Combat Vision MMA spoke to Andy “Predator” Manzolo after it was announced he would be fighting Luke “The Butcher” Chadwick at Cage Warriors 85 at the O2 Bournemouth. Andy comes into this fight on the back of a first-round submission victory against Shaun Lomas at Phoenix Fight Night. Andy is ranked (Tapology) number 8th in the middleweight division.
Thanks for speaking to Combat Vision MMA, Andy. What are your thoughts on the fight being announced.
“I am excited for the upcoming fight on Cage Warriors and for the first time at Bournemouth. I have fought there before so it’s like being on home turf. It’s great to be fighting on the main card on my return to Cage Warriors. I am the first fighter from Estonia to represent my country on such a big show on BT Sports main card and it means a lot for me that my country is supporting me with good wishes and good luck. I will not let them down”
Andy this will be your first fight back with the Cage Warriors promotion after 3 years. How much have you evolved as a martial artist in this time period.
“I have changed as a fighter a lot in the last three years, devoting myself to MMA to get to the top. My training has completely changed and developed in every aspect, especially my cardio and ground work”
Looking at the Cage Warriors middleweight division. Do you feel there is an opportunity to take control of the division starting with Luke Chadwick.
“The middleweight division is strong, very strong, maybe one of the strongest Cage Warriors has had to date. But in my eyes, I will go to the top of that division and there is no reason I won’t wear the champion’s belt. I want a title fight and Luke is the first stepping stone to that. I am ready for anyone, I will fight anyone and I will beat the best they have to offer. It’s all I think about”
Looking at your opponent Andy. How much do you know about your opponent Luke Chadwick and is there anything, in particular, you be looking to exploit in his fighting style.
“He’s big, strong on the ground, powerful with his hands and likes to control the cage with lots of experience to add to that. I am not looking to exploit anything, in particular, I will beat him standing or on the ground, it doesn’t matter either way. I am happy to share the cage with such a respected fighter. But, I either stop him or my hand will be raised at the end of the three rounds, either way, I’m coming out with the win”
2016 was a highly productive for you with 7 fights in a consecutive year. Was there a particular reason for so many fights and how did you mentally and physically prepare yourself for a fight each month, weight cut and the recovery.
“I stay in good shape all year round so weight cuts are not a problem. You always have to be ready as a fighter to take big fights at late notice”
“I am mental. Because, I love to fight and test myself like I did on FFC against David Mitchell, ex-UFC and one of the best Jiu-Jitsu guys out there. I fought for the title belt and was getting the better of him, only a small mistake beat me. But, it will never stop me, just on to the next fight”
“Mentally I am always ready. You constantly have to have the mindset of a fighter and a champion if you want to succeed and get to the top. The only problem, is sometimes your body isn’t ready and rarely you are 100%. But, your mind carries you through and makes you do the business in the cage. We are writing history as we go and even if I can’t be the best fighter in the world, I want to inspire others and make them achieve their goals”
Andy heads into the fight with Luke Chadwick with 8 submissions in his professional career. Could you give us some insight into your submission game and do you feel this is your biggest weapon heading into the fight.
“To be honest my ground game isn’t my strongest point. I would say my stand-up game is stronger for me naturally. I have only really pushed my ground game in the last couple of years, I go to ground and people just tap out. My biggest weapon is my heart and ambition to be the best I can be with the support I have around me to push me on, to fuel the heart is my family and friends”
“I am the predator and I am number one, war is coming. When I get in that cage I am unstoppable, if you want to beat me you will have to kill me”
Watch Andy Manzolo submit Shaun Lomas inside the first round at Phoenix Fight Night