Fightstar Championship returns to the capital on November 19th for a night of Mixed Martial Arts mayhem. A return the fans of London will not soon forget, the main event will also mark the return of one of the biggest professionals the UK has had the pleasure of witnessing in London Shootfighters Nathan Jones. Nathan will battle it out with Joe Cummings for the vacant Fightstar Welterweight title, a main event to top all main events.
I caught up with Nathan as we edge closer to what quite possibly will be one of the biggest cards Raj Singh and his team have ever brought to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
Nathan ‘Mr Bag & Tag’ Jones (13-11-0) is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Welterweight division, representing London Shootfighters. He has competed for UCMMA, the United Kingdom Regionals, Fury MMA, BAMMA, CWSE, Warrior Fight Series, Cage MMA Finland, Cage Warriors, Bellator MMA and is making his debut for London based organisation Fightstar Championship on November 19th.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak with me today Nathan, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming Welterweight title opportunity at the absolutely stacked Fightstar Championship 23 card.
“Yeah!! Sounds good man.”
I hope training has been going well in the build-up to your highly anticipated return to the cage?
“Yeah it’s going very well, it feels right to get back in there now. I took some time out just to evolve as a fighter, as well as focusing on things going on In my life. I wanted to marinate and become a better fighter out there, I’ve been doing a lot of Ju-jitsu since my last fight, now feels like a good time to show people the newer version of me.”
I was in awe when I saw the announcement, being a fan since your Cage Warriors days, it’s gonna be a great return.
“To be fair, since then I’ve really been concentrating on myself and things in my life and a lot with personal development. I’ve been fighting a long time, when you have fight after fight as well as a lot of fight camps, it can take over. So I’ve been spending time with family, and getting my ducks in a row so so to speak. I’m itching to get back in there, and I’m taking that energy to London with me. I needed some time away to see if I actually wanted this, the answer was yes, so let’s get it on.”
It’s always good to take a step back sometimes to reevaluate things going forward, especially for fighters. I can’t even imagine the ins and outs of what you guys have to go through on a regular basis.
“Yeah it’s not fun, well, the weight cut is not fun haha.”
Definitely has to be one of the most difficult aspects to the game.
“Yeah haha. The way I look at it is, I fight for free, I get paid to make the weight.
Raj Singh and his team have certainly given fight fans some explosive cards over the years. The level of talent has been of the highest order in piecing together an exceptional fight card, your addition to the Main-Event is proof of that.
When receiving the call to bring your array of talents to London, was it an offer you just couldn’t refuse?
“Absolutely. I’ve been following Fightstar for a while. I’m a Brentford boy, so I used to check them out a lot. I’ve had lots of teammates fight on the show, so to bring it home and headline is great, what more could you ask for. It’s an opportunity to showcase my skills, I’m gonna grasp it with both hands. They’re putting the belt up so that’s an added cherry, let’s go!!”
It’s a great show I have to agree, I’ve been to the last few shows really is one I can’t miss.
“Raj should be getting you a taxi and putting you in a hotel and that, should have a word with him man haha.”
Hahaha, really is a great promoter, works so hard to give the best platform for well rounded professionals such as yourself and up and coming amateurs.
“Absolutely, that’s what you want. You want someone to pay attention to detail, to go that extra Mike and have due diligence with what they’re trying to put together. I’m doing my part, I’ll be putting on a show for the fans and I’m sure everyone else will too, we’re all doing it for the fans you know, the people are in for a treat.”
On November 19th, you are set to take on Joe Cummings for the Welterweight strap at what’s set to be a sold-out night of pure unadulterated organised violence at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. With a combined record of 33 bouts between you, fight fans will be eagerly anticipating the tail end of the night.
What do you make of Joe in the build-up to your scheduled meeting in the capital?
“Hahahaha, pure unadulterated organised violence, I like it. Yeah he’s a good fighter. I don’t know too much about him as I’ve not met him, but I’ve seen a couple of his fights. He deserves to be in the cage with me there’s no doubt about that. But, no disrespect to him, he doesn’t bring anything to the table that I haven’t seen before. I’ve had so many fights, top tier fights, look at my record. My opponents have been top tier for the past 5 years at least. The people that I train with at London Shootfighters, Full to the brim with talent. I’ve been with them for 2 years now even before joining them I was training with talent, I travel with my training. I’ve been to Tri Star, I’ve been to Jackson Wink, to ATT and Tiger. I’ve been around and I’m ready to throw down, I’m ready to take what is mine, the time is now.”
If the night should go in your favour, a new chapter of your career could be beginning, a returning champion is something many warriors strive towards.
Would a potential return to Fightstar be on the cards for you?
“No no no, when the night goes my way hahaha. Never say never, we don’t know what way the wind will blow. If the opportunity should arise, if the opportunity is right then yes, give me an opponent that will elevate my career. It’s not about the stage, it’s about what the opponent will do for me, it’s always been about me. Not in a selfish way, in a self interested way. The opponents gotta be right, it’s gotta be a good matchup for me stylistically. I wanna beat an opponent that makes people think ohhh, ok. This is a good fight, it’s a fight that people will spend their money on, and rightly so because it’s a good fight. On top of that, the moneys gotta be right you know, that’s why I haven’t defended belts in the past because the money wasn’t able to make me progress. On my record I’ve got the Fury MMA Welterweight title, I’ve got the BCMMA Welterweight title and the Warrior Fight Series Welterweight title. Fighting for the strap and on the Main-Event is no stranger to me, I will always show up when it’s on. I have one target at a time, one goal at a time and that’s this fight. Like I said, never say never, I just don’t want to over commit myself, I got Joe Cummings in my tunnel vision and I got my bag and tag ready.”
I for one am looking forward to your inclusion mate, and no doubt it’s going to be an absolutely explosive night for the fans.
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today Nathan and I look forward to witnessing you out there.
“Thank you for your time Aaron man, I’ve always appreciated speaking with the press so thank you.”
It’s been a pleasure 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?
“The message to the fans is don’t blink haha, I can’t wait to showcase my skill and demonstrate my improvements. Everydays a school day within Martial arts, I’m excited to perform. I wanna shout-out to my team London Shootfighters, shout-out to Elevate Martial Arts, shout-out The Barefoot Method, shout-out Scramble, shout-out iPlaySafe, shout-out Training tune, shout-out Truth Naturals, shout-out Truth Origins, shout-out Rosa’s Rehab, shout-out to RB Performance as well. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone, sods law is I did haha. All these guys have helped me, we’re gonna round up the troops and go again.”
Catch Nathan and many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s shaping up to be an incredible fight card on November 19th at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. Tickets will be made available from the fighters as well as via the Fightstar Championship Website here.
Fightstar Championship are proudly affiliated with the English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) who’s prime goal is To develop and promote the education, training and safeguarding of young people, competitors and coaches in MMA.