Henry Fadipe discusses parting ways with Ryoshin Fight Team

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Ryoshin Fight Team’s marquee proponent, former EFC welterweight champion, Henry “Herculeez” Fadipe, has recently parted ways with the Tony Carrick gym in what the Nigerian-born Dubliner has described as “an immature break-up”.

“It’s not easy to talk about this stuff to be honest,” said Fadipe. “It was an immature break-up you know, something was said to my coach (Tony Carrick), rumours were spread, but instead of him confronting me he just kind of ignored me. Eventually I was like ‘ok, I’ve had enough’.

“I was there because of loyalty. It was all built on that relationship, so, what was I meant to do? (The rumours) were personal, nothing about fighting.”

There were often whispers around the Irish MMA scene that Fadipe was under contract by the Lucan based club. Although he did admit that a contract was signed, the knockout artist dismissed that the agreement in any way kept him from leaving the club had he wished to do so in the past.

He said: “I wasn’t in Ryoshin because of a contract, I was there because I felt some false sense of family, or whatever it was. I wasn’t there because I had to be there, I was there because I wanted to be there. All that other stuff was BS, I was there because I believed I was in the right place.

“I signed something when I was 20 years old, or maybe I was 19, I have no idea how old I was. I was young, I was getting a contract and that made me feel big. It wasn’t legally binding or anything, it wasn’t jack shit.

“I never had tried to leave or anything before this, but that contract wasn’t keeping me there, I just wanted to train there at the time. I felt I was part of the gym and that the gym was part of me, I was there for five years.

“To be put down over some bullshit like this, it’s just not good enough. For a long time people have been in my ear telling me to leave there, telling me I need to train with better people.

“I’ve been offered to go to Liverpool and train with the Next Generation guys over there. I’ve been offered a lot of different things but I always said no because I’m a loyal guy.”

‘Herculeez’ discussed what he had seen happening in the Ryoshin gym and outlined how despite leaving the club, he is still very grateful for how far they have taken him.

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“When it started out there was a close group of 15 of us, real fighters. There were a lot of Lithuanian guys and Chechen guys who were really good at what they did.

“As time went on it was just one person falling out after another. Every couple of months someone would have a fight with someone else at the gym. I don’t want to mention any names, but it was always the fighters’ fault.

“I don’t want to be bitching about the gym, I was there for a long time, it was my home and Tony did take me to a lot of good places. I do appreciate all of that, but there were certain things I needed to ignore to continue on there.

“Tony was a difficult person to deal with but I was very patient and I needed to be to stay there. Until now that is, but I know that this whole thing isn’t on me. I’ve left the gym but I haven’t betrayed anybody.

“I’ve always known that a move could help me. At the end of the day, I was the only professional in Lucan, I used to have to go on to YouTube to learn some stuff. I’ve always known it, but because of loyalty or whatever I wouldn’t just up and leave like most people in fighting gyms,” he said.

Recently spotted training in Straight Blast Gym, although it seems likely that Fadipe will train alongside UFC fighters Conor McGregor, Cathal Pendred, Paddy Holohan and Aisling Daly in the future, he is adamant that “nothing is set in stone”.

Interestingly, if the former Ryoshin man was to move to the Naas Road facility he would be grinding away with Peter Queally, the only other Irishman signed for African promotion EFC, who is currently vying for Fadipe’s old title.

“With Peter, that stuff hasn’t been figured out yet. To be honest, I’ve only been able to have a quick chat with John Kavanagh, I think there’s still a feeling out process there at the moment. I’ve only been there to spar a few times, nothing is set in stone yet.

“Originally I was going to go to Ryano. It’s kind of an underdog gym, it’s not as commercial as SBG. I have a lot of friends in that gym too, Ayo and Redmond, so it made sense for me to go over there.

“Recently I’ve moved to Tallaght though, and Tallaght to Finglas is a bit of a trek, so I figured I’d go and check out SBG, and let’s be honest they’re number one. At the end of the day if you’re looking to go anywhere as a professional, you’ve got to choose between them two gyms. It’s either SBG or Ryano.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.