Chris Fishgold could be England’s fiercest featherweight striker for all we know. But he’s not going to show it unless he has to.
Fishgold (7-0) on Saturday takes on Steve O’Keeffe (6-2) to close out the preliminary card of Cage Warriors 52, which takes place at London’s HMV Forum and has a main card that streams live and free worldwide on MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) beginning at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT (9 p.m. GMT local time).
To watch the main card, which includes champion Gael Grimaud vs. Cathal Pendred for the welterweight title, head to cagewarriors.mmajunkie.com. Additionally, catch prelims, including Fishgold vs. O’Keeffe, at 2:15 p.m. ET on Facebook.
Fishgold has six of his seven wins by submission with four rear-naked chokes on his resume. The one fight the unbeaten fighter from Liverpool, England, didn’t make someone tap, he went to a decision.
But there’s a reason his standup game hasn’t been on display thus far in his pro career, despite plenty of training in it at the Next Generation camp in England.
“The reason no one’s ever seen it, is because If I know I can beat someone at the grappling, why risk the standup?” Fishgold told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) earlier this week. “I do work on it day in and day out, and it’s just as good as my grappling skills. I train with ex-pro boxer Danny Roberts, who’s out of Next Generation and there’s a lot of good strikers down at Next Generation.”
But O’Keeffe isn’t too shabby on the ground, himself. Of his six wins, five have come by submission. He’s been out for a little more than a year after a Cage Warriors title fight loss to Conor McGregor, who eventually became a two-division champ before signing with the UFC.
So does Fishgold think the fight heads to the floor, where they might cancel each other out? Or does he think maybe O’Keeffe will want to stay out of the danger zone and try his luck in the standup department?
“I’ve watched a few of his grappling matches, and I think on the ground and my all-around game is better,” Fishgold said. “So wherever he wants to go with it, really – if he wants to make it into a grappling bout, he’s going to get choked out, basically, and he’s going to get choked out quick. If he does want to stand with me, well, he’ll get knocked out – I’ll show him the striking skills.
“I’m not really too concerned about this fight, where it goes. I just want to go out, enjoy myself and put on a show.”
But despite that love affair with the rear-naked, Fishgold also said he’d love to turn some heads with something else, if given the opportunity. Considering he’s been out of action a while himself, since October 2011, he’ll take what he can get.
“If (the rear-naked choke) comes, then I’ll take it,” he said. “If not, I wouldn’t mind something fancy.”
For more on Cage Warriors 52, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
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