Antonio Sheldon isn’t surprised by the opportunity presented at this stage of his career. On Friday night Sheldon looks to make a memorable debut as he makes his first appearance under the Cage Warriors banner.
Cage Warriors 135 takes the main stage this Friday, with Cage Warriors 136 following suit on Saturday. Fans are treated to two action-packed fight cards filled with Europe’s hottest talent.
I spoke with a hungry Antonio Sheldon, who opens up the night of fights on Friday with the desire of making it four-straight victories. Sheldon faces off against fellow Cage Warriors debutant Milad Ahady.
Interview With Antonio Sheldon
Firstly, I would like to wish you a huge congrats on the engagement. Has the buzz given you a spring in your step in this camp, or is it something you’ve just put to the back of your mind for now?
Thank you for your congratulations on our engagement. So yeah, I was deep into fight camp preparing for this first bout but with no opponent. When we returned from our break away, I would say I were in a bubble of positive energy Going into my final five weeks of preparation. Abi has a good understanding of this game and is a great supporter of my career, and this is a contribution to why I thought it made sense to dust that knee cap off.
One week out from a monumental moment in your career competing on a stage like Cage Warriors. Can you just put into words how you’re feeling and what it means to be getting this opportunity?
I feel made up to be fighting on Cage Warriors and the fact I’ve signed a multi-fight deal. With that said, I’m not getting over-excited as I have my first opponent less than a week away. I am completely focused on this first challenge.
The Fight Itself
How did the fight materialize and come together? Were you aware you’d be getting the chance to showcase your skills on Cage Warriors, or did it come as a surprise?
I wouldn’t say it’s come as a surprise where I am in mma. I always knew I would fight on cage warriors. It was just a matter of time.
With that being said, you will meet Milad Ahady at Cage Warriors 135, who has been out of competition since 2020. How do you feel you match up with Ahady on paper, and do you feel it’s a fight that favours you on paper?
I would say Milad and I are in a very evenly matched fight, with him being out of action since 2020 doesn’t mean much to me. A fight is a fight.
Preparing for Ahady
Due to Milad Ahady being inactive for some time, does preparing for the individual opponent a touch difficult due to no recent tape to study, assuming Ahady has been working and adding a lot more to his arsenal?
I’m not focusing on him much anyway, as the opponent could change on any given day. I’ve been focusing on myself, my skillset and my self-development.
You also endured a period of inactivity but returned, finishing Garmendia in round one. Taking that into account, what are you anticipating Ahady brings to the table, a fast start like his record states, or a more calculated approach due to the time off?
Milad is no doubt a tricky southpaw with a strong game. I have tried to watch some tape on him but could only find Old amateur fights. A few years back, he and I moved around together with some spars and grapples. None of us has developed superpowers at that time, so we both had a rough idea of what is coming.
For the Cage Warriors fans who haven’t watched you fight before. What can we expect to see from Antonio Sheldon at Cage Warriors 135?
Cage Warriors fans can expect a crisp performance from me putting Milad away before the end of the fight. I predict heavy strikes and a strangle.
I assume this opportunity has lit a spark inside you. Off-course not looking past your opponent, but have you set yourself some small and long-term goals within the sport to work towards?
This is my first fight on my contract, but fight by fight will climb towards that belt.
Featured image credits to Antonio Sheldon