Denis ‘The Menace’ Frimpong 4-2-0 is an Irish amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Light-Welterweight division, representing Manchester Top Team. He has competed for Cage Conflict, Iúr Fighting Championships, Full Contact Contender, X-Treme Kombat and Preston based organisation UKFC.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Denis, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the UKFC 20 card for the amateur Light-Welterweight title.
“Yeah man, I appreciate that a lot. I’ve put a lot of work into getting to this stage you know, it means a lot.”
Definitely, a potential prize for all the exceptional work you’ve been doing this past year.
From what I’ve seen training is going well, you seem to be going all out for your return to the UKFC cage?
“Yeah, doing a lot of training. The camp I’m currently doing at Manchester Top Team, getting really good rounds in. High-level training and a good game plan for my opponent that I have so yeah, everything’s going really well. Feeling sharp, got another 2 weeks or so, probably another week and half of the good hard training then a little time off.”
I’ve noticed from your posts that you’ve been going all out for this one.
We last spoke back in March before you made your debut for the Preston Based organisation, a lot has changed since then. Not only have you been working harder than ever, it’s now under a new banner with Manchester Top Team. Could you elaborate on what prompted the switch from Manchester Predators?
“To be honest mate, back when we last spoke before my fight with Callum, he was a good opponent. We had a good scrap which I’m sure you saw, I think in the future when people see what we both go on to do in the pro ranks they’ll realise that it was probably one of the best amateur fights in the UK history. What prompted the switch, was just the level of training. I came down after I and Callum fought for some sparring. I saw the level here, saw the bodies here. I was really happy with the level here, the level of professionalism, the facility itself and the level of coaching. I had to make a personal choice, and decided to make the switch.”
I agree with you in regards to the gym, one of my colleagues’ trains there is also Danny Brough. They really are doing phenomenal work there.
“Yeah, I know him, one hundred percent hard work.”
Your return to Preston is one fight fans will be overjoyed by, I caught you in action in March when you Took on Callum Connor and I have to say, it was one of the stand-out bouts for me, it was like watching two pro’s going to war. This leads me to my next question. There have been rumours that your enviable switch to the professional scene is imminent, is there any truth behind the rumours?
“This’ll be my 7th fight now as an amateur, I made my debut last year in August. I always said to myself to get 10 amateur fights, different styles and that. It’s just how I feel in the gym, how I feel in the cage and the way I felt against Solomon, my last opponent who was a very experienced guy. He had like 16 fights at the time and was a highly ranked guy, he’s probably going pro for his next fight as well. The way I felt against him, yeah I feel like it could be very soon. Maybe after this one, depending on how I feel in there, but I just think the pro rules will suit me. 5-minute rounds, the elbows coming into the equation, knees to the head and heel hooks. At the moment I feel like I’m fighting with one hand tied behind my back given the rule set we’re under. To just be able to unleash the full arsenal would be great.”
I have to admit, from what I’ve seen of you in the FCC, UKFC and X-Treme Kombat, the amateur ranks are not going to suit your style for much longer, they want to go harder in the cage is visible. It is a great pleasure watching you compete, one of the all-time favourite amateurs I have to say.
“I appreciate that a lot man.”
As previously stated, you have been pushing yourself to the limit in preparation for your return to the UKFC cage. Currently on a two-fight win streak, and set for a potential hat-trick of victories that could crown you with your 1st Championship across your amateur journey. What does it mean to you to have this opportunity to compete for the strap?
“I’ll be honest mate, once I take this belt off this fella I’ll take a few photos of it in the gym just to have a few memories with it then it’s going straight in my fucking wardrobe under a set of clothes. I’m not gonna be resting on any laurels with an amateur belt, I see a lot of people floating around with their belts like it’s a UFC belt. It’s an amateur belt, it doesn’t really mean that much to me. I appreciate the opportunity just for what It means because once you have that belt you have a target on your back, I want the target on my back. I’ve been calling out all these high-ranked guys and they’ve been trying to duck me, but when I have that belt, they will have to call me out. I’ll be able to select the best and hardest fight, it’s not so much the belt but it’s what it represents and the fights that the belt will bring me.”
Understandable, all the doors you’ve been knocking on will make them come knocking at yours, a great position to be in.
“Yeah, one hundred percent.”
You are set to take on North West Fight Academy’s Chris Morris, and in my opinion, one of the ones to look forward to on this absolutely stacked card. What do you make of Chris in the build-up to your highly anticipated meeting on sept 17th?
“I know he’s highly ranked because he’s 8-1. But honestly, from looking at his opponents, I don’t think he’s fought anyone of a good calibre. He fought Bert Jenkins a couple of fights ago who took his back in the first round, Bert Jenkins isn’t really a fighter in my opinion he’s a hobbyist. He fought Zé Machado, who beat Solomon at the IMMAF in January just before he fought Chris. Zé Machado is a 70-kilo on the day of weigh-in guy, which means he’s really a 145er and they fought at 74.8 kilos. So he didn’t even cut weight and Chris bullied him a bit, and even then it went to a decision. I don’t think Chris Morris has fought anyone of the same calibre that I have, if I’d just fought a fucking load of bums coming up I could be 9-0 right now. I’ve only fought the toughest fights, I made my debut against a 2-1 guy, and I’ve only fought guys with winning records, good winning records as well. I’ve only ever taken the hardest fights possible for me to take and the fights that people would take against me. Everyone sees me as a dangerous opponent, it’s not really a big win on terms of paper, but it’s a dangerous fight. People have been ducking me a lot, so I’m just looking forward to showing Chris Morris what a real fighter fights like.”
It’s great to see amateurs such as yourself take on the tougher opportunity.
This showdown is but one of an array of eye-openers we are set to witness when Ste Nightingale and his team open the door to their 20th card to date. Other than your inclusion on the night, are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“I think that Welterweight Grand Prix is gonna be interesting, a teammate of mine Malichi Edwards is involved, he’s gonna be smoking a few man. It’s a four-man tournament so he’s gonna be having 2 fights and I think he’s gonna show people a few levels as well. There are a lot of people in that tournament that have been chatting a lot of shit but haven’t actually done a lot in the game, so it will be interesting to watch him show his levels out there. I believe Dane Bolton’s also gonna be fighting on that card, he’s one to look out for at Flyweight you can probably expect a KO from him.”
These tournaments are great opportunities as you said, for amateurs to show their levels and get some well-needed cage time, looking forward to that one myself.
“100 percent, Jimmy Saddique is in the Flyweight tournament also I believe. You can expect 2 good submissions off of him as well he’s ground game is sick, that’s coming from someone who rates his own ground game quite highly. I’ve seen him in the gym, I’ve seen what he does to people, great professional at Flyweight. You can expect fireworks from him.”
I’ll definitely keep an eye out for him, it’s such an amazing card I can’t wait.
I wish you all the best for your bout Denis and it has been a pleasure speaking with you again.
“Nice one man, I appreciate it a lot.”
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’d like to give a shout-out first and foremost to my gym Manchester Top Team for being so hospitable to me and bringing me on as part of the team, despite the little back chat me and Callum had had in the past haha. I’d also like to thank my sponsors ASAP Vegan who just come on board as a sponsor for this fight, supplying some of the best Vegan protein out there. They’re a new business and there is an Irish business also so give them a shout. As far as the people that are going to be in attendance, you can expect 5 rounds of absolute controlled chaos, I’m going to show everybody on the UK scene my level.”