We sat down with Oluwale Bamgbose as he discusses his UFC on Fox 26 opponent Alessio Di Chirico, the struggles of accepting fights on short notice, and all the ways he’s preparing for success this weekend.
Ready for the occasion
Oluwale Bamgbose has been a standout performer in the middleweight division since turning pro in 2013. Four fights into his UFC career and Bamgbose has gone through his fair share of competition. After losing his UFC debut on short notice against Uriah Hall, Bamgbose would return to the octagon yet again with minimal preparation as he picked up a win against Daniel Safarian with a first-round finish. He went on to make it a three-peat of short notice appearances as he filled in for Caio Magalhães at UFC on Fox 19, losing a tough decision to Cezar Ferreira.
Bamgbose made mention that the loss to Ferreira was a big eye-opener for the way he was preparing for bouts. The energy expended in the first round was a critical factor that plagued the rest of his performance in the fight, and learning from that mistake has been crucial for Bamgbose’s growth in the division.
“[Fighting in the UFC] taught me a lot. You know, there are some guys out there that can take a good beating. In the Paulo fight, I felt like I was messing him up at times. But I needed to do that more going into the second and all that energy just backfired on me.”
In the Paulo Costa fight, Oluwale Bamgbose came in fully prepared for combat. But the intensity of the environment and overall intimacy of the situation made it difficult for him to get comfortable on foreign soil. At the time, Paulo Costa was a little known Brazilian phenom. Since his win over Johnny Hendricks, the UFC fans know exactly the caliber of opponent Oluwale was facing at the time.
The Holy War Angel
Bamgbose has been biding his time with his return to the octagon against Alessio Di Chirico. The Italian prospect has been working on his own game in preparation for his bout against the Nigerian knockout artist. Bamgbose knows full well the danger “Manzo” represents in the cage, though. When speaking on Di Chirico’s style Bamgbose didn’t neglect the areas in which he excels. But the mental clarity in combination with rest and preparation he’s had for this fight is making him more than ready for the task at hand.
“I’m just gonna let things flow. I’m getting smarter about energy expenditure and getting proper rest before the fight. When Oluwale is rested, it’s a bad night for anyone in the 185 division. I’m ready to finish the fight at any given point. If he wants to go the distance with me then he’ll just get his a** beat for longer.”
Oluwale Bambgose has never been a fighter to lack confidence or character in the face of adversity. This weekend it will be no different. Oluwale mentioned that the fighter, occasion, and venue never makes a difference. It’s just a body in the way of him meeting his goal. That ferocity that the “Holy War Angel” brings to the octagon is a tenant to his success as he looks to bounce back with a big win this weekend
English Student at Rollins College with a passion for all things combat sports. Mixed martial arts isn't just entertainment; it's an art form.