Guilt for Glory – Chris Fields ahead of BAMMA 22


It has been one of the most eventful weeks of Chris Fields’ life, but he probably won’t have time to think about it until Sunday morning.

Not only will he walk out in front of an energetic Irish MMA crowd in the 3 Arena for the first time on Saturday night where he will look to land a big hometown win over Christopher Jacquelin, but last Friday he and his wife welcomed their first child into the world.

As one of the main attractions for BAMMA 22, it’s been a hectic week for ‘The Housewives’ Choice’. While some fighters will tell you that having a child has completely changed their outlook towards their career, Fields is the opposite. However, after feeling quite guilty as he prepared for the fight in the final stretch of his wife’s pregnancy he is now looking forward to showing his newborn son what he got up to on the week he was born.

“He came out holding a pipe and smoking jacket for me,” quipped Fields, “so I basically became a stereotypical Dad immediately.

“Everyone involved in this sport has to be selfish. I could tell you that everything is different and the fight game was all about my kid now, but it’s still all about me. People will lie to you constantly, but that’s the truth.

“Obviously, a better life for him would be great if it came out of this, but it’s no secret what kind of money we earn. Even for most of the guys in the UFC, if they really gave a shit about their kids they would get a real job. That’s what I’m trying to do now, I’m sorting out some things for myself so I can do that for him.

“I was talking to my sports psychologist Dave Mullins after he was born and I was saying how I didn’t really know if I wanted to fight anymore. I had mixed feelings when everything happened to be honest. He was born on Friday and I trained on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – I don’t want to be disappearing all the time. He only got home today and I’m still running around the place.

“Dave is a genius, and he always has these great things to say that can change my perspective on things. I was telling him how I felt a bit guilty with the situation because Laura was in hospital the whole time, even though I was in with her every time I could be I was always going back and forth between the hospital and training.

“So I was feeling pretty bad about it, and then Dave said ‘imagine how cool it’s going to be when you can show him what you were doing on the week he was born’ – that is a big drive for me now. I think that’s pretty cool.”

Although Fields has been primed for Saturday night in SBG and the ISI, he got plenty of roadwork in running to the hospital between sessions as the due date grew closer. Fields maintained that having to leave the hospital to get his work done forced him into action.

“It really hasn’t messed with my preparation, I think I’ve had an almost perfect training camp. Everything is going according to plan, I have no injuries and I’ve been working with the ISI solidly for about 11 weeks. To be honest, I felt like I couldn’t take a day off because I felt like I was being an asshole having to leave Laura in the hospital all the time.

“She was in there doing all of the work, so when I went to the gym I made sure I wasn’t wasting any time while I was there. As I said, he was born on Friday and I honestly don’t know any other guys who would’ve gone to the gym on Saturday, but I did. Having a baby is usually a ready-made excuse to skip sessions for people.”

The 3 Arena is one of the venues that every Dubliner dreams about filling one day. The venue itself has hosted some big nights in combat sports over the years and Fields seems excited to join the long list of names like Collins, Dunne and the cast of last year’s UFC Dublin when he makes the walk tomorrow night.

“Stop calling it the 3 Arena,” he corrects me, “it’s The Point, come on. It’s the same venue that Steve Collins fought in, it’s the same place that Bernard Dunne had some amazing nights in and it’s where we had the greatest moment in Irish MMA history a little over a year ago.

“It feels fantastic to be a part of that. I’m excited and I wasn’t that excited initially, but it felt like something just clicked yesterday. Someone shared out my highlight reel yesterday and I haven’t seen it since it first came out and something kicked in. Just watching it, I was thinking to myself ‘I’m going to murder this guy.’

“I was watching it and as a fan, I think that kind of style is what I’d want to see – it’s fairly balls to the wall. It’s fun to watch and I think I might have lost sight of that a little bit.”

When BAMMA first announced their September date at the 3 Arena, there was a lot of speculation regarding whether they could fill the house to an extent that the night world be profitable. This week the European promotion announced a further date in February, which points to the sales of BAMMA 22 being quite significant. As one of the main draws for the event in the Irish capital, Fields spoke about his gratitude to the promotion and his involvement on the February show given how close he seemed to be to a title shot before his promotional debut seven months ago.

“I’m not looking passed Saturday night at the moment. The only thing I’m looking forward to is coming home and spending Sunday with my new family. That’s quite scary for me because I’m a bit of a child myself, the fact that they legally let me walk out of the hospital with a baby worries me. I’ll win this fight on Saturday and I will want that title shot if it will be on that February card in Dublin or not.

“BAMMA have been amazing to me, I’ve said this to you before. They always keep me involved and I think they want me to be involved moving forward. They’re a good group of guys and I’m very lucky that I’ve fallen in with them. I’m very happy with the way they handle things,” he stated.

The great debate surrounding Ireland’s bandwagon UFC fans and the diehard MMA fans has been kicked up a few notches in recent years with the emergence of Conor McGregor under the UFC banner. BAMMA 22 will act as a measuring stick to how many people are avid fans of the sport rather than a particular brand, and Fields is adamant that the gathering in the 3 Arena will create a vibrant atmosphere.

“I think the event is going to have a fantastic atmosphere around it. I’ve been trying to prepare myself for that atmosphere, I hope it doesn’t turn me into a raving psychopath. I don’t want to run out there and start throwing kicks and punches at the same time and end up kneeing myself in the face!

“I just know it’s going to be electric. Look, we’ve been all over the country at different events and the fans are always mental. It’s going to be like the atmosphere of them small shows but in a massive arena, the place is going to be heaving.”

Finally, Fields gave his thoughts on his opponent Jacquelin and highlighted his frustration with people considering the Frenchman the submission specialist ahead of the co-main event contest.

“He’s light on his feet and he throws lots of different shots, lots of long straight punches,” said Fields of his opponent. “I haven’t seen him instigate the takedown a lot, but he does like to play off his back a fair bit so he’s probably quite accepting of the takedown. If he’s not, he probably won’t have much a choice in the matter. He throws up stuff off his back and you always have to be aware of that because you can fall into triangles and armbars from slight mistakes with your posture.

“I’ve been looking at the guys I’ve fought over the years, we’re talking about black belt Naga champions here. I’ve been in there with them all and I’ve beaten them all. A lot of the time I’ve used their own game against them and I’ve come out with the win. I’m not stressed about Saturday night.

“I’m just going to do old school Chris Fields – I might just put him up against the fence, take him down and beat the shit out of him. I always enjoyed that, but I kind of drifted away from it a bit. It’s funny that people think I’m a striker now even though I was one of the best wrestlers in Europe for a while. I was taking everybody down and rearranging their faces. I’m not sold on the ‘no game plan’ thing, I do always have a game plan when I go in there.

“I’ll finish him in the second I’d imagine. I’m a little bit pissed that people are considering him the submission specialist. Considering the guys I’ve trained with, rolled with, held my own with and the submissions I’ve landed in fights – I don’t know how you could consider someone who was fighting me as a submission specialist.

“I know my level in jiu-jitsu, I roll with really high-level guys on a regular basis and I know where I’m at. I know that I’m that much better than this guy and I’m sure he thinks he knows that he’s better than me too. He can think what he wants because on Saturday night we’re all going to find out.”


Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus

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