This Saturday (21st September), MMA in Swindon is going off as Raged UK come back to the town to put on their latest show. We got to talk exclusively to Mike – commonly known as ‘Gip’ – and he told us all about fighting James Gallagher, beating Nathaniel Woods and what he’s been up to over the last couple of years.
Hello Mike, great to catch up with you, its been 3 years since you fought James Gallagher in the London Bellator show at the O2 arena, the same night Cyborg got his skull crushed by Michael Venom Page! Talk us through what it was like to share a dressing room with Evangelista Santos and other MMA legends?
Overwhelming to be honest, because obviously, I had this really weird feeling, just sat there watching these big fighters and sharing the same dressing room with them, it was absolutely mind blowing, something I always dreamt about happening, but never thought I’d get the opportunity to do, but at the same time very humbling that I have been put onto the same level as them and was given such an amazing opportunity.
There were some negative comments about your fight ref: weight and fight performance – what can you say about that and what’s different this time around?
So my coach (Mike ‘Mad-Dog’ McGarry) called me and asked if I wanted to go onto Bellator – obviously I jumped at the chance!! I wasn’t even training properly, since my previous fight – in February, at the time I was just enjoying life a bit too much, also I had a baby boy on the way and a 2 year old daughter – so I wasn’t prepared weight wise or training wise at all – my mind and body wasn’t ready- but – its Bellator in the O2 arena with the main fight being between Paul Daley and Douglas Lima – who wouldn’t jump at that chance! Plus – I’m a fighter – so if there’s a fight to be had, I’m gonna take it. I came in and I was 2lb overweight – obviously, its a professional promotion and I wanted to be as professional as possible, the problem was just not being prepared enough, another week or even a couple of days and I would have hit weight. 24 hours weigh ins are complete nonsense anyways – 2 reasons, 1) Its dangerous and people have literally died from it and 2) by the time we get to fight, rehydrate, eat and fuel up – no ones at their competition weight! the fight itself, I fucked up. James was giving me all the bullshit about tapping me in the first round because pretty much every fight prior to that, he had beaten everyone in the first round by submission, I was having none of that! So I let him on my back pretty much the whole of round 1 – which – in hindsight was stupid because obviously he had the first round, my coaches were livid, but I remember shouting over my coaches shoulder at him saying ‘Told you! You cant do nothing!!” then I realised I needed to turn it on. I managed to rock him with a spinning heel kick, but didn’t capitalise when I should have, all in all, I feel like I was backing away – ALOT and didn’t give the crowd the fight they deserved or the win I deserved. Up until that point, I was the only one who had gone 3 full rounds with him. since then he’s been knocked out – I’d love to fight him again!
So what’s happened in the last 3 years?
Lots. I lost to James, I’ve had a break up, I’ve found love again, I’ve had 2 kids, I got depressed, overweight, only 4 months ago I was sitting at 88kg!! I fight at 66kg this weekend!! – I lost my way a little and have spent time to rebuild myself and find myself again. I’ve been working on all the mistakes in the area of professional fighting. This is the first fight camp (other than Nathaniel Wood) where I ‘ve actually sorted out my diet, my training, my mindset, rehearsed what happens between rounds, sorted out my ‘defensive’ style – long story short – wait until this weekend, you’re going to see a different animal, I’ve beaten Nathaniel, so this fight will be a nice warm up for me – to help get back into the MMA world – no disrespect to Dan at all, he’s a top guy, who I respect hugely, really looking forward to catching up with him, he’s one funny fucker!
Predictions for the fight?
A magician never tells his tricks – but I will pull that bunny out the hat and that’s all you need to know! All you need to is sit back, watch the show and enjoy the magic!
Any Shout Outs?
Massive shout out to everyone – my team, coaches, friends, family all at Kyouken, my wonderful Mrs – Karina – she’s been making my meals and making sure diet is on plan and allows me the time to go training. Huge shout out to Gary Turland who has given me and many others a great opportunity to showcase my skills and he’s giving fighters, who may not be allowed to fight on larger shows, a platform and a second chance. Genuinely he is such a nice bloke and I really hope I do him and his promotion proud. Also massive shout out to my sponsors – Adam Phillips’ – It’s the Money guy, and Phat Services and The Right angle Sports therapy and health clinic, Martin Ardolino who runs that is actually amazing, bends me in questionable positions but I always walk out of there feeling fresh!
Thanks for your time Mike – good luck for Saturday!
If you would like to follow Gip on his MMA Journey, head to his Instagram /michaelgipcutting
or his Twitter which is @Gip_Cutting
To Watch the LIVE Raged UK show Click Here
Catch up on our UK grappling coverage of Polaris 11 here.