The Point in Sunderland was the home of Rise and Conquer 9 last Sunday as some of the brightest talents from Scotland and England went head to head.
The highly anticipated fight card lived up to the expectations with the phenomenal matchmaking on the night. The sold-out crowd in attendance were treated to a great night of MMA.
The night itself consisted of debutants, experienced amateurs and professionals, and veteran’s looking to challenge and better themselves inside the Octagon.
One man who had to dig deep for his victory was Scottish Hit Squad fighter Ryan Campbell who showcased how tough, durable and intelligent he was in his hard-fought battle with Jamie Roper. I had the pleasure to speak with Campbell post-fight to get his thoughts on his performance.
Interview With Ryan Campbell
Several days out now from your hard-fought win at Rise and Conquer. With some time to reflect, how pleased are you with your overall performance?
Ryan Campbell – “Having had a few days to reflect on the fight, I’m chuffed to get the W. Regarding my performance, I think I did well controlling a lot of the fight with the grappling, but I would’ve liked to showcase more of my stand up. Overall, happy but not satisfied.”
You faced a very skilled striker in Jamie Roper, and completely shut down his game utilising you’re wrestling and pushing a relentless pace. Leading into the fight was the game-plan always to suffocate him with your wrestling and keep him working, or is that just how it unfolded in there?
Ryan Campbell – “Hit the nail in the head. Yep, the game plan coming in was to feel him out on the feet, land heavy and change level when he was returning. We knew that he had some solid striking and that I could nullify this with the grappling. Use my strengths to exploit his weaknesses. Could fight fire with fire but easier to be like water.”
You seemed to face some adversity and get somewhat rocked in the second round. In the moment, how hurt were you? Off-course at the time, you wouldn’t have called it valuable, but how valuable do you think that experience is coming back, really having to dig deep and learn about yourself, to secure the win?
Ryan Campbell – “I got clipped for sure. I switched off for a second, acknowledging the clash of shins. Jamie capitalised and caught me a clean right hand, even giving a little smile. I got wobbled, but my head was still pretty clear. I’m terms of experience. It’s a positive that I had to dig deep and keep pushing the pace even when hurt. Pretty much fighting off instinct. Although next time I would prefer to slip it than take it clean on the chin.”
In your recent Instagram post, you said, “Never content with my performances, always lessons to be learned in there”. What lessons did you take away from the fight with Jamie?
Ryan Campbell – “Always lessons to be learned for sure. I feel that the biggest one I’ve taken from that fight would be to stay switched on. Taking your eye off the ball for a second can result in you getting knocked out.”
I know how close you and the guys at the Hit Squad hold Brian for making you all into the fighter you are today. Did it have any effect on you not having him in the corner, or did it not faze you as all the work and game-planning had been done in preparation?
Ryan Campbell – “Having your coach in the corner helps in terms of advice and support, but I believe that all the preparation is complete at this point. Mentally and physically prepared for months to fight, tactics and game plan are well established, and you’re just ready. Your coach can give you advice, but ultimately, you’re in there alone. Although Brian wasn’t there, we had a few experienced guys with us who helped in the corner, so shout out to them!”
I have seen some interesting things at events, but not quite what occurred during your fight. Can you tell us what actually happened with the scuffle in the crowd, and you leave the cage, and did it affect you at all with the stop and start to remain focussed on the task at hand?
Ryan Campbell – “Aye, there was a bit of a scuffle in between the 2nd and 3rd round. The crowd got a bit rowdy. I don’t want to be too specific, but a few people close to me were amidst the scuffle. A guy from the home crowd started fighting with people that were with me, and once I saw the fight break out, I couldn’t stop myself. I jumped out of the cage and was in two minds whether to calm the fighting or throw a chair in and get involved. I ended up just some shoving about then went back in the cage. I just put it out of my mind and regained focus on the task at hand. I was just more hyped to continue the fight.”
You’re really picking up some steam and have a huge future ahead of you. The victory vs Roper marked your second win of the year. What’s next for you? How can we expect to see from Ryan Campbell in 2022?
Ryan Campbell – “Thanks for that, mate appreciate the kind words. Felt great in there at Rise and Conquer and am excited to keep pushing forward. For me, I’m just looking to keep building on the win streak at amateur and keep fighting the toughest guys. Get all the experience I can and keep winning. Ultimately the goal is to go pro and make a career out of fighting but focusing on the short term goals just now and enjoying the journey. Few more amateur fights against the best guys, and who knows, maybe a professional debut before the end of 2022!”
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 mage credits to Rise and Conquer