"As a doctor, I specialize in brain surgery," explained Colin Fletcher. "Not a lot influences me to be a weirdo. It just flows out of me easily."
This is number thirty-six in Jack Brown’s series of interviews with MMA fighters and personalities, and for this particular interview, we’re pleased to feature UK MMA fighter, Colin “Dr. Freakshow” Fletcher. Freakshow was a finalist on TUF: The Smashes, but after losing that fight, and his next fight at UFC 158, he was released by the UFC. Something tells us that we haven’t heard the last of the talented and colorful doctor. Please enjoy the conversation below.
Jack Brown: What was your first experience with martial arts/combat sports, and how did it become more than just a hobby for you?
Colin Fletcher: I did a lot of boxing when I was twelve to sixteen. Then I found girls and cars and kind of gave up on it. And when I got back to it, a few people I knew were fighting MMA. So I started it and loved it! It takes a hold of your life, and once I started doing well as a pro, I decided to give it my all.
JB: What do you recall about your first professional MMA fight, and how prepared do you feel you were at the time?
CF: I remember the guy had a lot more experience than me and was a purple belt in BJJ. And he had fought some good guys at the time, but I didn't care about that. I love being the underdog.
JB: You were 8-1 going into The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes. What was the highlight of your pre-UFC career?
CF: I'm not sure really. It's all a highlight to me. I love doing MMA as a job so it's all a highlight to me.
JB: Your season of TUF, featuring Australia vs. The UK, was a fun watch and you were responsible for most of the entertainment. What was that experience like for you, why do you think you were so successful and what can you share with us that might not have been broadcast?
CF: Yeah, thanks, I really enjoyed the whole experience of TUF. I met some fantastic lads who I'll be great friends with forever, but I do think it's made me a little softer than I was going into the house. But I'm working on getting my killer instinct back! I'd say 60% of the real funny stuff on the show was missed. I really hope they do a bonus disk on the DVD.
JB: You had two official fights in the UFC, both losses, and then you were cut by the promotion. What did you think of your two performances in the octagon and your release?
CF: Officially, I had only one for the UFC. I was still on a TUF contract for my fight with Norman. The fight was awful. I hated every second of it. I've never fought anyone I've spent a lot of time with before. My brain was working against me. It was the strangest thing I've ever done.
The fight with Mike Ricci, I thought was a decent fight. He's a real tricky guy. He was knocking people out at welterweight and was really impressive in his season of TUF, and he trains with the best guys in the world. I let myself down with my preparations really. I was looking to head out to a big camp, but I got the email about the fight six weeks before the fight. So I decided to train in the UK and my camp never really got going. A lot of the guys I train with had fought and couldn't get in the gym some days. There were just two of us and this made me strangely nervous. I also got to Montreal four days before the fight, and my weight cut was awful. After rehydrating, I couldn't stop being sick all night. But I didn't think the fight was bad at all. It was a great matchup by Joe Silva. It showed all aspects of MMA, and I was reasonably happy with it considering how I felt.
JB: What's next for you in your MMA career? Any opponents in the UFC or elsewhere that you are keen on fighting?
CF: Easy really. As long as there’s a good chance of me being KO’d or subbed, I'm keen to fight.
JB: Of all the MMA fighters out there in any weight class, who are some that you admire the most and why?
CF: Anderson Silva’s the business. I love the guy. I'd love to meet him one day.
JB: You are obviously a creative fellow, and I am impressed with your overall aesthetic and panache. What have been some of the key influences on your style, and what do you have your doctorate in, Dr. Freakshow?
CF: Hee-hee. Thank you, kind sir. As a doctor, I specialize in brain surgery. :-p Not a lot influences me to be a weirdo. It just flows out of me easily.
JB: What else do you enjoy outside of training and fighting, and who are the individuals who have supported you most in life?
CF: When I'm not training, I'm just spending time with my beautiful family. I love playing games with my kids! It keeps me young.
The support from my fans and followers has been outstanding. In the past couple of weeks, I was pretty devastated about being cut, but the messages I received from people really helped me realize that people still do have faith in me and want to watch me fight. I can't wait to get back in the cage and fight like I used to.
JB: Last question, Colin, and thanks for taking the time to do this. What does it mean to you to be a fighter and how much do you enjoy it?
CF: Being a fighter means everything to me. I've always been a fighter, and I always will be as long as people still come and watch me fight.
Thank you so much for reading and please follow @dr_freakshow and @Jackjohnbrown on Twitter.
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