Robert Whiteford is set to fight at Cage Warriors 50 against Chris Fishgold. A victory over Fishgold puts him on a ten-fight win streak with the majority of those coming by way of either knockout or submission. And while the UFC has their eyes on him a bit as he was an alternate for The Ultimate Fighter Smashes, he knows that an impressive performance against Fishgold could get him to the organization he wants to be apart of.
How’s it going today?
It’s good. The weather’s fine down here in Florida. Makes a change from Scotland–it’s freezing out there just now. So, yeah, apart from the training being tough, we have good weather, so it’s good.
What led to the decision to train at ATT in addition to training back home in Scotland?
Well I had the TUF tryouts at “The Smashes,” and I got to speaking to a lot of guys down there, and I came pretty close I was on like the reserver for the TUF Smashes. And the guys suggested I should train in America, the UFC guys. So they kind of pointed me in the right direction, and that’s how I ended up at ATT.
Have you been at ATT for your whole training camp?
I’ve been training here for 3 weeks, and I’ve done 3 weeks in Scotland. And a week in Sweden for a week. So I’m globe trotting, trying to get the best out of everything.
When are you going back home?
I’m going back to Scotland Friday.
You are fighting at Cage Warriors 50 on December 8 against Chris Fishgold. What do you know about your opponent?
I don’t know. He’s from a crazy, crazy area in the UK. He’s from Liverpool. Those guys down there are mad and tough, so he’s going to definitely bring the fight. He’s a young kid, and he’s got a grappling background. I think he’s won 6 of his fights by rear naked choke. So he’s going to be tough, he’s going to be scrappy, and he’s going to want to get headed to the ground.
As you mentioned, he’s going to want to get it to the ground, but you’ve won most of your fights standing, with strikes. How do you feel your wrestling compares to Chris’ wrestling and grappling abilities, standing?
I know his wrestling isn’t too good. The guys he’s been fighting, he’s been swinging wildish to just get close and drag them down. He’s a big featherweight. He’s not fought at 145 before, so he has a size advantage, but we’ll see how the weight cut goes for him. But my wrestling’s definitely far superior than his, so I’ll be able to take, wherever the fight goes. He’s gonna want to get to the ground, but if he’s gonna get it there, it’s not going to be so easy for him.
Any extra pressure being that you are in the main event?
I don’t get pressure for any fights, really. It’s just like fighting back in the playground for me when I was a kid. It’s just another day in the office. I get tougher fights at the gym than I’m going to get here.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the first event you are in that is also being broadcast stateside live?
Yes, it’s going to be my first fight broadcasted live. It’s going to be streaming on MMA Junkie and it’s on Sky Sports the following couple days or something I think.
Fans here tend not to pay too much attention, unfortunately, to fighters not from the US unless something catches their eye. What can fans here be on the lookout for with you?
I’m from old school. I’m not one of these guys that kid on and like to fight or they just do it for fun. I like to fight. I like to get in there and fight. I’ve never been in a boring fight. One of my second to date last fight is up for one of the best fights voted in the UK this year. So It’s not like I get in there and shy away from the fight or make it a boring fight, you know? I’m gonna kill guys and if they kill me in the process that’s the way it goes. And I just like fighting. I hope the American fans appreciate that. Even if it goes to the ground, I’m still trying to punch a hole in the guy’s head. I’m not looking to tie him up or ride the round out; I’m looking to damage guys.
You mentioned that you auditioned for “The Ultimate Smashes.” You were an alternate there. Are you hoping that a victory at Cage Warriors will springboard you to a chance to fight in the UFC?
I would hope so. The guys at the UFC are in contact with my management. Also the guys at American Top Team have gathered my situation that told me my division is full right now. They didn’t want me fighting any time soon. Like maybe next February they’d want me fighting. But as soon as I got offered the chance to fight on Cage Warriors, I jumped at it. I like to fight. I don’t like just cold training, I like to be in training for a reason. So, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I’m just going to keep working hard and getting better.
What are your goals for the rest of your fighting career?
I’ve got goals in my head that I just like to prove people wrong. I didn’t have too much of a good upbringing in my childhood. Everything I’ve got I’ve worked for. Nobody’s ever handed anything to me on a plate. Nobody’s ever favored me say, “Hey, pick that kid, he’ knows such-and-such.” I’ve had to work for everything I’ve got. So I just want to prove to me and the world that people can do things if they put their mind to it. I just like to prove people wrong.
Where can the fans find you at?
I’m on Twitter @flyinjudoka and Facebook as Robert Whiteford.
Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
I’d like to give a shout out to Swedish Fight Book, Swedish Fighter, that’s my management. And also the guys at ATT and my club back home, The Griphouse in Scottland. And my supporters, my friends, for sticking by me.