The birth of the British Fighting Championship is upon us as the Middlesborough-based promotion is on the verge of hosting its first event, which goes down at the Middlesbrough Sports Village on October 23rd.
The card consists of twenty matchups with Anthony Prior and Mark Jones taking the main event slot, both making their professional debuts. The co-main event features Manchester Top Teams Umakhan Ibragimov, who is hunting for his third consecutive first-round finish when he meets Ben Doster.
I caught up with one half of the British Fighting Championship main event in Anthony Prior to get his thoughts on his upcoming clash with Jones.
Interview with Anthony “El Chapo” Prior
First off, it’s not long until you make the walk on British Fighting Championships first show. Talk to me about how preparation has been and, overall, how you’re feeling and looking ahead of your clash with Mark Jones at the end of the month?
Anthony Prior – “The camp has gone unreal. We have worked on everything. No stone has been left unturned. We have worked hard to get ready for this, and we are going to make a statement. I’m feeling like any fighter would be through a long brutal camp and, I am dying to put my hands on the mark already.”
Enlighten me about the decision to jump right into the deep end in the professional ranks without any competitive MMA background? You hear many fighters state that the amateur ranks are so valuable for lessons and growing. Why the decision to go straight to pro? Are you just confident and comfortable? Does that not worry you at all?
Anthony Prior – “I’m a fighter. You’re either in or out, and I’m all in. There’s no need to play around with kids in their early 20s at 33 years old. I spent 8 to 9 years doing amateur kickboxing and unlicensed boxing, so been in there under the lights isn’t new to me. One of my first loves was Japanese jujitsu, so my ground games there.”
Before we dive into the fight itself, the nickname “El Chapo,” I have to ask what’s the reasoning behind the name?
Anthony Prior – “The day the BFC asked me for my information, I was watching Narcos on Netflix, and it asked for my nickname. I thought to myself if I do this, I want to leave bodies lying all over like a cartel hit, so “El Chapo” just seemed right.”
Off-course we love seeing respect in martial arts. That’s what it’s all about. However, we also love seeing some bad blood and seeing two athletes who dislike each other square off. You told me you’re not so keen on Mark. Why is that, and where does that dislike, so to speak, come from?
Anthony Prior – “I respect he is coming down and getting in there with me, but let’s set this right from the off. He’s not a fighter. He’s a walking punch bag, and he calls himself a bad boy. He’s never been a bad boy. He’s easy work. Now I’m not training for an easy fight. I am training to kill. He’s doing this to tell his mates he’s tried it. I am doing this, so I don’t smash someone up on the streets and go to jail.”
For people who haven’t seen you fight, also the fact you’ve not had an MMA fight, so nobody bar your teammates know what to expect. Tell me in your own words, what can we expect to see from Anthony Prior on fight night?
Anthony Prior – “Maximum violence in style.”
Again, with no previous fights for your opponent Mark Jones to study, do you feel that’s an advantage for you leading into the fight? Are you somewhat of a blank canvas to others preparing?
Anthony Prior – “There are fights on Youtube of me from my stand-up days, so he can watch, but if he does, he will see I’m too slick for him. With the extra weight, every shot will shake his bones.”
When you put your head on the pillow at night and visualize your upcoming bout. What sort of fight are you anticipating against Jones? What are you expecting him to bring to the table?
Anthony Prior – “I finish him in the first round. What does he bring? A body bag! I hope he does because he couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag.”
You’re now on the verge of competing again. What’re the goals within MMA? What targets have you set out for yourself moving forward?
Anthony Prior – “Make a name that people in MMA stand up and say he’s good. Outside the cage, I want to open my own academy for kids and adults to train at, so I can get people off the street and going down a better path.”
The last one from me, let us all know your official fight prediction. How does the fight end at BFC 1?
Anthony Prior – “I finish this fight early. He will feel my power and curl up like a girl as he has in all his fights and beg the ref to stop it.”
Follow me on Twitter at @LewisSimpsonMMA and follow us @OT_Heroics for more great content! Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!
Featured Image credits to British Fighting Championship