Chris Miah interview ahead of ACB 87 showdown with Carlos Abreu

Chris Miah interview ahead of ACB 87 showdown with Carlos Abreu

This week ACB announced that Chris Miah (8-1) would be taking on Carlos Abreu (6-2) in a bantamweight clash at ACB 87 in Nottingham on May 19th. Following the announcement, I spoke to Birmingham born Miah to get his thoughts on the booking, how frustrating his time off through injury has been and his plans for the future. Here is what he had to say:

ACB has this week announced that you will be taking on Brazilian Carlos Abreu at ACB 87 in Nottingham on May 19th, how are you feeling ahead of the fight?
I’m delighted to be able to show my skills on a promotion as big as ACB.

What do you know about your opponent and what are you expecting?

 I know he’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and he has a good guillotine from various positions, on the feet he looks very wild from what tape I have watched.

How do you see the fight playing out?

I see it being a battle of wills, whoever gets to impose their will first and carry out their game plan will win. I’m confident I will be too skilled, strong and determined for him.

If you get the win over Abreu, what are your plans going forward?

Watch this space some big news should be dropping rather soon. Put it this way I’m after a world title this year in a major European promotion.

You haven’t quite been as active as you would have liked over the last couple of years due to injury, how frustrating has that been for you?

It has been very frustrating in my eyes I should of been BAMMA world champion nearly three years ago and be fighting at the highest level right now. That said in my opinion ACB is the pinnacle of the sport, just not in western media right now, believe me there are tougher fights on ACB than half of the UFC. It has also been a blessing I’m learning all the time about the best ways to train, physically, technically, tactically and mentally. This will make me a better fighter and coach to others further down the line. I’m much more experienced than my 8-1-0 record suggests.

The fight against Abreu will be at bantamweight, we have previously seen you compete at both featherweight and flyweight, do you feel that bantamweight is the ideal weight class for you?

Certainly, flyweight was too small, featherweight was too big. Bantamweight is my home. I actually won a local promotions bantamweight title actually early in my pro career.

You have previously mentioned how tough the cut to flyweight was for you, and how such a cut can lead to an increase in injuries. What are your thoughts on the whole weight cutting process in the sport? And do you think that the introduction of more weight classes would help to eliminate weight cutting?

I believe there are many pros and cons to weight cutting. I was simply just too big for flyweight as I matured, the big turning point for me was when I had to cut weight when travelling to Chechnya to fight in a world grand prix on Ahkmat. I don’t think there is a simple solution. I’d just encourage fighters to work with people who know what they are doing with regards to a weight cut and nutrition in general.

You split your time training between both Team Renegade in Birmingham and Team Titan in London training with, and under the likes of Tom Breese, Brad Pickett, the Edwards brothers and Nathaniel Wood amongst many others. How does that work for you and what is it like training in such environments?

I honestly believe I have the perfect blend of styles and coaching between Team Titan and Team Renegade. Team Renegade’s head coach Tom Breese places a huge emphasis on being technically proficient in all the facets of mixed martial arts. Brad, on the other hand, is a genius at blending styles together for mixed martial arts competition as well as dealing with opponents tactically and mentally. I’m a Brummie through and through but at this current moment there are not enough high-level bantamweights locally whereas at Team Titan there is a murders row of the flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight division some great friendships have been formed over the past two years there.
You have also previously trained at American Top Team in Florida, is this something you would look to do again in the future?

Honestly, not really I’ve been to Alpha Male, ATT and Mjolnir and believe we have all we need at home to be a world champion. I may venture out for a training holiday to get to see some of the worlds and get to see some different training modalities but that’s about it.

What got you into MMA, to begin with?

I walked into Stevie B’s gym in Acocks Green at 16 to start some kind of martial art, it just so happened to have Gracie Barra Birmingham based there and an MMA team. Steve pointed me in that direction so I would say its down to Steve Brindle.

What does a typical day in the life of Chris Miah look like?

Wake up, hydrate and have breakfast, walk my dog Kobe, go to morning practice (usually the hardest session of the day), have lunch, nap, go back in the afternoon or evening to do a more technical session. In among that, train clients, watch tape, listen to podcasts, watch Dragonball Super and hang out with my family or girlfriend.

Finally, if you could take on any fighter past or present, who would it be and why?

Demetrius Johnson.
A big thank you to Chris Miah for his time, you can catch him in action at ACB 87 live from the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on May 19th.
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