Englishman, James Lewis, is confident he can finish the fight wherever it goes in his upcoming clash with Kes Mamba at Full Contact Contender 28.
Full Contact Contender are scheduled to put on their first show of the new year. Full Contact Contender 28 will go down on March 5th in the Bolton Arena. The fight card currently consists of 18 amateur and professional bouts, subject to change.
As it stands, headlining the event is welterweights Tom Crosby and Dez Parker, who will battle it out for the FFC British welterweight championship. Before that, fans are treated to a handful of exciting professional fights.
The amateur card features two title fights. Fresh of his successful title defence at Almighty FC 23, Joe Ambler will meet Emile Vujakovic for the FCC middleweight strap. Flyweight’s Connor Walsh and Ethan Ridler will also clash for the opportunity of attaining gold in Bolton.
We had the pleasure of speaking with one man among the action in James Lewis, who has been out of competition for some time. Check out his thoughts below.
Interview with James Lewis
If I’m correct, you make your return to the Octagon in two weeks for the first time in over two years. How does it feel to be preparing for a fight again? Has it been stressful or smooth ahead of March 5th?
It feels great to be preparing to fight again. We went into our first lockdown a week after my last fight, which stopped my momentum a little bit, but I’ve constantly been training, so there’s been no stress preparing for this one.
I know you’ve been training in grappling and competing. However, as you know, it’s a different ball game compared to an MMA fight. Did you step away from MMA training in those two years?
No, I haven’t stepped away from MMA training at all. I love grappling, and it’s great to get in there and compete, but MMA is always the main focus for most of us at Blackledge MMA.
More recently, you competed at Grapplefest. The result wasn’t in your favour. But, how much did you enjoy that experience and is that something you want to continue doing when competing in MMA, getting in some grappling matches/comp?
Yeah, I loved my time on Grapplefest. I enjoy grappling, and I think it’s really important to compete if you truly want to test your skills. So I’ll continue to grapple during and probably after my MMA career.
Will Ring Rust Play a Factor?
Are you a believer in ring-rust, and do you feel that may occur in the opening few minutes until the jitters settle in your upcoming bout with Kes Mamba?
No, not really, to be honest. Through injury, I had a three-year break before my last fight, and it felt like any other. Once the bell goes, it’s on, and you just get on with it. Plus, the sparring I’ve had has me well prepared.
Your opponent Mamba has been fighting for a long time. So much experience gained, but not always in his favour. People may expect you to just walk over him. Is it hard not to overlook an opponent that has so many losses on his record, or does it still motivate you and get you in the mood to train, truthfully?
Records to me are irrelevant. There are plenty of dangerous guys out there with bad looking records. He’s been around for a long time and has my utmost respect. I’m always just trying to be a better version of myself every day in terms of training. And you can’t just go through the motions at Blackledge MMA. We hold ourselves to a high standard day in and day out. Regardless of who our opponent is.
James Lewis’s Thoughts on Opponent
The nine wins Mamba has had finished his opponents, so there is a threat there. How do you view him as a fighter, and where do you need to be cautious when in the cage?
I view Kes as a tough guy who’s there to fight. I wouldn’t say cautiously is the right word, but I’ll certainly be switched on and focused throughout. Any man in that cage carries a threat.
I like to ask people who I’ve not spoken with before how they got into fighting? Why was this a path you decided to go down?
I took a Thai Boxing class about 15 years ago just to get fit. But by the time I left that first class, I knew combat sports was what I wanted to do, and I was very fortunate that the gym I went to was involved with the Wolfslair, who were pioneers of UK MMMA. I transitioned from Thai Boxing to MMA quite quickly, and it’s been my life ever since.
People who haven’t watched you compete will be tuning into FCC for the first time. What can we expect from the show as a whole and yourself?
FCC is a great show that has been at the forefront of UK MMA for a long time and always puts on quality fights. As for myself, you’ll see a well-schooled, well rounded Mixed Martial Artist who can fight wherever the contest goes.
Lastly, how does James Lewis get it done on March 5th, and how soon can we expect to see you again if everything goes well?
I can finish the fight in any position and will go where the fight takes me. I have no preconceived ideas of how I want to finish the fight. But I will dominate in all areas. Ideally, I’d like to stay really busy this year. But I’m not looking past March the 5th.
Featured image credits to James Lewis