Nathan Fletcher is one of the most promising youngsters in Britain, and he is set to make his eighth professional appearance at Cage Warriors 148 on New Year’s Eve.
The 24-year-old has a professional record of 6-1-0, with all of his fights ending before the final bell. At the end of the month, he’ll be taking on Italian stand-up artist Alessandro Giordano as he looks to get his career back on track.
Fletcher discussed how the preparation for his upcoming fight has been going:
“Perfect. This fight camp has been like a year long for me, I’ve been in the gym for the past 365 days.
“I’ve never felt more ready to go and take somebody’s head off. It’s going to be an absolute demolition job.
“In terms of preparation this is by far the best I’ve ever felt.”
The Liverpudlian has been out of the octagon professionally for over a year due to both Araik Margarian (failed medical clearance) and Cameron Else pulling out of proposed bouts.
After fighting seven times in just over two years, this hiatus will have undoubtedly acted as a strange time for Fletcher. However, he manages to look upon these 14 months in a positive light.
He said: “It’s been tough. I wouldn’t say it was necessary but I’m almost glad that it’s happened. I think it’s matured me so much as a fighter and as a person.
“It’s made me come to terms with how badly I want to achieve success in MMA.
“All those difficulties have galvanised me into a more prepared athlete, a prepared man. I’m going to go in there on New Year’s Eve and show a completely new level.”
🏆is 2022 the year where Nathan Fletcher becomes the Cage Warriors bantamweight champion?
💪The Next Gen prospect returns in April and will be looking to start his journey back to a title shot!
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) February 17, 2022
Fletcher’s career to-date is slightly comparable to that of his upcoming opponent, Giordano. Both have the same professional record, are similar ages (Fletcher is 24-years-old, Giordano 25) and both began their careers at similar times.
There is, however, certainly a clash of styles. With five submission wins, Fletcher is seen as a grappling specialist, with the rear-naked-choke being his preferred method of execution.
Giordano prefers to stand and trade shots, resulting in four of his six wins coming via KO/TKO.
Discussing Giordano, Fletcher said:”He’s got a good record, the same record as me. I don’t think he’s fought the same calibre of opponent as I’ve fought though.
“If you look at the guys he’s beaten they’ve sort of got a mixed record and don’t have a lot of wins.
“He’s just another body, I don’t think he’s anywhere near my level. I’m going to go in and completely outclass him across all areas of the fight.”
The Italian has also never been finished, his sole loss coming via unanimous decision. For some fighters, this may factor into their thinking in terms of a game plan. For Fletcher, it changes nothing.
He said: “I don’t really look into that to be honest. I go in there and finish everyone anyway. I’ve got five submissions but six finishes.
“I’m not thinking aboout point scoring or winning by decision. I want to be world level, I want to be a UFC champion.
“At European level I should be stopping guys, and I expect to go in and stop him.”
For several years, Fletcher has been a talented member of Next Generation MMA, a gym based in Liverpool. Some of its most notable inhabitants include UFC stars Paddy ‘The Baddy‘ Pimblett and Molly ‘Meatball‘ McCann.
It also boasts a number of recognisable names on the Cage Warriors roster, including welterweight Adam Cullen, featherweight Liam Gittins and middleweight Matthew Bonner.
Next Generation has certainly become a well-known training ground in the global MMA community, and Fletcher believes this sudden rise in mainstream talent is only the beginning.
He said: “The secret’s out now. We are by far the best gym in the UK, I would even say in Europe.
“Our fighters are on a world stage now, we’ve got Paddy co-maining the card this weekend.
“We’re finally getting the credit we deserve, and long may it continue.”