Sam ‘The Future’ Patterson (10-1-1) is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight division, representing Team Crossface. He has competed for Fightstar Championship, Brave CF, Super Fight League, Killacam Promotions, Rise of Champions MMA and has recently succeeded in gaining a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak with me today Sam, and also to congratulate you on your recent acquisition of a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series.
“My pleasure, thank you for the interview and for the support.”
From what I had the opportunity to witness on my visit to Team Crossface, training is going exceptionally well in preparations for your debut for the UFC.
“That’s very true, to be honest it is. As you saw on your visit, I’m always training, and training hard, I’m just getting better everyday, I haven’t even got a debut set, but I love to train. I put the work in, and try to make loads of improvements so when my debut does come, I’m ready.”
It was a pleasure witnessing you in training, you can really see the dedication to your craft. And to see Charlie Leary, a Bellator fighter in the cage with a UFC fighter, even though it was just training, was phenomenal to witness.
“Yeah me and Charlie we go to war, we’ve been pushing each other to the limits. I wouldn’t be where I am now without Charlie’s help you know, as well as the rest of the team. Bit me and Charlie have been sparring partners for a while now, he pushes me everyday, I wouldn’t be in the UFC without his help.”
He’s definitely a sound guy, he’s one of my all time favourites to watch at Bellator.
I know you’ve probably been asked this a thousand times, but what does it mean to you to now be part of the biggest promotions of your profession?
“It’s a dream come true literally, how many people can say their dreams have become a reality, that is what this is. It was a dream to be in the UFC, every MMA fighter’s dream is to be in the UFC. If you get into this game and you follow the sport, you know this is the pinnacle. So to be able to, for the last ten years, push my limits, through injury and sacrifice and finally achieve my dream, it’s amazing. And this is only the beginning, this was my dream to get there, but I already have a new dream of being 10 years in the UFC. I’m always pushing for more, and I think I’ll have a successful career there.”
I always saw you competing there one day, as I’ve been a fan since your amateur days at Fightstar Championship.
“Oh, a long time ago, shit hahaha. I appreciate that man, everyone around me thought the same, that’s how I got the nickname ‘ The Future’. To all the people that believed in me and saw it in me, we’ve made it. Now it’s about staying there, it’s about making a career for myself, making a name for myself in the UFC, this is only the beginning.”
I’m looking forward to it mate.
Your journey to Dana White’s roster has been a successful trip, fighting across many highly regarded UK organisations both in the amateurs and professional ranks alike.
These outings will no doubt hold many fond memories for you, looking back, has there been a walk to the cage that will forever hold the fondest of memories?
“I think every single one has its own fond memory, its own personal achievement. But definitely the ones where I’ve dealt with the most adversity, probably half of my pro fights I’ve been expected to lose, more than half probably. The opponents I’ve faced, I’ve been expected to lose, so that walk to the cage against most of those opponents where I’m the underdog, and actually finishing them, they’re achievements in themselves. There were multiple times, normally fighters have a few where they’re the underdog, especially getting to the UFC. I believe that half of my professional record has been against people that were meant to beat me and been high competition, so any of them really. My Brave fights, even down to my Jordan Miller fight, the fights I’ve been expected to lose, and I go out there and finish these guys and prove that I’m better on the night, those are massive achievements in themselves.”
That must be an amazing feeling, proving to others and yourself that you’re not to be underestimated as an underdog.
“Yeah, you feel like you have a chip on your shoulder, like you have something to prove. Everyone in my team believed I could beat them, that’s why the fights were taken because they know what I’m capable of. It’s easy talking about it, but being able to go out there in front of the fans and actually prove it, it’s a great feeling.”
Looking ahead, you have all the tools for success leading into the biggest challenge for a Mixed Martial Artist, a world renowned head coach in Dave Lee, exceptional training partners as well as the backing of a great team with Team Crossface.
It must fill you with joy going into the next stage of your journey with the backing of such a team behind you?
“It definitely is, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my team. No one gets to this point of their career on their own you know, yes you’re out there on your own, it’s me who has to fight in there. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be in the shape, the physical mindset and in fight condition without the team behind me. The pressure from my last fight was the hardest test to date and the hardest test I’ve had for a while was at Dana White’s Contender series. I believe, having Dana there personally, with that contract there and all you have to do is reach out and grab it. To prove that you’re good enough one more time, there’s no pressure like that. Dave pushes me everyday, with the people around me and my team pushing me everyday, is the reason why I’m gonna have a successful career in the UFC that’s for sure.”
From what I saw, you really are such a tight knit team.
“Yeah, like i said before it’s more of a family than it is a team. We know when to switch it on and it’s time to work. But I could call those guys for anything, whether it’s a leak in the house, or the house fell down, I guarantee most of them would come round and rebuild the house with me.”
Nothing is set in stone for what is bound to be an explosive entrance to the UFC roster; many, including yourself, will be in great anticipation for the announcement of your opponent.
For the readers, what can they come to expect when the cage doors close on your debut for the UFC?
“Every fight I go into I’m going for the finish, I finish my fights. So whoever I’m in there against I’ve got 15 minutes to figure out the puzzle, and find the finish. It’s been to that standard getting to the UFC and it will be no different in the UFC. Anyone that comes to finish and is actually looking to finish a fight, are normally pretty entertaining, and I believe my style is very entertaining. Because I come to fight, I come to finish so my UFC debut will be no different to my other fights, I’ll be coming for the finish. Like I said, I got 15 minutes, it’s a game of chess in there, 15 minutes to find the finish and I will find it. And hopefully secure a 50g bonus, so let’s try to go for that.”
I have absolutely no doubt you’ll be aiming for that.
Many scenarios must be running around in your head, with a vast array of possibilities now entering the grandest stage of them all. What would be a dream matchup for you under the UFC banner?
“To be honest, it’s kinda crazy when you’re not in the UFC and you’re watching all these fighters you see them as dream matchups. But any fighter in the Lightweight division now isn’t a dream matchup, as they could potentially happen over the next few years. Any Lightweight, or when I move up to Welterweight, any of those guys are gonna be a reality, it’s not gonna be a dream. I don’t pick and choose my opponents as you can see from my record, and I’m not gonna start now. And normally when you get to the UFC, you don’t get to choose. I’ll be ready for all comers, I will keep evolving and make sure I’m a complete Martial Artist so I can take on all comers.”
I look forward to witnessing your assertion up the ranks mate.
“Thank you very much.”
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you again Sam. I wish you all the best with your continued training, and I look forward to witnessing your UFC journey unfold.
“Thank you very much man, I appreciate your tone as well. Like I said, you came down and witnessed it first hand, and you’re welcome to come down any day of the week to see what we do. It’s no different when the cameras are there to when they’re not, we put the work in, the whole team puts the work in. Thank you very much for the interview and I’m sure I’ll see you again soon.”
One hundred percent mate, I look forward to my next visit.
Last but not least do you have a message for the readers and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“Shout-out to my team, everyone that’s around me that helps me day in and day out, you know who you are. Thank you tk the fans and everyone that has shown support, because without you guys this wouldn’t even be a reality. Follow the journey, it’s gonna be a fun one.”