Return of the Killing (Part 2) – PEDs, SBG, McGregor, Coaching, Kone and Clauses

chrisandcathal

As Chris ‘The Killing’ Fields confirmed his return to the sport when he signed for BAMMA in early December of last year, the MMA world was gearing up for one of the most anticipated comebacks of all time.

Spending over a year away from the sport after his horrific leg break against Chris Weidman, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva – the consensus “greatest of all time” – would meet Nick Diaz in one of the most intriguing match-ups of all time.

Silva is one man that Fields gets animated about when discussing his performances. For the former Cage Warriors middleweight champion, ‘The Spider’ was the one man who could encapsulate everything that was spectacular about the sport.

As soon as Fields announced his return against Cheick Kone scheduled for February 21, for people who know the SBG man, it was hard not think of the rangy Dubliner every time the promos for UFC 183 came up on the screen.

Both former middleweight champions returning from injury, Fields admitted that he did take motivation from the legend, who was once his hero, ending his hiatus with the sport.

“Yeah, it was motivating me, and to me Anderson is God,” said Fields. “Obviously I was watching the sport before Anderson really came into his own, but the way he was smashing people made me love the sport even more.

“Now since the news has come out you can’t help but consider the possibility that he was doing this the whole time. But really, who gives a shit? He cheated, that’s it.

“If you could bank on one guy never doing that stuff, it’s me. I’m completely against drugs. For me, it’s the same as someone putting a knuckle-duster in their glove.”

Once on good terms with Cathal Pendred’s UFC Dublin opponent, Mike King, since the American tested positive for PEDs after the bout, Fields revealed that he has not spoken to his fellow TUF 19 contestant.

“I haven’t spoken to Mike King once since UFC Dublin and I got on with Mike, but that was my friend he was fighting and he was cheating,” claimed Fields. “It’s low. Straight away I think it should be ‘Good luck mate, you’ll never fight again’. That’s how I feel.

“I’ll still happily watch Anderson destroy people, and to be honest, I think he probably wasn’t taking it way back then. He did do it though, so everything he has done is tainted. People are saying it’s like Lance Armstrong – no it’s not – everyone knew he was cheating. The Silva news is absolutely shocking.”

Only in the last two years has SBG really garnered the international attention it deserves. As one of the linchpins of the John Kavanagh gym, Fields explained why he believes the best is yet to come from the Irish gym given the level of talent he sees on a daily basis in the amateur ranks.

He said: “I think the bar has been raising over the last few years in the gym. While we’re doing our thing there are always younger fighters coming through. I notice the young guys like Dylan Tuke, they can fight with both feet from day one because that’s what they’re learning. They can fight southpaw or orthodox at the drop of a hat.

“All the things I’ve struggled with over the last three years, they’re learning it from the second they walk in the door. They’re movement is a lot different, they’re basically MMA fighters whereas we became MMA fighters.

“I look at the history of the gym in waves. There was John Kavanagh who was the first wave then there are guys like Clive Staunton who were in the second wave. Owen Roddy would’ve been in with the second wave, but he was in with the guys from the third wave too like me, Conor and Cathal.

“Dylan and them guys will probably be the fifth wave, because Peter Queally and Phil Mulpeter were kind of like the fourth. They came after us. These guys, the fifth wave, they’re like 18 and 19 now and training full time. They can fight both stances, they have real wrestling pedigrees and they have good posture. I used to walk around like a question mark.

“I was just thinking about this the other day. I was sitting down and I had a pinch in my back and I was thinking that I had better ring my physio. Then I was thinking if I’m feeling sore, I better ring my strength and conditioning coach and tell him I might not make tomorrow’s session.

“Before any of that I had to ring my sports psychologist and while that was going on I was eating a meal that had been made for me by a chef and delivered to my house. Shit has changed so much.

“I used to just steam a load of chicken and broccoli and that would be every meal. If I had a niggling pain, tough shit, get on with it. These kids are going to grow up with all that in place for them and they’re going to be amazing.”

