For the Love of the Game – Chris Fields talks signing for BAMMA


There has been a lot of speculation with regard to the future of Chris “The Killing” Fields since his TUF 19 exit. Claiming a win over Josh Stansbury to secure his spot in the house, Fields later exited the show after Matt Van Buren took a decision win when the two met in the first round of the knockout stages of the competition.

Midweek it was revealed that the Dubliner had signed for BAMMA with his first fight scheduled for February 21 against dangerous French striker Cheick Kone, who is currently riding a four fight win streak.

With his last competitive outing dating back to June 2013, Fields discussed why he took a step back from the sport after the filming of the UFC reality TV series.

“I had two injuries – my knee was pretty bad which I had done nothing about and I had a reoccurring back injury that I had never really fixed,” he revealed. “A few different things popped up too, so it basically turned out that I wouldn’t be able to fight for six months.

“I still went training and stuff but I couldn’t go that extra mile, I couldn’t be where I want to be. Me being the dickhead that I am, when that 205er pulled out of the (UFC) Dublin card I put myself forward when I really shouldn’t have.

“This is the first time in a good few years that I’m absolutely injury free. I was just damaging my back more and more the way I was going, so I just needed to give it a proper break.

“I was able to compete with it, but I was never 100 percent. I’ve injured the disk in my lower back two or three times. It’s like an office worker’s injury, it’s the generative disk in my lower back and it’s just from wear and tear.

“There were days where it would be fine and then if I hurt it I’d go through this week of numb pain. The fear is always that it would end up worse than that, especially with the back.”

After his stint of the reality show, Fields made no bones about not being interested in competing with other opponents for camera time.

Having been around the UFC scene, the former Cage Warriors middleweight champion explained how he now feels like a big weight has been lifted off his shoulders, to the point that he is adamant that he is fighting solely for his own personal satisfaction for the first time in years.

“I see on Twitter lads who had a lot of beef in the house, lads who were constantly at each other – now they’re meeting up and they’re best pals. It’s a bit weird it was like they were playing a game or something. It’s like the whole thing in there was to get cameras on them, but that’s Americans for you isn’t it?

“For a very long time it became all about those three letters (UFC), as I’m sure it has done for everyone. All I wanted to do was get there and when I did, I don’t know if it was all it was cracked up to be. I didn’t work out the way I thought.

“You’re chasing this thing that you’ve just made so big in your head, I’m sure it’s the same whatever line of work you’re in, but when you get there it’s not as phenomenal as you thought it would be.

“Look, I want to fight the best guys and that’s where they are, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. It’s about me, what I’m going to do and what I’m going to leave behind. I’m doing it because I want to do it now rather than anything else. A good few times over the last few years, it’s in the back of my head – is this the one?

“They (UFC) told me to go off and have a fight, but at the moment I don’t really give a shit. When I’m old and I’m smoking a pipe and my grandkids ask me about my fighting days, I want to have one perfect fight so I can say – ‘that’s the one’.

“I want that one perfect performance. I don’t want to have to show them a highlight reel of different fights where I did some great things, I want to have one fight that people can watch and go ‘oh shit!’ I want that finish that makes the Japanese crowds go silent because everyone is scared that the person is dead. That’s what I want.

“It’s been a mad year but I can’t wait to start swinging these ‘Go-Go-Gadget’ legs around the place again,” he laughed.

Fields also spoke about why he chose to sign for BAMMA and indicated that he is hoping to make history by becoming the first man to win both a BAMMA and Cage Warriors championship:

“I’m really happy with the deal and to be completely honest, I chose them because they gave me the best deal. I like their shows, I’ve always watched their shows. I really think they’re an exciting promotion on the rise now and even before that it really looked like a high quality promotion, even when you watched it on TV.

“About two years ago they were huge but they kind of drifted off and Cage Warriors seemed to take over. From what they’re telling me they are looking to really comeback in a big way. Plus, how many guys do you know that were Cage Warriors and BAMMA champions? I don’t think that’s ever happened before. I could be wrong but that’s history right there.”

Fields gave his thoughts on his debut opponent for BAMMA, Cheick Kone:

“Of course I’ve had a look at him. He looks like he’s pretty solid, he’s got a kickboxing style. You probably haven’t seen it because he is under a different name in the particular video, but I saw him against a Russian guy in a ring. The guy looked like a lesser Pavel Kusch and he absolutely owned him.

“I’m going to put my shin through this guy’s face and then I’m going to cry after it just to look like a total lunatic (laughs).

“Truthfully, there’s only been glimmer of what I’m capable of throughout my career. There’s been moments where people go ‘wow’, but I don’t think I’ve ever really reached my full potential.

“That’s the reason that I’m still fighting. I know there’s more there. If I thought I’d already had my best performance I’d be happy to hang it up but everyone around me knows this too. I feel like I’m on a different level altogether,” he said.

18 months away from his last competitive outing at CWFC 55, Fields highlighted how desperate is he is to get back to work. Despite being widely recognised as one of the pioneers of the sport in Ireland, the SBG man admitted that he was shocked by the enthusiasm of the Irish MMA fans when his deal with BAMMA emerged.

“I usually fight four times a year so this is definitely my biggest gap ever,” he said. “The longest I’ve done before that was probably about five months. I’m desperate to fight again and my wife is desperate to get me out of the house.

“She can’t put up with me. When it’s on my own terms and I decide my career is over, whenever that is, then we’ll be grand. When I still have this itch to get back in there it makes it worse.

“John has seen it in me ever since I got back from filming the show to be honest. Conor has text me about it, Cathal has said a few things to me – all the lads know that I’ve never been as ready to get in there. I’m looking forward to showing everybody.

“I’m really happy with the response I’ve got from signing with BAMMA to be honest, when the news broke it was everywhere. I was really surprised at that.”

“I never really look at it like that. I just do this for fun, but the whole thing has got really pumped, I’m very excited.”

Finally, Fields commented on how he thought about retirement for a while, but now that he recaptured the fun he has had with the sport, it’s far from his plans.

“A couple of times I thought about retiring, but at the moment I’m working harder than ever. You could chat to Eoin Lacey from the ISI, what I’ve been doing for the last 5 months is just going down to him twice a week, every week and I’ve been really working on my strength and conditioning.

“I’ve been sparring with all the lads and helping them to get ready for their fights, I’ve basically been in camp since July.

“It does become a lot harder to dignify as a career when you’re not making the big money. I see what the lads are getting paid and I just kind of think, is that what I’ve been killing myself for? Obviously it was never about the money, you didn’t get into this sport in Ireland when I did because of a pay check.

“It would be nice to get some appreciation, but I have different sources of income now, so I can just batter people now for fun.”


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