Ste Nightingale, (0-1 MMA), fights out of REPS MMA in Preston and makes his Full Contact Contender debut at FCC 5 in March. He takes on Declan Williams in the co-main event of the evening. It is set to be a great fight and Ste took some time out to answer some questions on the upcoming fight, MMA and being the coach of his own gym.
Hi Ste, thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you tell people a little about yourself?
“I am 29 and have been training MMA about six years after making the change over from rugby. I have my own gym in Preston were I train and coach. We have some really good guys down there now, one being the FCC lightweight amateur champion and he also holds the reps retribution title. I have two junior champions who I think are the best in the country right now and many others so I’m very proud of what the gym has achieved in such a short time. I also train at Kaobon in the morning and do sessions with some of the best guys in the country and the best coaches by far”.
You are making your FCC debut at FCC 5, how good does it feel to be fighting in the co-main event, on your first fight with the company? Does it add any extra pressure?
“No this doesn’t add pressure and I don’t really get pressured, because when I’m fighting I just concentrate on my job which is putting my opponent away. As for FCC i think these guys do a great job and it will soon be the biggest show in the UK”.
You are fighting Declan Williams, how much do you know about him?
“I have alot of respect for Dec as he has been around along time in the sport and has fought some of the best guys in the country. So I’m not taking any part of my preparation lightly. I know he is going to be hard to put away but I intend to early”.
What do you see as your best weapon in this fight?
“All my weapons.”
How is your training going? Is there anything you’ve had to change for this fight?
“My training is going really well and I’ve not really changed anything. My diet has changed a little thanks to Bolton sports science labs and has got me more or less ready, five weeks out, weight wise”.
I see you lost in your pro debut! And alot of people say they learn more from defeat than victory. Did you take anything from the loss?
Yes I learnt alot from my pro debut: don’t fight injured. Apart from that I can’t take alot from it. I’ve been out for over a year since with the same injury, so I’ve not able to do anything. I’m good now to fight, so you will all see a totally different fighter on 16th March”.
I see that you had a good pro boxing record. Did you make the transition to MMA from boxing?
“I haven’t come over. I was in MMA first and boxed just to work on my stand up”.
What’s the feeling like when the cage door is shut and it’s just you and your opponent?
“I wish I could describe it but I can’t, It’s 8 to 10 weeks of hell and years of training: all for a 15 min war. It’s an indescribable feeling”.
What is your favourite martial art to train?
I don’t really have a favorite discipline. That’s why I like MMA, we do something different every day”.
What is the best thing about fighting and what motivates you to fight?
“I don’t fight because I have to, I do it because I love fighting. This is the only motivation I need”.
You are head coach of REPS MMA gym in Preston. How challenging do you find it being the head coach and how good is it to see your fighters do well? Like FCC lightweight champion, Martin Chesters.
“Being a coach and a fighter kind of holds me back in my career but it’s very rewarding to see my guys come from nowhere and practically take over their division. I’m made up for the what reps MMA have to offer the future of this sport”.
Thanks again for taking the time. Anybody you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank all the guys at reps MMMA: my boxing coach Daz McFarland, my thai coach Fash Ferdowsian, my wrestling coach Mike Grundy and all the guys I have trained with at Kaobon. Also Bolton sports science for my training program and diet. My physio Rob Hamilton at sports injury management and my coach and good friend Andy Whiteside for keeping me believing in my self through a near career ending injury.