John ‘No Mercy’ Nicholls 4-3-0 is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Welterweight division, representing Keddles Gym. He has competed for UCMMA, BAMMA, MTK MMA, Fusion FC and Bellator MMA.
It’s great to speak to you again John, I’m just sorry it’s under the circumstances that transpired last night at Contenders 33. Understandably your feelings towards the night and your opponent Luke Dyson will leave a bitter taste.
“Yeah, that’s for definite that it’s going to leave a bitter taste. Unfortunately, You can lead a horse to water mate but you can’t make him drink, same as you can lead a man to the cage but you can’t give him heart.”
I completely agree mate, you showed such great professionalism out there. Not many would go out to the cage and give the reasons behind why you were unable to compete, as well as an apology. That was a very admirable thing to witness.
“I’ve been a professional for a long time, been on some of the biggest shows around. I take this game very seriously, as you saw last night some people can get seriously injured out there. I don’t go put there light hearted, I go out there preparing to die, I go out there preparing for war. I wanna bring a show, I’m not there to just get by or have an easy fight. I’m there for war, to have a war, to entertain the fans and to prove to myself what I’m worth.”
In a heartfelt statement in the cage in London, you apologised to all in attendance for your bout being axed from the card. You showed true decorum out there, turned up, made wait just for your opponent to pull from the fight. What are your feelings on what transpired at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre?
“To be honest, I’ve never really had it happen to me before. I don’t know the boy’s reasons, nobody’s been able to contact him, we don’t know if he’s left the country haha. I don’t believe a fighter like that with no excuse, his whole team couldn’t get hold of him, should be able to fight on shows again. Imagine if I sold hundreds of tickets, that could have really gone wrong last night. I came out to apologise to my fans, I believe it’s my duty as a professional Mixed Martial Artist, to apologise on behalf of the both of us.”
Watching you out there, you can really see what the cancellation did to you, the passion you have for your craft. I can only imagine how you felt.
“I think it’s unelectable and disrespectful to the promoter at Contenders, I think it’s a disgrace to professional Mixed Martial Arts. This is why I called out for the world title, because in a championship bout, there is gonna be someone out there that wants to fight. I’ve had two fighters pull out in a week, my resting heart rate is 40 beats a minute mate, I am as fit as they come. You shouldn’t sign up to be on Contenders, watch my promo of me hitting pads and think oh no, he’s a little too much for me. Don’t sign up for the sport if you can’t be a fighter.”
These sorts of incidents cause so much irreversible damage to so many athletes such as yourself. All the hard work put in in the build-up, the travelling, the weight cut and time away from your family’s.
“We’ve all got family to feed, we’ve all got lives to live. I’ve taken time off of work, I’ve spent money in the gym, I’ve got the beat coaches in the country giving up their time to come and corner me. I’ve a got videographer, I’ve got a documentary coming out very soon. I’ve got all of this happening, people giving up good money to come and watch me, for someone to make an excuse, I would not put any of my fans, friends and trainers through this for nothing. That’s the reason I apologised last night because I felt so sorry for them all, for all we’ve been through this past month.”
You all did turn out in full force as well, it was a shame.
“Yeah, there was a ‘No Mercy’ army there last night. Sporting the t-shirt’s, flying the flag, you’ve seen me fight in the past, you know what I’m about. I come for war, unfortunately people sometimes throw out a white flag.”
Something in the not so distant future should be out in place to make sure these incidents cease to exist. Being in the fight game as long as you have will give you knowledge on what changes you feel should be made no doubt?
“I’m quite a big believer in quite a lot happening at the moment, I’m.doing a documentary at the moment on weight cutting. This boy was quite a big lad he probably couldn’t make the weight, I do believe there should be other other weight categories put in place. Like Catchweight categories ie 80 instead of 77, I do realise that’s a lot of weight to lose, with dehydration there it can cause a lot of damage. This is a professional sport where we have to maintain our health as much as possible. For one came down from 95 kilos, that’s a lot of weight and I did a lot of hard work. I think there should be things put in place where these fighters should be checked, I know some refs won’t even contest these things unless it’s been regulated. You can’t get a journeyman anymore I get that, no one wants one. This should be a two strike deal, if you do this once strike one, you do this twice you should never be able to fight again, it’s what I believe should happen.”
I look forward to your documentary on these issues mate, male sure to send me the link.
“100 percent mate. I’m currently making preparations to travel to Italy for training as no one in the UK will wrestle or train with me. This was my comeback fight, I have a lot of respect for Steve at Contenders, he’s done nothing but look after me. He was as pissed off as I was, the team was lovely to me, it was a fantastic show, it’s just a shame that these sorts of people get involved but these things happen. What else can I do now but fight for the Contenders title, fly someone over, I will fight anyone in the world, I don’t care if you think you can beat me, whether you don’t, I’m here, come and try.”
And if anyone can do it Steve Newman and the Contenders team can, that’s for sure.
“I have 100 percent faith in him, in Keddles, my management ATM, all of my sponsors. Nutrition Lounge, Croydon Property Maintenance all of them, BLK Videography, Fight or Flight Film. Each and everyone that supports me.”
You’ve definitely earned a supporter in me.
“I really appreciate that, I’m humbled by that. You’re a great guy, you do great work. I’m humbled by anyone that supports me. I don’t wanna be a big man, I’m not trying to be a hard man, I’m out there to prove that I’m good at my sport. You’ve seen me many times after fights being respectful to my opponents, but what have I got to do man. Do I have to change, do I have to become a beast?”
I hope it all goes to plan for you mate.
Thankfully, the rewards for your efforts leading up to Contenders have so rightfully been given to you. you have rightfully been given the opportunity on the next Contenders card to battle it out to potentially become the king of your division. What does it mean to you to have so rightfully been given this opportunity by the Contenders team?
“Without sounding too cocky, I already feel like I am the king. I believe that crown is mine already, come and try and take it from me.”
You can definitely sense the hunger in you, and definitely from your statement out there in the cage last night.
“I said that I was hungry, these people keep pulling out, I didn’t say I was peckish. I want war, someone bring me war.”
With one momentous occasion added to your MMA Journey, what can fans come to expect from ‘No Mercy’ before your Championship bout with Contenders takes place?
“If people are getting scared because of what I’m doing now, you wanna see what I’m gonna be doing for the next 2 months. It’s gonna take an army to beat me. I’m.gonna be putting content out, I’m not gonna be hiding it so people get scared, I’m gonna be putting it out there so we can rein in a real warrior. And I’ll have complete respect for this guy because he’s the only one with the nerve to get in the cage with me.”
It was great meeting you in the capital John, you truly are a credit to the sport and the fans of the brutal yet exhilarating world of mixed martial arts.
“Thank you so much Aaron, I really appreciate your help and that you were an absolute gentleman as always, it was a pleasure meeting you at Contenders. And I will see you in December, where I will be the king.”
Before you go, do you have a message for your fans and the readers?
“All I can say is thanks to everyone who’s following my story, everyone that comes to support me, I love you all from the bottom of my heart. I do this for you, I just hope you don’t go to sleep on me. ‘No Mercy’ is back, he’s badder than ever and trust me when I tell you, I am coming for everyone.”