What’s up fight fans. Today I had the chance to catch up with UFC Middleweight Oluwale Bamgbose. He will be fighting March 18 at UFC Fight Night 107 against Tom Breese in Londos, England. Let’s pull up a chair and talk with him for a bit.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Oluwale: It’s my life, my job, my career and holds the keys to me conquering my future endeavors.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Oluwale: At age 12 in Karate.
Nick: What disciplines do you train and what belts do you have in them?
Oluwale: I have a black belt in Taekwondo, black sash in Kung Fu, black belt in Muay Thai, and a brown belt BJJ. I should get it after this fight.
Nick: What would you say your biggest strengths are, and what’s the thing you need to work on the most?
Oluwale: My strengths are POWER, speed and patience. I already perfected my game. No need to work on anything specific but meshing everything together is a life time goal as well as assimilating new techniques into my overall game.
Nick: With all 6 of your wins coming via KO/TKO what is your favorite strike?
Oluwale: Honestly I love punching and kicking both so much.
Nick: With lots of talk about the next generation of fighter do you feel that you represent that next generation? Do you feel any pressure to do so?
Oluwale: Great question. MMA and how fighters fight are changing. I would like to say for the better, but most fighters in MMA take the shortcut to mastering MMA which relates to them not having several martial arts backgrounds. Other fighters like myself go through the long but beneficial process of specifically learning a particular martial art. I’m currently working on my 4th black belt as I mentioned earlier in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Nick: Do you feel that your fighting style has evolved and adapted to the next generation of fighter?
Oluwale: 100%. It’s going to be impossible to beat someone like me who has great stand up and a great ground game.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority, what methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Oluwale: Cutting weight has a significant impact on your energy and cardio levels. Cutting too much weight in my opinion is not conducive to a fighter’s overall performance even though they are seemingly bigger, as his or her energy level isn’t where it needs to be to push to the max. I do cut from about 195lb and at least 3-6 times a week I cut weight but I don’t overstep my boundaries. I use methods like spitting in a bottle, running, sparring, steam room or sauna to cut weight.
Nick: our nickname is The Holy War Angel, who gave you that name and why?
Oluwale: It came from GOD Almighty Himself and it’s because I’m one of his angels here on this earth who represents His mighty army. I prayed to God for a nickname and he gave me that.
Nick: Marketing is important in this sport as you know, do you have any plans to market yourself in the near future? If so how?
Oluwale: I agree, and yes my marketing partner, photographer and overall media guys have some great ideas to make the HolyWarAngel and LionGorilla in the next few years to come.
Nick: USADA has been cracking down on fighter as of late. How do you feel about fighters getting suspensions for non performance enhancing drugs?
Oluwale: I think it’s awesome. It enforces fair sport and suspends fighters for violating rules. NO CHEATING MAN.
Nick: The middleweight division has had some recent news with the return of Geoges St. Pieere. Do you have any thoughts on number 1 contender Yoel Romero getting sidelined to give St. Pierre a title shot against Michael Bisping?
Oluwale: I feel for Yoel but his time will come eventually and one day it’s going to be an epic show down between the Soldier of God and the Holy War Angel.
Nick: You will be facing Tom Breese on March 18 while training for the fight did you notice any weakness in your opponent that you have trained to exploit?
Oluwale: Tom has weakness and strengths and I can’t wait to exploit or weather them both. He said he is levels above me. I can’t wait to see if he can actually match my unlimited potentially in MMA because I don’t even know it. I am willing to test and see how far I can push it on Tom since he humbly asked.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your next fight?
Oluwale: This fight could end with me knocking out Tom or submitting him. Either way I WILL HAVE MY HANDS RAISED MARCH 18TH. I PUT MY LIFE ON THIS I’M NOT LOSING AGAIN.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter past or present?
Oluwale: Cain Valasquez, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, and Jon Jones.
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be? Why?
Oluwale: I would love to fight Anderson Silva because my coach beat him at one point and I want a crack at him also. I think stylistically that be one of the greatest standup up 185lb match ups in ufc history
There you have it. Determination from a highly trained, highly skilled athlete. It was my pleasure talking with Oluwale. From myself and The MMA Takeover we wish you luck this weekend in your fight. Signing off, this is Nick Portella.