(Omoyele dons the gi for competition with top UK featherweight Ash Grimshaw)
This Saturday at the ‘Burnley Brawl’ show, 1-0 Bola Omoyele will be looking to cause a shock against strong favourite ‘Big’ Carl Noon when they collide for the organisation’s middleweight crown. Despite not having long to prepare for the bout, Bola is certain he’s a live underdog.
“I’m very, very excited for the opportunity,” he enthused. “I took it at short notice, but you have to take these chances when they come. My preparation’s gone pretty well. I had my first fight on the 6th February, and I only had two weeks off so I’m pretty fit anyway. I’m even at the gym at the moment! I was definitely happy with my debut too – it’s all about the win.”
However, he also asserted that he’s under no illusions about the quality of his foe. “I know he’s a big strong lad,” reasoned Omoyele, “He likes to entertain and when he comes out he gives it his all, so it will be a good fight. He’s a very good fighter, and he comes out to brawl, just like the name of the show, and that’s what it will be; a brawl.”
The fact it is for a title so early on in his career also makes Saturday a special night for the London-based man. “For me it definitely makes it better,” revealed Bola. “It’s like I’ve got a chance to take home a pot of gold, and hopefully I’m going to get it.”
A win here would open massive doors for the natural athlete, but he has no preference as to who the unlucky soul is that will be fighting him next.
“I don’t know too much about the middleweight league at the moment apart from the likes of the Jack Mason’s of the division,” he admitted. “I’m still learning at the moment though, and eventually I want to be fighting all these top guys.”
In his aforementioned debut pro fight, Omoyele smashed Earl Brown, a durable and more experienced fighter in his own right, with a varied display of striking, stopping him in the second round. The fighter himself concurs that the stand-up game is his forte, although he is comfortable if the fight ends up on the floor too.
“I’m well rounded, but I’m very good standing,” Bola declared. “I don’t mind where the fight goes really. I like to keep things standing, but if it goes to the ground then I’d love to show what I’ve been taught.”
The fact the southerner is fighting for championship gold in just his second outing is an incredible feat when one considers the relative lack of experience he has in MMA.
Bola stated, “I didn’t have a background in any martial arts, apart from a little bit of boxing in school, before starting MMA. I was in America in 2008, and I saw an advertisement for the UFC. Then I thought, ‘I better go and watch this,’ so I went and saw Chuck Liddell get knocked out by Rashad Evans, and that’s when I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. So, as soon as I got back over [to the UK] I started training, and I’ve been doing it for a year now. I had my first amateur fight last summer, and that was it until my first pro fight which was in February.”
Omoyele credits the team around him for the success he’s had in such a short time-period. “I’ve got all the right people around me,” he beamed, “And all the right trainers. I definitely think I can go all the way. I train at Team Titan, and I learn so much from everyone like Micky Papas and Ashleigh Grimshaw, who’s basically my mentor. I’ve got a grappling coach in Michael Russell and a Thai [boxing] coach Master Vinny. Whatever you see at Burnley Brawl; that’s my trainers and God.”
To finish up, Bola had a statement of intent for his upcoming fight against the 4-1, 1NC Noon. He said, “I’m going there to entertain. That’s my main aim; to make sure everyone enjoys the fight, and hopefully, all the training and hard work that’s been done will pay off.”
The fight takes place this weekend at Burnley Brawl. For more information on the show, head here.