Charlie Milner (7-3) is set to fight for a heavyweight championship when he meets Pavel Dailidko (3-1) this Saturday, at Caged Steel 29.
Charlie “Ku Fu Panda” Milner is currently riding a 2 fight-losing streak but remains positive about his MMA future. One of his two losses came in arguably the world’s second-best MMA organization, Bellator. Outside of his losses, Charlie’s 7 victories have all been finishes. six via knockout and 1 by submission. Oh, and they’re all in the first round. A super dangerous competitor!
The Ku Fu Panda himself gave us some of his time before his fight to chat.
Thanks for taking some time out to talk to me. So, how’s the fight camp going? How are you feeling physically and mentally heading into this fight?
Charlie: “No worries brother. Yeah camp is going perfectly, to be honest, best I’ve ever felt physically and mentally, no injuries, lightest I’ve ever been, wouldn’t change anything at all right now”
What do you know about your opponent and how do you see you match up well against him?
Charlie: “I know he’s a monster, big, athletic, fast, powerful. I feel I’ve got the edge in experience, and I feel like my fight IQ will win me this fight”
You fought on cards like Bellator. This next fight is for a title. Would you say this is your biggest fight to date? Does the title add any pressure?
Charlie: “I think coming off the back of 2 losses is huge for me, it’s the first time I’ve ever lost 2 fights back to back in MMA so this fight means a huge amount to me in order to get back on the right track and back towards getting another opportunity at a show like Bellator. I don’t necessarily feel like the title adds pressure, I’m just treating it like every other fight, I’ll do what I do he will do what he does and the best man will win”
Best Nickname Ever?
I have to ask you, where did the nickname “kung fu panda” come from? Just a love for the film?
Charlie: “Hahaha, funny story actually, after my first pro fight my BJJ coach at the time Daniel Hortegas pulled me to one side and told me I reminded him of someone, I asked who, and he then replied with ‘have you seen the kung fu panda movies? You remind me of the chubby panda as you’re a big fat guy who can throw head kicks. Ever since then the nickname stuck”
I love that! Kind of a compliment because he kicks ass, but also, he’s a panda… Who are some people in the MMA world who inspire you? Do you have a favorite fighter to watch?
Charlie: “it suits me perfectly. As far as inspiration goes, I’m quite lucky, one of the guys I’ve always looked up to is Oli Thompson, who happens to be a guy I’m lucky to be able to train with as he’s based around my area. I was also very lucky recently as I was able to share the cage with another inspirational figure of mine, Satoshi Ishii, the fight didn’t go my way but it was amazing to be able to face off against him. Others include guys like Tai Tuivasa and Jorge Masvidal, those guys will fight anyone, anytime, anywhere and I love that!
But for me, the biggest inspiration I can think of is actually a fighter who is local to me, he’s unbeaten, and has just signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator, he’s a guy who has got to where he has through nothing but sheer hard work, grit, and determination, he goes over and above day in and day out to achieve his dreams and it’s amazing to see him finally get the notice he deserves, Steven Hill, remember the name, he will go far”
I bet that must be one of the surreal experiences, facing off, ready to fight someone you look up to! Crazy! With a win on Saturday is there any opponent out there you have your eyes on? Or an organization you’d like to fight for next
Charlie: “It’s an amazing experience, one I’ll never forget. I’m actually due to be fighting for BRAVE after this fight, but I’m hoping to get back to Bellator, hopefully with a full camp this time, I’m not really bothered about who I fight, I don’t pick and choose my opponents I’ll fight anyone!
I’d love an opportunity on dana whites contender series, or PFL’s new contender series, but I’ll do whatever I’ve got to do in order to get to those big organizations”
Finally, can we have a prediction for the fight Saturday? And do you have any messages or shoutouts you want us to share?
Charlie: “I appreciate it brother, thank you. My prediction for Saturday night is fireworks, both I and Pavel can guarantee that. Shoutout to my sponsors Brixton Bulls, associated CBD, Boss gym, Arkham performance, The Clothing Kings, Prestige security, and Todd’s Barbers.”
Charlie is looking to expand on his MMA dream, please visit his fundraiser here. Thank you again to Charlie for your time!
Featured image credit to Spartan Fight Promotions