(Mick “The English Bull” Sinclair, who returns to lightweight at Burnley Brawl on March 20th)
In a series of unfortunate circumstances, the eagerly anticipated clash between Team Kaobon, Predators and Sinclair MMA fighter Mick Sinclair and Greg Knapp at BAMMA II was cancelled as Mick was deemed unfit to cut any more weight after tipping the scales at just over 68kg for their featherweight clash. Knapp was well within his rights to refuse the contest after weighing in successfully at 66.1kg, but that’s not to say it didn’t leave fans, fighters and promoters alike disappointed.
Ian Dean, part of Warrior Promotions Fighter Management that looks after the Sinclair brothers, said the welfare of his fighter was always the priority:
For me, my fighter’s heath and general wellbeing is paramount,” Dean asserted. “ There was no way I was going to let my fighter suffer any more and when a BAMMA official advised me that Mick should not go back in the sauna, I took appropriate action and tried to get the fight arranged at a catchweight. We spent considerable time trying to work out a deal but, alas, it didn’t happen.”
A humble northerner that lets his fighting do the talking, Mick didn’t want to draw upon excuses and apologises to those that expected to see him in action, but extenuating circumstances meant that he was putting his long term security before the title-eliminator fight on the London-based show.
“There were some circumstances involved,” Mick admitted. “I can make the weight but to do it I’ve got to have the perfect camp and that didn’t happen this time. I’m normally 81-82kg and it takes a strict diet for eight weeks and then a cut starting ten days out.
“I’ve got to work as well as train and we got a really big four-year contract in the run up to the fight. It took up a lot of my time and I was still training hard, but couldn’t do as much as I needed to. Four years work was guaranteed though and I had to do it, it’s worth more to me than £500 purse for some fight at the end of the day.”
As with many ‘professional’ fighters across the world trying to work their way to the top, Mick has to work a full-time job to pay the bills. Many can empathise with his situation, especially when you have to include the added workload of training for a high-level domestic contest.
The option to move back up to lightweight was almost made for him after still suffering from kidney pains over a week removed from the weight cut.
“For the cut, I know I didn’t make the weight but I didn’t go in there with rolls hanging off me either. I was ripped. Nine days later I was still getting up in the middle of the night with kidney pains, my health is worth more than that and my girlfriend told me not to do it again.”
Although it seems a long time since the Burnley lad was competing at 155lbs, his tenure there was a successful one. Beating the likes of Jason Ball and Ian Jones, he compiled an impressive record and admits there will be one less pressure without the thought of a dramatic weight cut hanging over his head.
“I had no trouble at lightweight, and no trouble getting there,” Mick noted.
“When I’m working with Terry [Etim], Rob [Sinclair; brother] and those guys and they’re 80kg a week or so out from the fight and you’re 75kg, that’s what made me want to drop. But I was strong and fit at 70kg as I could eat well and not have to kill myself.”
Ian Dean reflected on Mick’s previous stint at lightweight, and believes that the move will be a positive one.
“Having both Mick and Rob at 155lbs does pose a few logistical problems for me. But, with the number of promotions out there I feel confident that both guys can still get big fights. Plus Mick has shown he can hang with top UK guys.
“Plus Mick’s two losses were unfortunate,” he continued. “A disqualification loss against Aiden Marron and a loss in his second bout over three years ago against Pete Irving who is now doing well at welterweight.
“That being said, there is a part of me that thinks if a “big” show came in at 145lbs for Mick, for the right money, then he could go down but Mick has shown time and time again he has the skills to hold his own at 155 and I feel he can do well in that division.”
Not casting his eyes to the big leagues just yet, however, Mick returns to the successful hometown event, Burnley Brawl, on March 20th to pit his skills against Simon Greenwood. Mick sees it as a test for him and a way to gauge how well he can do on his return to lightweight.
“I don’t know much about him to be honest. I’m going to use it as a way to get back on the horse. I don’t want to wait out for ages and be rusty so we’ll get back on the horse and see how I feel; see if I’m still strong at that weight, which I’m sure I will be.”
Although apologetic, Mick wants to reassure those that have supported him that he can still prove himself to be a genuine contender at the higher weight class. Brother Rob admitted Mick was close to retiring after the previous disheartening efforts, but he will have a new lease of life and will be ready to bludgeon his way to the top with the patented Sinclair aggression and power.
Mick closed with, “I don’t want people to think I’m taking the piss and I don’t want to let people down.” A return to action and a return to form for Mick Sinclair should hopefully appease the fans and help them remember why he was so highly-ranked and exciting in the first place. Deserving of the recognition, Mick has made a decision for his career and his health and hopes the UK MMA fans can support him as he returns on the lightweight path.