Yesterday UFC officially announced their first ever date for a UFC in Scotland. 13,000 people are expected to attend the show at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow and two Scottish fighters are tipped to appear on the card. We caught up with one of the two, Robert Whiteford, to see what he thought this event will do for Scottish MMA and what’s up next for Whiteford himself.
So first of all Whiteford, how did you react when you heard the news that UFC was officially coming to Scotland?
It’s the news I have been waiting for, for a long time, the UFC has so many other potential places to go to so it’s great that they are going to come to Scotland, as we are a nation which is engaged with martial arts and fight sports.
13,000 people are expected to attend. What do you think this event will do for MMA in Scotland?
What it will do for the Scottish MMA scene is a hard one to gauge, as it was at it’s peak I think nationally a couple of years ago, with local shows putting on big cards and selling to big(ish) crowds. This is the scene where both me and Jo ( Jo Jo Calderwood) competed on and it helped us show the world our skills and get the step up. I think it’s a bit different though with the UFC as it attracts many more casual fans, who probably didn’t go to any of these local shows. At the same time, it’s a massive event, which hopefully will alert more people to MMA as a sport, but to be honest I am just really fucking pleased its coming to Scotland, I think if I could sell a few thousand tickets myself!
What’s next for you? Is there anything on the cards before UFC Scotland or are you holding out hoping to be matched here instead?
To be honest, I have just been focusing on my rehab. I had a quite bad training injury which forced me to withdraw from my fight with Dennis Siver. Its 85% sorted now, so I am still remaining completely focused on getting myself to full fitness. I will be ready to fight, I can’t wait, its been too long. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m climing the F****** walls every day wanting to get back into the Octagon, that is my place of peace and calm, its unexplainable to be honest.
Lastly, will we be seeing you this year at The SFN Expo 2015 for the MMA fans?
I missed the last one, as I was away in America (I think) preparing for my fight, (Which never happened) so, yeah I would be honored to come this year, and hopefully we can put on some cool shit for the fans!
Whiteford’s closing statement…
“I can’t wait to blow the f***ing roof off the place!”
This interview was brought to you by the SFN EXPO Scotlands biggest ever sport, fitness and nutrition expo.