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Interview with Nick Chapman ahead of tomorrows Cage Rage Event

October 21, 2011   ·   0 Comments



Headling the Cage Rage UK card this Saturday is the much anticipated title bout between Jimi ‘The Poster Boy’ Manuwa and Nick ‘The Headhunter’ Chapman. Ranking as the UK’s number 1 Light Heavyweight fighter, Manuwa stands undefeated with a record of 9-0-0. UK1 LHW title holder Nick Chapman steps in as the underdog challenger with a record 4-0-0. Added to his arsenal for the fight, Chapman has been working closely with Harley St. medics at The Centre for Health and Human Performance; where Professor Greg Whyte and Dr. Jack Kreindler have been working to optimise him physically for the fight. Aundre Jacobs caught up with The Headhunter.


How have you been since your last fight Nick?

 I’ve had my ups and downs. As a person, I’m always upbeat. I’m enjoying life, I love what I do and I’m enjoying life. The preparation for this fight has gone really well. There have been a few glitches and some niggling injuries – but that’s something you’d expect in this game.

Generally, I’m on top of the world.


How did it feel to win your first title and getting the documentary done?

I would’ve been a lot happier with the title and the title of being the champion had my opponent been a worthy opponent. I’m not taking anything away from Charlie, but he stepped in at short notice and he wasn’t fully prepared and I was.  Obviously, I’d been preparing for many, many weeks. If I’m honest with you though mate, I’ve still got a lot to prove.


You’ve got an incredible amount of fans. Is that weird for you considering you’ve only been training since January 2010?

My army of fans are amazing. I don’t know where they’ve come from or what they like, but they’ve made me what I am effectively.  They keep me motivated; they buy tickets to the events and they show a lot of interest in me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my fans – I love them all.

I could never expect in my wildest dreams to have the following that I’ve got. Every single ounce of support gives me strength and motivation.


You said that you have a lot to prove. Do you still feel as if you’re the underdog?

I’ve only got something to prove to myself. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody else. Life is way too short for that. I’m always striving for better; I’m always striving for more. I’ve got an undefeated record, but I’m putting that on the line against the likes of Jimi Manuwa.

It’s great to be an undefeated fighter, and everyone wants that. However, I’m not going to pick and choose my opponents. I’m going to go for the highest possible person out there. I want to have the biggest challenge every single time I fight.


You’ve been working with the Harley Street medics. How did that all come about?

These guys are amazing. I don’t even know where to begin. The time, effort and resources that they’ve invested in to me Is incredible. You’d need a degree to understand it, it’s amazing. I’ve only had three months with these guys, but within three months the difference in my body is phenomenal.


I’ve got Usain Bolt’s physio, who is just amazing. I’ve got Professor Greg White as a personal trainer. He’s recognised as the leading sports scientist in the world. I’ve got Dr Jack Kreindler doing a lot medical stuff with me. I’ve been speaking with their top nutritionists. I’ve got the best of the best. They rigged me up to these machines and made me feel like Ivan Drago out of Rocky IV.


Are you expecting to beat Usain Bolt in a race anytime soon?

I’d smash Usain Bolt…in a fight (laughs). Not on the 100m track. In a fight I’d beat him because in the cage, you can’t run away.


What do they actually do at The Centre for Health and Human Performance, for those that don’t know?

It’s a wonderful network of elite specialists that they have there. Anything to do with human and health performance, these guys have the leading experts across the world as part of their team. These guys cover it all. I’m on their elite athlete program so they look after everything when it comes to me as an athlete.

They’ve also taken an interest in my company, “Fight Science”. With them, we’ve developed a whole new training protocol and principles for MMA fighters. I use their lab in London to test my guys, and with the feedback from the specialists, depending on what comes back in the results, we develop the most bespoke, tailor-made training plan for my guys.

Fight Science now has an elite fighter development program, which is on another level. They’ve also got access to leading doctors in the world and it’s for an affordable price through Fight Science.


How has building and beginning a gym gone for you. It’s soon to open right?

Fight Science is going from strength to strength right now. I’ve got ninety clients on my books, two full-time guys and a number of other guys who are coming to help.  We’re operating out of three different sites at the moment, but we’re about to sign the lease on 20,000sq facility, with 500,000 pounds worth of investment going into it, including sponsorship from Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and Ringside. I have a 26 foot cage, over 6’000sq foot of matting area, a circuit training area, a shop, physios. This place is amazing.



You’ve been in the sport just over a year. Are you surprised at how fast things have moved?

I’ve got one thing to say about that. I have wasted time in my life before and I found it wholly unproductive. I don’t intend to waste a single second of the rest of my life. It’s just the case of hard work and persistence.


You’re obviously fighting Jimi Manuwa on October 22nd 2011. Is the fight that you’ve always wanted since you began your career?

Hell yeah. Jimi has the belt and it’s the belt I want. It’s probably one of the most coveted Light-Heavyweight belts in Europe. Where else is there for me to go at the moment? I’ve had four fights in eighteen months. Win, lose or draw, this is where I want to be.


I’ve noticed from the documentary that your stand-up has improved quite a bit. Has it been more of the same compared to your last camp?

I train all year round. I literally take a week or two off between fights and what I never allow myself to have is an area of weakness. I’ve still got so much to learn, but if I focus on an area that is lacking I’ll focus on it until it’s up to scratch. I realized that my stand-up needed some work so I focused on that. I know my cardio needed some work so I focused on that.

I basically make sure that I’m a well-rounded fighter who is up to scratch.


A lot of people have said that Jimi hasn’t really been tested. Do you feel that you’re going to be the man that is going to test Jimi in every single area?

Certainly not. I don’t think I can test Jimi in every area. All I can say is that right now, coming up to this fight I’ve done everything I possibly can. I am the best person, the best fighter, best athlete that I could possibly be at this given time. I’ve done everything I can.

Hopefully, that’s enough. I don’t know where Jimi’s at. He may steamroll me. Jimi may be so much better than me that I don’t stand a chance. Then again, I may have done enough to win this fight. I’m going to go in there, do my best and I’ll answer that question more after the fight.


Is there anyone you’d like to thank Nick?

I’d like to thank my sponsors. They’ve all contributed massively into my preparation. I’d like to thank Primal Lifestyle, they supply Vibram Fivefinger shoes. You can find them at primallifestyle.com.  I’d like to thank fightgear-4u.com; they create fight gear in Thailand. L’Aroma, an Italian R restaurant in Woking. Copy my PC in Guildford; they are an online storage company. Cannons UK, they’re a soft judo mat company and they have been absolutely amazing. I’d like to thank Feel Free Nutrition. They’ll be doing a lot more stuff with me and Fight Science in the coming months. Most of all my fans, anybody that gives me support in whatever capacity. I love them all, but above all else I want to thank my wonderful wife who sticks by me through thick and thin and puts up with my bollocks when I’m hungry. And of course Zara my former PR at HALO MMA who has helped me no end 🙂


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