WORLD Lightweight champion Rob Sinclair believes his potentially explosive third title defence against Andre Winner will be the biggest fight in BAMMA history.
The BAMMA 4 Middleweight championship bout between Tom “Kong” Watson and Alex Reid enticed a huge TV audience with more than 835,000 viewers tuning in to Bravo for the main billing, making it the most watched MMA event in the UK.
However, the 32-year-old Burnley MMA fighter is confident that his highly-anticipated clash with The Ultimate Fighter: United States versus United Kingdom finalist and UFC veteran Winner, at BAMMA 10 at Wembley Arena on September 15th, will be even more colossal.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Sinclair. “It’s definitely going to be a good one and it’s had a lot of publicity already. There’s a clash of styles, we’re both unbeaten on BAMMA and we’re both ranked in the top three unsigned fighters. We’re both exciting, quite evenly matched and we both have a lot of strengths so it should be intriguing.”
He added: “I’d say this is going to be the biggest fight on BAMMA. There was Watson and Reid but that was more of a publicity stunt. I don’t think Alex really deserved a shot at the title. In terms of form and skill sets we’ve both earned this respective title defence and title challenge.”
Grenada-born Winner, renowned for his frightening acceleration and outstanding striking skills, will be making his third appearance in the BAMMA cage after fighting five times in the UFC. The Leicester athlete recorded victories over Jason Ball at BAMMA 7 and Diego Gonzalez at BAMMA 8.
“He’s a strong opponent, no doubt about it,” said Sinclair. “His main strength is probably his speed but he’s got great boxing skills, he can grind his opponents down and he can dishearten you. To be honest he doesn’t have many weaknesses; the whole package is pretty strong so I have to be ready, fully prepared and at my best.
“He’s a good counter puncher and good at leading with shots. He’s very hard to put down on his back. I will be working on counter punching myself and other techniques to nullify him and make it uncomfortable for him.”
But Sinclair’s spectacular striking ability has also caused upset for many of his opponents in the past. Of his nine knockouts, seven were forced via hefty blows with Richie Downes, Matt Sellars, Alexandre Izidro, Nathan Beer at BAMMA 2, German Daniel Weichel at BAMMA 3, Martin Begley, and Diego Vital at BAMMA 7 all falling victim to C-4’s enviable power.
“He’s going to have to be careful with my striking power,” warned the Predators MMA fighter. “Any future opponents I come up against will have to watch out for that. I always have the ability to find a way to win as well. During the fight I’ll be thinking of ways to outwit him to register another win.
“I think people will put me down as the underdog, that doesn’t bother me. Personally I don’t think I am the underdog because it’s going to be a 50/50 match-up. Whoever implements their gameplan best is going to win.
“Either one of us is capable of doing it. It’s very evenly matched but I’m very confident.
“I’ve got 25 minutes to land a big shot.
“He may be able to take it, you never know, but not many opponents have taken them so far.”
Sinclair added: “It’s been in the making for almost a year and it is going be the biggest domestic lightweight contest the UK has ever had, on the biggest show in Europe, for the biggest title BAMMA has, and on live TV (Channel 5).
I’m very privileged to be a part of it; this is going to be the biggest fight of my life and I will be ready.
“There’s no messing around now, this is serious stuff.
“This will be the hardest hitting, strongest, most explosive Rob “C4”′ Sinclair you will ever see and that’s a promise!”
Sinclair, whose illustrious career has been based on training part-time, wanted to thank Mike Clarke from The Fight Lounge, Glenn Slater, Piranha Guard, Smuggling Duds, Fightshop.com, Fitness Factory and Bad Boy for all their sponsorship and support.