th ranked welterweight in the UFC.