Chris Fishgold: “I Want That Bonus So Let’s Get Swinging!”
By Jack Rainbow
When Chris Fishgold walks to the Octagon in Abu Dubai on the 15th of July, it will mark his first UFC performance in over a year.
Misfortune has kept Chris out of action, such as the visa issues five days before his scheduled performance in Washington in December, as well as the Coronavirus putting an end to his hopes to feature on the undercard of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson in April. However, sustained periods between fights is not new for Chris:
“If you look at me compared to the other UK guys they go like f*** he’s had a lot of fights, but if you look at my actual record, there are long periods where I have had a year out or two years out. People forget I’ve been doing this since I was 14 or 15, and I’m 28 now. So although it’s like s*** I’ve not fought for a year, before I got signed for the UFC it had been a year since I had fought Jacobson. I wouldn’t say I am used to it but I know what to expect.”
Chris is opening the main card on Wednesday against former Cage Fury featherweight champion Jared Gordon ( 15-4). When asked about his prior knowledge of Gordon, Chris admitted to being unfamiliar with Gordon’s fighting style:
“No disrespect at all but when I got matched with him, I had heard his name but I was not familiar with him. I know a lot more now as I’ve got a great guy who does my break downs called Kyle Manford. He put loads of his fights together and showed what he is good at what he is bad at and how to beat him, and I feel like I know his game now so we will see.”
Despite wishing no disrespect, Chris unsurprisingly had a brash response to Gordon calling himself a bigger better and more polished version of him:
“It is a coincidence he said that about me because I’ve been saying he is a s*** version of me! It is one of them. Let’s not beat around the bush we are both similar fighters and we both don’t mind about getting hit and having a war. I am hoping he wants to stand and bang, as with this COVID stuff, times are hard, and I want that bonus so let’s get swinging and see who has the better chin. I am pretty confident it is going to be me, I am pretty confident I need this fight more and I’m pretty confident I’m going to knock him out.”
Training during a pandemic has been borderline impossible for swathes of fighters. Within the UK, gym time is limited as is the number of sparring partners. For many, training camps have therefore been impacted, but Chris admits the limited gym time could be a blessing in disguise:
“I wouldn’t say I have trained as much as normal fight camps, but I feel like when I have been training I have trained harder. My body needed the rest and it has worked out perfectly. I feel more prepared for this fight than any other fight I have had. Don’t get me wrong we have been training three or four hours a day, but in normal fight camps I feel like I may have overtrained, and not given it 110% outside the gym, but this time I feel like I have left no stone unturned. Hopefully, it pays off and if it doesn’t, one of them. Sometimes you’re the hammer sometimes your the nail and I’m pretty sure I will be the hammer.”
Fighting behind closed doors is becoming the new normal in professional sport. For Chris however, this is not the first time this has happened in his career, and the intimacy of the first event stuck with him:
“I have actually fought without no crowd before at BT studios in London for a Cage Warrior unplugged when I defended my title for the second time. There were about 50 people there which will probably be the same amount as the UFC workers. I didn’t mind it but that was a five-round fight, and at the end of that fifth round he hit me with an elbow and took my back and I looked up and I remember seeing a women gasp with her hand over her mouth, and then I thought oh god I’m cut! Then I felt the blood go into my eye. That sort of stuff makes my heart go as its all about breathing, so as long as there’s no one in there doing that, I think I will be pretty cool!”
With “Fight Island” being outside the US, the UFC is naturally seeking to make the most out of the opportunity to give fights to their UK fighters. This situation means that Chris will be joined on the July 15th card by teammate Molly McCann. Rather than add further pressure, this excites Chris:
“It’s great. Molly’s like a sister to me. Last time we were on the same card we f***** people up and I’m pretty sure we are going to do the same this time.”
One thing striking about Chris was the clear belief he possessed in himself. This was further proven when asked for an official prediction:
“Fishgold TKO or KO, I truly believe that but I will take a sub if it’s there.”
In his first appearance in the Octagon since June 2019, Chris will look to remind people of the clear ability he has at his disposal. With a Fight of the Night bonus being spoken about as the aim for both men, this fight has mouth-watering potential for entertainment, and with Chris predicting his first UFC Knockout, it is must-watch TV.
Chris would like to thank his sponsors Rite Flank, Scramble Fight Gear, Macrochef, and PT Fitness Freak, for there stellar support in this training camp and beyond.