BAMMA 8 INTERVIEW: ANDRE WINNER
December 7, 2011 · 0 Comments
There can’t be more distracting things heading into a fight than the birth of your new baby but, despite impending fatherhood, Andre Winner tells Graham Finney that he is more focused than ever on his fighting. With seasoned professional Diego Gonzalez next to face him in the cage on Saturday, Winner is brimming with confidence and will not let anything distract him from the job ahead.
Andre, how are things going in preparation for Saturday?
“Good thanks. I’ve just had my last proper training session so, with probably one more tough-ish session ahead, most of the hard work is done. It’s less than a week now until the fight so I think the bread and butter stuff is done. Now it’s important just to work on energy levels so I’m ready for Saturday.”
You last fought on BAMMA 7, what do you remember about your win over Jason Ball?
“No disrespect to Jason but I think it was a fairly comfortable win. He is a great fighter but I had my plan and I wanted to control the fight. He’s a strong boxer and dangerous on the ground but I made the conscious decision to control the fight straight from the off so, like I said, no disrespecting him, I think I won quite comfortably.”
You must be brimming with confidence ahead of Saturday then?
“I go into every fight confident. If you go into a fight and you aren’t confident then you really shouldn’t be a fighter.”
You mentioned you had a plan for the BAMMA 7 fight. Is that usual for you to enter the cage with a plan?
“Sometimes, sometimes I go in and I wing it. It depends on the fighter really. I want to get off first and dominate the fight. Also, if it goes to ground I want to make sure I’m on top. I think that is the same with even the top fighters – if the fight goes to ground, you want to be on top dominating. I’ve started to use more disciplines now, including kicks, and I’ve grown more confident in coming forward whereas I used to be reluctant.”
What do you know about your opponent this Saturday?
“I know he’s been around the block and competed at a high level so I know he is going to be a very experienced fighter. I saw him on his second BAMMA fight so I know he has solid boxing skills and ground work. I also know that he isn’t a journeyman, he’s fought some quality fighters so I’m expecting a tough fight.”
So you’ll be ready for either a stand up or a ground fight then?
“Yeah, I’ll take the fight wherever it goes. I’m not worried about that, I’ve got to think about my game and how I can dominate the fight. I’ve been looking to expand my game giving me the chance to do whatever it takes to get the finish.”
What can BAMMA fans expect from Andre this time?
“Expect a good fight. It’s great to be back on BAMMA and I’m hoping to fight on the next BAMMA show so as soon as this one is over with I’m hoping they can set me up with another fight. I’m fully focused on the job ahead, even though I’m due to become a father right near the BAMMA show this weekend.”
Seriously? Will becoming a father take the edge off you as a fighter?
“No. In fact, I think it will motivate me more. I’m totally focused on my fighting because I’ve set myself goals and I’m going to achieve them no matter what.”
What are those goals?
“Well, there is one loss in my career that really hurts even now and that is the fight with Anthony Njokuani. That fight still burns inside me and pisses me off. It motivates me more every time I think about it, and I can only move on when I’ve got that fight out of my system. My goals are to improve as a fighter, pick up the pace of my fight game and just come out as a good all round fighter. This fight with Diego is a title eliminator and, after winning, I expect to get my chance to take on Rob Sinclair and bring the title back home”
And any message for Diego?
“Just see you on Saturday really. I’m hoping that Diego won’t feel too bad afterwards as it’s nothing personal. It’s just he’s going to be fighting me at the wrong time. I’ve got my goals and I’m not expecting anything other than a win. He’s a good guy and I’ve trained with a couple of guys from his club in the past and they’re all good people but, come Saturday, I’m not expecting to lose.”
Words Graham Finney
Tickets for BAMMA 8 at The Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday December 10th are available now through www.theticketfactory.com and www.bamma.com
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• SyFy in the UK
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• The Fight Network in Canada
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