Interview with Craig White – Professional Mixed Martial Artist
Photo credit – Dolly Clew – Cage Warriors.
We asked professional Mixed Martial Artist Craig White some questions about his upbringing, Cage Warriors and who he’d like to give a 5 round beating to.
Firstly, thanks for taking your time to answer some questions for FeelTheTip Craig! For those that may be unfamiliar with you, tell us about your upbringing and how you got into MMA?
Thanks for the chance to answer some questions! I got into MMA after Tae Kwon Do run its course in my life and I wanted a new challenge. I always wanted to do full contact tournaments and never got the chance due to my instructor at the time. After some questionable life choices by that instructor I found myself moving over to Lions Den under Dave Matthews, claimed squatters rights and have been there ever since. It’s now 10 years later.
Was there a defining moment growing up when you knew you were going to be a professional fighter?
To be honest I never once thought I’d have the opportunity to be doing what I’m doing now. As a kid I got into fights but as there was nothing around like MMA is nowadays it wasn’t even a thought. Though I remember one day in Year 11 in a Religious Education class where some of my friends started saying who would most likely be a ‘cage fighter’ and it was me. They must be psychic or something.
What is a typical day for Craig White? Is fighting/training your sole focus or do you work a ‘normal job’ too?
My standard day is to get a gym and MMA session in with work between. Sometimes I can stack it up and get an extra session in. I do as much as I can to balance everything and find that keeps me motivated and appreciative on what I do. There isn’t enough money in MMA to train full time, not for those in my position anyway.
You moved to 11-7 after your February win over Tom Robertson on the big platform of Cage Warriors. Who do you have your eyes on next?
I don’t have my eyes set on anyone particular I just want to fight.
You have only fought 2 times in the last year, has this been deliberate? Are you looking to fight on a more consistent basis?
A few scheduled fights didn’t go ahead, story of my life, so I was stuck being inactive for the majority of last year. I always want to do 3 or 4 fights a year but never seem to manage it. I’m hoping that after my win in February and having now signed exclusively for Cage Warriors I’ll be able to get another 2 or 3 in this year…hopefully starting with June 2nd in London.
Very few of us will ever experience the feeling of waiting backstage to get into a cage and fight another man. How does it feel to you waiting backstage before walking out? What is your going through your head?
For me I’m usually really relaxed before heading out to the cage and then as soon as I’m outside the gate saying my goodbyes I’m focused. I get the standard warm up done, keep nice and stretched and just listen to some music waiting for the time to go by. I’ll run through my opening combo and game plan in my head countless times – even though I know it’ll never go that way.
There are thousands of fighters around the world all with aspirations to be the very best in the world. What will make you different and be the 1% to go to the very top?
I’m under no illusions that I’ll be in that 1%. As I said after my last fight I’m just here to fight and want to perform to the best I can. I enjoy fighting and that’s enough for me.
Where do you see yourself in the next 12-18 months? Is the end goal fighting in Bellator or the UFC?
I’m signed to Cage Warriors for 5 fights so think that will cover me for the next 18 months. If for any reason an opportunity presents itself to move on to different things then that’s just something that will have to be looked at as and when.
What has been the strangest moment in your career so far?
The public weigh-ins at Cage Warriors Fight Night 11 in Jordan. It was unreal the amount of people who turned up to see and support the fighters and then the amount who wanted photos after as you walked around the shopping centre. And then after my fight as I was watching in the crowd spectators were coming up wanting photos as well. Was so different to what you would get over in the UK.
If you could have any celebrity in your corner for your next fight, who would it be and why?
Now that’s a tough one. I think I’d have to go with Ty Burrell but he would have to be in character for Phil Dunphy (Modern Family). Purely because the character is so amazingly funny I’d love to know how he’d react in that situation.
If you could give a 5 round beating to any celebrity, who would it be and why?
Again another tough one as my most hated celeb is constantly ever changing. I think Nick Grimshaw though as I can’t stand the crap he comes out with on the radio. Although every radio presenter is just as bad.
What are your favourite things to do outside of MMA?
Eating. I am a very experienced eater and admirer of fine foods.
What is one thing that if you told people they would be surprised to find out about you?
I love watching wildlife documentaries. Just some of the footage that you get to see is phenomenal and you’d likely never get a chance to see it in your life.
What would you be if you weren’t a fighter?
Drastically obese and making a go at the world’s fattest man record.
And finally, do you FeelTheTip?!
Oh of course. I also have a friend that pinches it…what’s that about?