Richie Downes is a 34 year old lightweight (70kg) fighter, fighting out of Team Kaobon. He has a record of 7-1-2 and is currently on a 7 win streak.
On December 1st in Birmingham, he takes on Jeremy Petley at BAMMA 11, and we managed to grab a few quick words with him in the lead up to the fight;
You are on a 7 win streak, after tasting defeat only once at the start of your career against Rob Sinclair, how does it feel to lose your first fight, and how did it change you as a fighter and your training leading up to fights?
“To lose my first fight was hard but I lost to a great fighter who’s gone on to do really well, and who is now a training partner occasionally of mine, he’s a great fella. But after that fight I had 2 no contests that I clearly won, so I had a really hard start to my fighting career, and I don’t think many people would bother getting back in the cage again but it changed me in a big way. It made me work even harder because I wasn’t going out like that, it made me the fighter I am today.”
Over half of your fights have been on OMMAC so you are no stranger to a top show in the UK, however BAMMA is regarded by many as the best in the UK, how proud/thankful are you for the opportunity?
“I’m really excited to be fighting on BAMMA, it’s a great organisation with a lot of talented fighters.”
Being a lightweight and training out of Kaobon, you must have some awesome sparring with Paul Sass and Terry Etim, as well as many others, what’s it like training with these top guys?
“(laughs) Sparring at Team Kaobon is unreal! It’s a great advantage being able to spar with Terry, Paul, Scano and so many top fighters every day, let me just say the spars are legendary especially ‘TERROR TUESDAY’ (laughs).”
You are taking on Jeremy Petley, who in his last fight at BAMMA vs. Dyson Roberts took a beating before producing one of the greatest comeback stories I’ve witnessed in UKMMA, with a RNC win, after watching that fight over, are you aware that it’s going to take allot to finish and do you think you will finish him?
“Yes I heard about the last fight of Jeremy’s, I haven’t seen it but I think that it says a lot about him and that to take a beating for almost 2 rounds then finish the fight with a sub he’s a great fighter so let’s just say it could be a long night because I’m no stranger to wars or deep water.”
Also on the card is a British title fight between Dale Hardiman and Steve Ray, with a win over Petley, do you think that your 8 win streak would hold you in good stead for a British title shot against the winner?
“I’ve not thought about any of that you know, I never look past the job in hand and then go from there.”
Lastly, why do you fight? What motivates you?
“I’ve always loved to train very hard and fighting has been in me for as long as I can remember. I’m motivated by my dad, who I lost 5 years ago to MND – I get my strength from him!”
Anyone to thank?
“All my team at Kaobon and my coaches”