Chris Fields is balancing Title Fight Callouts with Opening SBG’s Newest Gym

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Chris Fields couldn’t hide his delight with his intricate first round D’arce choke finish of Dan Konecke in Dublin’s 02 Arena on February 28.

Getting back in the win column after two unsuccessful outings under the BAMMA banner seems to have reignited a fire under the former Cage Warriors champion, who looked and felt better than ever as he moved up to light-heavyweight for his hometown showcase.

“I felt really comfortable in there,” he explained. “Everything just felt nice. The lack of having to kill myself for the weight cut and without the added stress of having a baby a couple of days before it, I just felt as though the pressure was off to a certain extent.

“The last fight I had was such a pressure cooker. It was in Dublin, and my son had just been born a couple of days before. I don’t think that was the reason I lost the fight or anything though, it just kind of changed my mindset going into it.

“I just felt great last time out. Technically I was better than ever, it’s certainly the best I’ve felt in a long time, and physically I felt amazing too.”

Fields believes competing 20 lbs heavier than usual had a big part to play in how he performed. Therefore, he revealed that it will be unlikely that we will see him hitting the scales at middleweight going forward.

“I’m going to be fatty from now on. It’s going to be light heavyweight, by the sounds of things.

“I can remember being in fights after the cut and thinking, ‘I can’t do that, I’ll get tired’, and that’s not how you want to be when you’re in a fight. You want to be able to do everything, but after a cut like that you just can’t.

“Especially in the early days I remember, as Conor said, blowing my load. After learning from that I would try to conserve my energy for the later rounds, and anyone that knows me knows that’s not even my style anyway.

“It’s one of those things as well; I started off as a middleweight and I’ve been growing since then. I’m such a lanky streak. I kind of filled out a lot later than most guys. That started when I was about 25 and I’ve been putting on weight ever since–bigger, bigger and bigger. I was just looking at a picture of myself from the Jacquelin fight week, it’s crazy to see me at the weigh in.”

One of the strangest pieces of media that came out of BAMMA’s second trip to Dublin was a video recorded for the promotion’s ‘Unfiltered’ series. BAMMA light-heavyweight champion Paul Craig confronted Fields backstage immediately after the win, but his efforts to get under the Irishman’s skin appeared to be a bit more awkward than expected.

“I have to admit something horrible, I honestly didn’t even know who he was,” he laughed. “I thought he was an Andrew McGahon-type character, so I started chatting away to him as if he was an interviewer. Then he started to pick a fight with me and I really thought he was taking the piss for a minute.

“I actually got really agitated then. I saw the video that BAMMA put out, but there’s another video that one of my mates took of it. You can see how the whole thing went down and it get’s very heated at the end. We were squaring up to each other and stuff, but nothing major happened.

“I just couldn’t believe that it was happening. First of all, I didn’t know who he was and nobody has ever heard of him. Second, why is he coming up to me like that straight after I’ve won a fight, and backstage of all places? It just such a weird time to do something like that when I’ve got all these mad endorphins flying through my body, I don’t need some idiot trying to start a fight with me.

“Look, it will all get sorted soon anyway. I have a feeling we might be seeing each other very soon.”

His style of callout might not have impressed Fields, but ‘The Housewives’ Choice’ has no problem in meeting Craig, who he described as “an Aldi version of Conor McGregor”, after his on-camera confrontation.

He said: “I like that fight, I’ll fight anyone. I’ve never backed out of fights, I’ve taken a stupid amount of fights on short notice. I’ve fought the top guys for years. I know my skillset and it matches up against anyone’s.

“That guy looked like an Aldi version of Conor McGregor with his beard and his suit back there. He had his little Primark outfit on. I don’t know what his plan is.

“He was stumbling over his words when we were just briefly talking, he’s definitely not a Conor. He doesn’t dress like him and if he fought like him I’m sure I’d have heard about him before that. I’ll happily fight him and I think that’s a matchup that could be happening soon. Hopefully in June, in Dublin.”

As if that’s not enough for Fields to be worrying about, he is set to open SBG’s latest facility in Swords alongside Irish jiu-jitsu royalty, Tom King. The Main Street facility is set to open on April 4, and Fields’ excitement about the new gym is infectious.

“It’s going to be amazing. I’ve been living in Swords for a long time and we basically took out an old FAS office. We gutted it out and now we have this big spacious area for training. Our plan is to do more for the youth of Swords that FAS ever did!

“There’s going to be teen classes and we’re going to have different things going on throughout the opening week. Our opening day is April 4th and we can’t wait. I’ve been coaching for so many years and I’m dying to start training up my own fighters now, in my own gym.

“I’ve been coaching MMA for a long, long time and I’ve got a great pedigree from all of the great coaches I’ve worked with. I’ve got Tom King, one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu players Ireland has ever produced, opening this place with me. He’s an amazing coach. I’ve never stopped learning off him. I’m very lucky to have him as a partner.”

“I’m going to be doing all of my own fight camps out of this place from now on. Obviously, I’ll still have to take visits over to SBG Concorde for my sparring and I’ll try to get in as much as possible. Cathal Pendred will be popping in and out of our Swords gym to help me with that, as always.”

You can’t help but think about Fields’ fighting future on the news that he will be opening his own gym. While there’s still plenty left in the 32-year-old’s tank, he can’t see himself competing beyond the age of 35.

“I’ve always said that only fight until I’m 35, and that’s no matter what. If someone offered me a super fight with Anderson Silva and I was about 36, I’d still turn it down. If you’re a fighter you should have a timeframe in mind and that should be it. As soon as you start breaking it, you’ll just keep breaking it. Before you know it, you’re 44 years of age and getting the head thumped off you by 22 year olds.

“There is a shelf life. I don’t necessarily think age has anything to do with it, but I do feel you’ve only got a certain amount of years of activity. It’s usually a career of about 8-10 years. I had my first fight when I was 25. I just want to make sure that I’m healthier when I’m over so 35 has always been the age in my head.”

In the meantime, however, Fields still has plenty of goals to focus on:

“Look, if something happened tomorrow and I wasn’t able to fight again I would be very happy with my career. I’ve had some big fights, I’ve won some titles, I’ve been part of some of the biggest teams and I feel like I’ve helped the sport grow in this country.

“That BAMMA title is definitely something that I want to tick off the list. No one has ever been a Cage Warriors and BAMMA champion as far as I know, and I still want to be the first guy to ever do that. Winning that would great for me, I think it would be good for the sport over here and it would be good for the club I’m just about to open.

“To be honest, I’d probably get more satisfaction out of training a guy all the way up. I get a lot of satisfaction out of cornering people. I still get those butterflies in my stomach even watching a big fight. With coaching, and coaching to the level that I believe I will, I’ll get to keep that feelings forever.”

@PetesyCarroll

Photo: Cage Warriors

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