As soon as ACB announced their 1st October show was going to take place at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Chris Bungard just had to be a part of that card.
The Lightweight from Holytown, Scotland may had already been looking towards his next bout but there was no question about putting everything else on hold to get the opportunity to make the walk at the Hydro Arena, something he has dreamt of since becoming a mixed martial artist.
“It took me about ten seconds to accept the fight, it really could of been against anyone I really didn’t care. I already had a fight line up but I just needed to be on that card.”
“As soon as the Hydro Arena opened I loved it. It is the dream for me to be fighting there in front of my fans so as soon as ACB had mentioned it I just couldn’t believe it.”
Bungard is set to take on Gavin Hughes who comes into the bout without a perfect 5-0 record and with all wins coming inside the distance. Hughes has also only been out of the first round once in his professional career, something which Bungard is looking to exploit on 1st October.
“He is a good prospect with six amateur wins and five professional wins. He is a good grappler and a good striker but he hasn’t fought anybody in his professional career. Nobody he has fought has even won a fight.”
“I am going to take him to places he hasn’t been before. We will see how good he is when he comes up here (Glasgow).”
Whilst Hughes credentials paint him in a favourable light, for Bungard he certainly believes he has been in there with tougher opponents but is not cutting any corners ahead of his ACB debut. Especially as he is looking to use the opportunity to propel himself onto the European scene
“I wouldn’t say he is my toughest fight, I have definitely fought harder opponents than him. Xavier Sedras is a high level European fighter. Don’t get me wrong I do think he is a tough opponent and I am not overlooking him, I just know that I am in for a tough fight.”
“If it goes my way next week I really don’t see myself fighting on the regional scene. That’s not to knock the regional scene as that is where I made my name but I would like to be fighting in Europe on some of the bigger shows.”
If we rewind to the last time that Bungard competed on the “bigger show” it takes us back to BAMMA 25 in which he suffered a submission loss to Xavier Sedras. But like they say more is learnt from a loss than a win and for Bungard it made him re-evaluate his approach to making the 155lbs weight limit.
“In hindsight I would probably have changed my diet a bit earlier on so I wasn’t left with cutting 10 kilograms in a few days. Nobody should have to do that to be honest.”
“By the time the fight came around I felt weak, I felt weak warming up and there was a lot of things I couldn’t do. But not taking anything away from Xavier, he got the win. So after that I changed things up for my last fight and the weight cut and diet went a lot smoother so hopefully you will see the change on 1st October.”
One thing that Bungard will have in his favour on fight night will be the hometown advantage and the support of the fan base he has amassed fighting on the regional Scottish scene. Some may see this as an additional layer of pressure but Bungard falls into the other camp of those who thrive from the support. And he promises that support is going to raise the roof of the Hydro Arena.
“Holytown is about twenty minutes away from Glasgow and I just can’t wait to walk out in the Hydro Arena. My fans are crazy and the atmosphere at my last fight was mental so I can’t wait to hear them on 1st October.”
“Walking out and hearing their support does help and I don’t feel any extra pressure. Even during the fight if I am in a tricky spot and you hear them it does spur me on to get out of the position.”
“Fighting at the Hydro is a dream come true, I cant wait for this fight. It’s the real peoples main event!”