On fight Island:
- It’s great, we are well looked after, obviously, there’s a lot of Covid tests and stuff so they’re doing the right things. I think what Dana has done for the sport really is massive. You’re gonna gain a lot of new fans, people who have not been able to watch any live sport. Putting this on the island has drawn a lot of attention to the UFC so I think it’s a big thing and it’s massive for the sport.
On arriving at Abu Dhabi:
- I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi but it’s unreal to come here and fight on this island. There’s going to be only like 100 athletes who are able to do this so there is not many. It’s a big opportunity for me. I’m happy and the island is great. We’ve been on the jet skis today so we’re lapping it all up. We’re not just sitting in our room we’ve enjoyed it.
On preparation for Saturday:
- It’s been fine, obviously, we’ve had the quarantine. Two days in London and then two days here in Abu Dhabi. It’s much easier here because we’re in a room with our training coach. So I’ve able to do pad work with Terry Etim who is a legend in the sport and he knows what he’s doing. I’ve been training with him in my room and keeping fit.
On life in lockdown:
- I was quite fortunate really, I had my own gym in Wigan and my 15-year old son understands wrestling and MMA, and he’s a good weight for me so I trained with him every day. Which was good, he still gave me a hard time. Then as soon as I found out we were fighting and elite athletes were able to train I went back to Liverpool and trained full time so training camp has been great.
On returning to action:
- For us as athletes it keeps us working, keeps us getting money in to feed our families that’s the main thing. I take my hat off to Dana for letting us do that. He’s had some balls to do it in this pandemic, but he’s made it work and I think he’s going to gain a lot of new fans to the sport. He’s fantastic for us.
On facing Movsar Evloev:
- I think he’s an exciting fight for the fans. We’re both from a wrestling background just different styles of wrestling. I’m a freestyle, he’s more of a greco guy but it’s an excellent exciting fight. Sometimes you put two wrestlers together and they’re probably gonna try and go there and knock each other out because they cancel each other out. I think it will be an exciting fight for the fans. Potentially the fight of the night.
On being on a card with fellow UK athletes:
- It creates a good atmosphere especially for us. We’ve got Tom Aspinall, we’ve got Darren Till on the main event so there are three lads from our team alone. So when we were training back at home was the atmosphere was great. We’re all on the same path and training hard so the atmosphere has been good.
On the impact of Fight Island in the UK:
- People are messaging me who never usually message me or have ever really shown much interest in UFC or fighting. Just from my small area in Wigan we got a lot of new fans. So it’s definitely going to work out better for the sport in the long run.