Sam ‘Smooth’ Spencer is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Bantamweight division, representing Manchester Predators. He has competed in Budo Fighting Championship, Full Contact Contender, Tankō Fighting Championship and Cage Warriors.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Sam, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion on the CW141 card.
I hope training camp has been going well in the build-up to your scheduled return to the cage?
“Hi mate, yes camp for this one has gone better than ever before. I started the camp in Dubai training at Strong MMA and Team Nogueira BJJ, so that was pretty special, and since then, I have been back in the U.K. I have been getting excellent training at both my home gym, Manchester Predators, and at Next Gen in Liverpool. The rounds I have put in for this camp have all been with very high-level guys in my division, some of the best in the country in my opinion. So yeah, I’m more than ready for this one.”
July 22nd will be one of the biggest nights in Cage Warriors history when Graham Boylan’s phenomenal organisation celebrates its 20th anniversary. This is your 3rd outing for the biggest MMA stages in Europe.
What does it mean to you to once again put on the yellow 4oz’s and be part of such a landmark event in CW history?
“It’s always special to lace up any set of 4oz gloves and get to fight against a solid, professional opponent. Cage Warriors also happens to be the highest level you can compete at in Europe, so that makes it a little bit extra special. I have fought for CW twice before now, neither going my way, so I’m looking to correct that in this fight and get back on the right side of the win column. In regards to this show being the 20th anniversary, that really makes no difference to me, I’m just excited to finally fight outside of the northwest, that is a first for me.”
Now the proverbial dust has settled and you’ve had time to reflect on your bout, what did you take from that collision in Manchester?
“I had a lot of time out injured before that fight. I had only had 30 seconds of actual in-cage fight time in the previous 5 years believe it or not. I definitely felt a bit rusty and started slow. The first round was a real wake-up call, but I did manage to find my timing and have a really good second round, which is a real positive that I’ve taken from the fight. Other than that round, it was a pretty shoddy performance from me, to be honest. I have learned valuable lessons from it though and made the necessary changes to move forward successfully. I think I beat Reece 9 times out of 10 when I’m at my best, but I definitely wasn’t that night. Maybe the rematch is one for the future, who knows.”
The next step on your MMA Journey is just under a week away, set to take on CW veteran Adam ‘Apex’ Amarasinghe. As your plan of action goes into its final stages, and you set your focus on the Indigo at the O2, what do you make of Adam in the build-up to your highly anticipated meeting in the lion’s den?
“I’ve watched all of what I can find on Adam, and he has fought on CW plenty of times so there’s a fair bit of footage out there of him. He’s decent everywhere, quite fast on the feet and has recently moved up a weight class to 135 so I presume he has made strength and power gains. I do feel like I have an edge everywhere though. I think I hit harder and cleaner than him, and I think my grappling is better than his. So though it makes for an interesting scrap, I’m confident I put him away within the distance.”
Without giving too much away what steps have you been taking to make sure you walk out with your arm raised and another W on your record?
“As I mentioned before, I have been training at some top gyms with elite sparring partners for this camp. I have been working on making sure I compete at the appropriate intensity to win high-level MMA fights, something that I lacked in my previous fight most probably due to the time out before it. I think the pace and intensity will be the deciding factor in this matchup.”
I wish you all the best for next week Sam and I look forward to witnessing you out there.
“Thanks for your time mate!”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“I would like to firstly thank all of my sponsors that help to support me during camp. They have allowed me to commit more time and energy into training and recovery than ever before. So huge thank you’s have to go to Dion at Evolution Coatings, to Col and Harry at Yorkstone Sales, to Jamie at Manchester Construction Group, Khuram at Full Motion Physio, Sam and Joe at JSA Print and finally a massive thank you to John.”
“Secondly I need to thank all of the guys that have coached and trained with me to this one, there are so many to name individually but just quickly, massive love and thanks to my coach Gav Boardman and all my guys at my home gym Manchester Predators. These guys are like family to me. Also thanks to Paul and the team at Next Generation in Liverpool, the guidance from Paul and rounds there recently have been game-changing. And then finally, a quick shout to Milano, Thiago, Ramzi, John and the rest of the guys I learned from and trained with in Dubai.”