On the subject of SBG, Fields also claimed that until Conor McGregor’s latest win over Dennis Siver in Boston’s TD Garden, he hadn’t really acknowledged how far his teammate had come in the sport.

While Fields is usually so on edge watching his training partners perform he can never really enjoy the moment, such was McGregor’s dominance on January 18 that ‘The Killing’ had a revelation of sorts as the fight was taking place.

“I remember being in the TD Garden there a few weeks back and usually they have a place for us to sit and watch the fights. This time, the place was so packed there was nowhere for us to sit.

“As for Conor’s performance, I think it’s the first time I’ve ever said ‘wow’, watching one of my teammates. It was like an Anderson Silva type performance. He looked phenomenal.

“Then Joe Rogan gets into the cage and starts asking him how it feels to be fighting for a title. Until then, it never dawned on me how big this really was. I just turned to Cathal straight away and said, ‘this is surreal’.

“A guy from our gym is going to be fighting for a UFC title in a few months. We’re a little island and we’re only doing this a little while at that level. Ais, me, Cathal, Conor, Paddy and Roddy before all of us, we were the first ones to go out and do it a high level. Now one of us is going for a title,” he exclaimed.

A trip to any Irish amateur event would allow you to see Fields in his coaching capacity, something that he can see become his full time role in the future – but not just yet.

“I know I’m going to coach, I think everyone around me knows that I’m going to do it eventually,” he said. “I naturally do it well, I really enjoy it and I know a lot of people don’t really like it.

“I’ve been around a lot of brilliant fighters who struggle to get across what they’re trying to say when they’re coaching. There are a few things I have to do first before I can full commit to it though, just for myself.”

One of those things, of course, is competing. With Cheick Kone firmly in Fields’ crosshairs ahead of their co-main event slot for BAMMA 18 this Saturday in Wolverhampton, he commented on where he believes the fight will be won.

“I see one gaping hole in his game, and I’m sure everybody has that has looked at him. Like they say in the pikey call out videos – ‘I see three hits – me hitting him, him hitting the floor and the ambulance hitting 90 on the way to the hospital’.

“I really feel like I can knock anyone out but I feel like he is really open on the ground. I can see me stopping him by submission. You know me though, I’ll stand with anyone.

“I’ve really been working on the grappling side of my game and I’d really like to put it out there at some stage. I dunno though, if he walks out there and lands a leg kick first I could end up saying ‘fuck this’ and throwing with him until one of us falls.

“It’s happened a few times. I feel that little bit of shin hit the meat of my leg and then it’s on. He is a good striker though, he’s very aggressive and he’s very awkward on the feet. He throws weird knees from mad angles but I don’t think he has ever fought anyone with my pedigree.

“I think I’ll be very comfortable in there. My cut is going a lot easier. I’m getting older, I’ve got to do things a bit smarter. I’m not even going to eat ice cream the week before this one. I open the freezer everyday and there’s a Caramel Chew Chew Ben and Jerry’s looking at me – we’ve got a date after this fight.”

Finally, Fields gave some incites into his BAMMA deal including the fact that there is a ZUFFA clause in place. A lot of people feel the former champion is only one big performance away from a UFC call-up, and with this deal in place, Saturday night could be the last time we see him compete outside of the Octagon for some time.

“I want to fight as much as I can,” said Fields. “BAMMA want to give me a contract after this fight. The reason why I wanted to sign with BAMMA is because they can give me four fights a year. Laura was the one who recognized that them terms would include my first fight, so it would be more like three fights in twelve months, and I want four.

“So after this fight, I want to fight every three months. That’s the beauty of this contract, I think if I was to win one fight really well, I’d be there or thereabouts for UFC and that’s why they have put a ZUFFA clause in the deal. I’ll be keeping a close eye on that Poland card.”

@PetesyCarroll

You can read Part 1 HERE

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