Ashleigh Grimshaw – “I wouldn’t fight me either”

“The Cruiser” Asleigh Grimshaw has quickly put his mark on the BAMMA Featherweight divison and since making his long awaited return to the promotion at BAMMA Fight Night “The Cruiser” has landed himself a title shot in his second fight. Grimshaw will take on Featherweight Champion Tom Duquesnoy at BAMMA 16 and while Grimshaw hadn’t entertained the thought of fighting Duquesnoy until he had “signed the contract” he feels as though BAMMA didn’t really have many other options for him. “It was the only fight BAMMA could offer me really. None of the other Featherweight’s on the roster were interested in fighting me. I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t want to fight me either.”

The title shot is certainly a testament to Grimshaw’s current six fight win streak with all six wins coming in the first round. While Grimshaw was impressed in Duquesnoy’s last fight Grimshaw doesn’t see any chance of the Frenchman leaving BAMMA 16 as the champion. “I feel that I can win wherever I want. He likes to stand and throw shots, thats not a problem for me. That will be a problem for him, its a fact that I throw heat, its a fact that I have one shot kill Paul Daley KO Power. I’m not the one who has to think where I can win this fight. I got this, its his problem.”

While Grimshaw is confident in his abilities he is certainly not overlooking the Champion, Duquesnoy and the champ has been on Grimshaw’s radar for some time. “When he beat James Saville (BAMMA 14) it made me take note and he has stopped everyone but one. But then that could come down to style and experience of his opponents suiting him and their level being below his.”

The Team Titan protege often splits his MMA training camps between London with Team Titan and Florida at American Top Team mixing it with the likes of Brad Pickett and Hector Lombard. If Grimshaw could he would opt to make the trip across the pond ahead of all his fights. “If I had my way I would go abroad for every opponent. I take all my adversaries extremely serious.”

So is it the combination of training at Team Titan and American Top Team that has been the key driver in Grimshaw’s recent success? Grimshaw puts it down to a few factors. “I put most of it down to my management, Elite MMA Agency. Since I have signed with them it has been nothing but good results. Obviously my coaching staff and team mates have helped to keep me sharp. So in a nut shell I put it down to good management, a good team, hard work and embracing the faith.”

Grimshaw’s return to the BAMMA cage took place at BAMMA Fight Night and saw Grimshaw pick up a first round submission win over Dragan Pesic and while the show took place in a smaller venue Grimshaw was equally impressed with the turnout and the level of fights that the promotion put on the card. “It was obviously a smaller show but they still had Scott Askham Vs Max Nunes on there which was an amazing fight. The ticket money alone for that fight would have been worth it. The fans paid less and still got to watch lots of high level athletes.”

On the subject of Scott Askham, the former BAMMA Middleweight Champion recieved an offer to join the UFC following his win over Max Nunes. It was the first time since Tom Watson that a BAMMA star had been called up to the UFC and although Grimshaw is gunning for the BAMMA Title he doesn’t necessarily feel that a win over Duquesnoy will open the door to the UFC for him straight away. “Obviously the win will add to my streak but the UFC doesn’t always work like that. Its all about being at the right place at the right time and being ready to step up at short notice. I don’t believe what show you are on really plays much part on it.”

The MMA world is fast evolving and constantly changing and whereas in previous years fighters had to earn their way up the chain we are now seeing a new brand of “superstar” who are using their tongue to get themselves in the spotlight. Something which Grimshaw, who has been in the sport since 2003 will never rise to. “Fighters that talk their way into the UFC will either back it up and show they belong there or get exposed for the frauds they are. I love that. I really love it when they get paid with reality cheques. When they get back home and are like “Wow that sucked, guess I should really focus on training instead of smashing the keyboard up.”

Prior to his return to home soil at BAMMA Fight Night, Grimshaw fought for the Indian promotion Super Fight League which has recently come under fire with allegations of fighters, production crew and staff not being paid and the company being in serious debt. But Grimshaw had nothing but praise for the promotion and completely disagreed with the online allegations. “Those allegations are definitely not fair at all. SFL are doing much more than just putting on fight shows for entertainment. They are providing another way to earn some decent money and look after your family. As crazy as that soudns it doesn’t make much difference to us International guys but for the local fighters the wages they get paid, its like a dream come true for them. They also have a win bonus scheme in place that they can really earn and support their families with off of just one fight.”

“Unless you have been there and witnessed it for yourself, you don’t understand the impact SFL has had.”

Be sure to follow Ashleigh on twitter @CruiserMMA and follow BAMMA for all BAMMA 16 updates and tickets at @BAMMAUK

Ashleigh would like to thank “All of the people who support me and hate me. I couldn’t be here without you.”

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