Photo Reg Jones

Bungard: ‘Getting sacked was the best thing that ever happened to my MMA career’

The ability to train full time and experience life as a full time athlete seems part and parcel of signing with Bellator. Chris ‘The Bad Guy’ Bungard (14-4) when putting pen to paper with the promotion was keen to follow this trend. Whilst other promotions are offering ‘pennies’ for athletes worth, the life of a Bellator athlete affords him the ability to devote himself wholeheartedly to his craft.

Whilst many UK based Bellator athletes I have spoken to recently have left their jobs willingly, Chris’s departure from his full time vocation in the steel industry for over 8 years was less than ceremonious and not at his request. In between laughs Chris explained, “I got sacked from my last place of work for training and attending Celtic away games. I was pretending to be off sick and I was travelling to Dublin to train at SBG. I went down to Newcastle and won a title and made the papers which came to the attention of my employer.”

“I got called in for a disciplinary and I thought, ‘ah, I’m golden, I’m not getting sacked.’ I could work all the machinery, forklifts and all that. I thought I was cool. When I sat down they started putting up paper clippings and Instagram pictures all over the table, it was like being interrogated by the CIA. I just saw all these pictures of me all over the world, newspapers the lot. They said ‘on this day you said you were ill but you were in Germany. On this day you were in Iceland…’ I thought I’d get a warning but the next day I got sacked. Turns out getting sacked was the best thing that ever happened to my MMA career as I then went pro full time”

Fast forward several years and Bungard now is successful in his career as a mixed martial artist. Before his last outing, a clash with Terry Brazier, he told me ‘if Brazier can finish me I’ll quit MMA‘. ‘The ‘Bad Guy’ is in fine form as he chuckles when I bring up the subject and admit even I had Brazier winning, “I was 100% confident he would not finish me,” he said. Continuing Bungard laughs, “Don’t get me wrong there was a wee bit of doubt in my mind that he could of grinded me out. I just knew in my heart he couldn’t finish me. I knew he didn’t have knock out power and I knew he couldn’t submit me.”

“I had a wee bit of doubt just before I made my walk, if I’m honest. That smug look on Brazier’s face and the way he walked into the cage as if the fight was gonna be easy came back to bite him in the arse though didn’t it?”

Strangely in the run up to his clash with his latest opponent, Charlie Leary, last seen losing a close decision to Paul Redmond, he is circumspect, respectful and his tweets are lacking the venom he is known for. Bungard is open about his change in approach to this fight as he candidly weighs up the challenge ahead. “I do, hand on heart, see this being a tougher fight than Brazier, ” he said. “Everybody is sleeping on Charlie Leary. Charlie has been there with some studs. He’s tough and has heavy hands. MMA maths does not always add up. It’s a bit shit the fight’s not on the main card. The main card is solid but I really hoped they’d be able to squeeze me in on the main card.”

“He seems like a top professional a top competitor. I don’t see me trash talking him. I don’t really know a lot about him. I’d have to do some research to rip him.”

One person who has been ‘ripped’ by Chris of late is Kieran Malone. A fellow Scot who had needled him on line. Just the very mention of Malone’s name seemingly animates Bungard as his jovial demeanour changes to deliver some context to his change of mood, “I don’t wanna give him the slightest bit of attention but Malone is someone I fought when I was a 3-0 professional, he had like 20 pro fights at the time. He beat me years ago. He’s a fat idiot who is trying to stay relevant he’s not fought in years and has a negative record and is trying to stay on people’s lips.”

“I’ve got a lot of Celtic fans, hence them getting involved after Malone approached someone on Twitter he knows who has a lot of Rangers followers and asked for retweets of his opinions. He’s about a f- -kin’ heavyweight now anyway and he’s never gonna make lightweight the fat f- -kin’ ponce. F- – k him! If he did ever make weight I’d make light work of him because he’s f- – kin’ shit.”

Tickets to Bellator London: Mousasi vs. Lovato Jr. are on sale now and can be purchased online from and

Further bout announcements are expected in the coming weeks for what promises to be Bellator’s biggest UK card to date.

Emerging Bellator London: Mousasi vs. Lovato Jr. Fight Card:

Middleweight World Title Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2) vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0)

Welterweight Bout: Paul Daley (40-17-2) vs. Erick Silva (20-10, 1 NC)

140-lb. Catchweight Bout: James Gallagher (8-1) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (12-6)

160-lb. Catchweight Bout: Aaron Chalmers (4-1) vs. TBD

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Denise Kielholtz (2-2) vs. TBD

Lightweight bout: Chris Bungard (14-4) vs. Charlie Leary (15-10-1)

Image courtesy of Photo Reg Jones

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