Colin French: The Man Who Always Finds A Way

(French works for a rear naked choke in UCMMA. Photo by Dave Lethaby)

On May 8th at Ultimate Challenge’s ‘Never Back Down’ event, Colin French registered his third victory without reply against the durable Jody Cottham (2-9). The Welterweight was content with his performance.

“It was a good win,” he said. “I wanted to stand up really because I’ve got a lot to offer there as well, but they seem to always end up on the floor. He came at me so quick though that one minute I was up and the next I was in a guillotine. I was happy. I listened to my corner and did everything I was supposed to.”

However, French had to endure a minute in the aforementioned submission before breaking loose and dominating. On the choke, Colin said, “It was funny that because the geezer who trains me Dean Bray; I always used to get caught in guillotines in training and I said to him, ‘Dean, I always get caught in guillotines,’ and he showed me what to do with Ryan Robinson. We went through it, so in the fight I just did what I had to do. I knew I had to get my head on the mat and get up high. At one point though it was really, really tight. I think when he readjusted his legs I managed to get a gap. At one point I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, I think I’m going to go to sleep here,’ but I just managed to get through it.

“It didn’t tire me out because I didn’t panic,” he continued. “I could feel his arms getting tired and I know myself when you try guillotining people there’s only so much you can do. I didn’t feel that tired throughout the fight; I felt quite good.”

Colin is no stranger to awkward situations in his fights though. The 3-0 prospect divulged, “I think all of my wins have been good, but especially the first one, against Liam Etebar, who was from the same camp as Jody, and I got myself in a bit of a sticky situation there. I got put in a really tight arm bar, but I managed to get out of it. I think that was the fight I felt I was going to lose the most because it was quite close.”

After his most recent victory though, French is keen to keep progressing through the ranks. “I’m stepping up now,” he declared. “I’m not sure and I don’t want to say too much who I’ve got next, but I know I’m up onto the main card and it’ll be a lot harder fight. I think I’m ready now. I’ve been training for over two years and I think I’m ready to step up.”

Indeed, the 170-pounder is convinced he’s improving all the time. “I’m always in the gym,” he enthused. “I just love learning and I can’t keep away from the place. I only had a week off, and I couldn’t wait to get back, so I’m always learning.

“I like the Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling side of things more than the stand-up,” flowed Colin. “Even though I come from a stand-up gym and I do quite a lot of it, I don’t mind being on the floor. I do like stand-up, but the Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu fascinates me the most.”

So far in his professional career, no one has been able to take French out of the first round. While he’s quickly becoming known as a finisher, the man himself asserts it’s not something he necessarily goes in looking to do. He revealed,

“I always say to myself that I’d like to go the distance, and my corner and coaches always tell me to take my time, but once the bell goes, I can’t wait and I just want to finish the fight as quick as I can. I train for three rounds, or even four, five or six rounds, so I’ll be ready if it does come to the distance.

“In my second fight, I just wanted to get it done because I did the weight cut all wrong within a week and I just wanted to get it finished. I was up for going the distance in that last one, and I would like to go the distance, but when I get in there I just manage to pull it out of the bag. You don’t get paid for overtime!”

Colin is a product of the Semtex Gym, somewhere he’s convinced is right for him. He stated, “It’s a good place to train now. It started off a bit slow, but we’ve got some good trainers there now and we’ve also got a good team bond. I think it’s a great place to train.”

The future certainly looks bright for French, but he’s willing to bide his time and let the saying, ‘Good things come to those who wait,’ come true.

“I’m just going to take it as it comes,” he divulged. “I’ve got a baby on the way that’ll be here in ten weeks, so I’ve got that to focus on as well. I’d love to be able to do it full time, but I’ve got a mortgage and I’m just going to see where it takes me. Who knows? Some people have carried on like this and managed to make it so I’m just going to keep going. I’ll always be training, and I’ll be happy to see what happens.”

So when can we expect to see the exciting welter out next? “I’ve said I’m going to come back in December, because I’ve had three fights in eight months as well as the baby,” declared French. “It all depends, because my girlfriend’s not one of them people that’d stop me from training, and if I can get back in earlier I will. People are saying about if I don’t fight for a while there’ll be ring rust, but you learn more when you’re not training for a fight because you can drill things and practice them because you’ve got time. I think it’ll do me good.”

There’s been one name that’s been persistently linked the Bromley man, and French is more than willing to take the challenge. “I’ll fight whoever gets put in front of me. I’ve had Jamaine Facey put to me a few times, with my camp mentioning it and Dave, and I would fight him. I think he’s a really good fighter and it’d be good for the test. That’s who they’ve said but I’ll fight anyone that they say within reason.”

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