BAMMA star Rob Sinclair is praying for a quick recovery after missing out on his fourth title defence.
The 32-year-old lightweight champion successfully held on to his crown with a split decision victory over UFC veteran Andre Winner at London’s Wembley Arena in September.
Sinclair, nicknamed “C4”, was three weeks in to an intense training regime ahead of a proposed match-up with Curt Warburton, where the pair would headline BAMMA 12, but the plug was pulled on the contest after the Burnley fighter suffered a partially ruptured tendon in his Achilles.
“I can’t believe it,” he said. “I’d done about 60 box jumps then felt a sharp pain, like someone had thrown a medicine ball on to the back of my leg.
“As soon as I felt it I knew it had gone. I did it last Saturday while training at Full Contact Performance Centre in Rochdale.
“I’d been given the first two weeks of March so I was about eight or nine weeks away from the fight.
“The contest had been agreed and the contracts had been signed.
“I was about three weeks into my training and I’d already dropped a bit of weight and I was feeling good.
“Everything was going well. I felt motivated after Christmas so I was looking forward to it.”
Sinclair’s training partner Carl Noon suffered the same misfortune last year, forcing the cancellation of his bout with Matt Ewin at BAMMA 10.
Sinclair is hoping to use Noon’s injury as a guideline on how long he’ll be absent from action.
“Carl Noon was out for three-and-a-half months,” Sinclair said. “He was back training a month later but was only doing upper body work.
“It took him about five months to get back on a bike. His was a full rupture though so hopefully I’ll be back running again in four months. That’s the plan anyway.
“His physio Emma Fletcher, who used to work for Wigan Warriors, was fantastic with him and got him going again so I’m hoping she can do the same for me.
“Carl was supposed to be fighting on the same card as me at BAMMA 10 against Matt Ewin but he’s back now.”
Warburton earned his shot at the belt after beating Lee Wieczorek in a title fight eliminator, a one-sided contest that Sinclair oversaw.
Sinclair was complimentary about his foe but felt he’d have been too strong for Warburton on the night.
“It was going to be a massive show,” he said.
“I’d heard it was going to be the main event on Channel 5 at Newcastle’s Metro Arena.
“I was flying in the gym in preparation for it, I was feeling strong and well ahead of schedule so I’m gutted.
“Curt is a good opponent and very tough.
“He was on a four-fight winning streak but I think he suits my kind of style with my looping shots.
“I’ve seen him fight and he seems to fade in contests, tire and slow down.
“I would’ve trained harder than what I did for my defence against Andre Winner.
“I’d had a good break and was looking forward to training.
“I’d been training at Predators doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I was really enjoying it.
“I would’ve been more dangerous against Warburton than what I was against Winner.
“I think I would’ve won, though he looked strong in his last contest. I thought he did well.”
Sinclair’s future in BAMMA is still up in the air, with just one fight remaining on his current contract.
The two are in negotiations over a new deal though another title defence could lead to more lucrative offers elsewhere in the sport.
“I’ll have about two or three weeks recuperation period then the rehabilitation begins,” said Sinclair.
“I’ve got one fight left on my contract with BAMMA so we’ll have to see where I go from there.
“I’ve already been offered a contract to stay with BAMMA but I’ve also been offered deals in America and Asia.
“I’ll try to get back for BAMMA 13 but it may be the one after.
“I’m going to win first then I can think about my future.”