Should UK lightweight Curt "The War" Warburton come away from his upcoming bout with Lee Wieczorek at BAMMA 10 with a win, the fighter believes he deserves another shot at UFC. "I’ll have a record of four straight wins and no losses since I lost to Joe Lauzon at UFC" states Warburton, "how many do I need to make it happen?"
"I’ve changed a lot of things since I lost to Lauzon last year because, after that fight, I sank into quite a heavy depression. I wasn’t in a good place mentally."
When questioned what changes he made, Warburton confesses "I think I was quite naïve going into that fight. Afterwards I had to learn who to trust and who not to trust. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good people in MMA but, at the same time, there are a lot of bad people who don’t want anything to do with you as soon as you lose."
As well as moving from Wolfslair Academy in Liverpool back to his home town, a move closer to his family which has clearly made the lightweight a happier fighter, Warburton has also had a complete revamp of his training routine. "People used to tell me when to train, not to train, how to fight, how to eat and, to be honest, training became a chore."
"Now, I listen to my head and my body," states the fighter, "if my body says I need a rest, I rest. I don’t push myself to the point where I am dying anymore. I think I’ve become more educated as to what is good for me as a fighter. What fighters need to learn is that, no matter who you have around you and what they’re telling you, the pressure is all on you so you have to do what is right for you."
With one eye on a future return to UFC, the lightweight will need to be on top of his game when he takes on BAMMA debutant Lee Wieczorek on September 15th. "I’m feeling great and have been mixing up my training for this fight. I’ve also been out to Alliance MMA in the States for a training camp and came back with a few new moves."
"I’ve also spent quite a bit of time working on my footwork recently," reveals Warburton adding, "I’m a bit of a brawler usually but my opponent Lee looks quite big so I’m hoping that being quick on my feet will work in my favour."
"Before a fight I usually work on my weight and try to cut it right down. I’ve been doing that this time but it feels a lot different. When I was out in America, I was on quite a strict diet plan and now I feel a lot fitter and have a lot more energy. I’m also enjoying training a lot more."
Of his opponent, Warburton shows nothing but respect although expects nothing but a win. "He seems like a decent guy and I think we’re quite evenly matched if you look at our results. He also hasn’t talked a lot of crap which is quite nice as a lot of fighters seem to do that these days. It might be good for the sport and gets people talking but, at the end of the day, all that is forgotten once you get in the cage."
"When I started in MMA, wrestling was something I didn’t like," confesses the UK MMA veteran, "now I’m getting a lot better at it so I’m quite happy for the fight to go wherever it goes. Having said that, neither of us will be paid overtime so I’d be quite happy to get it over with as quickly as possible."
And once BAMMA 10 is out of the way, Warburton has clearly set his sights on a return to UFC. "Every fighter wants to fight on the big shows. This is Lee’s first BAMMA and I hope it goes really well for him but, like I said, I’m going for nothing but a win and, from there, who knows?"