After his impressive win over Hakan Foss earlier this month, we had a catch up with the Cage Warriors Welterweight Craig White.
Craig, firstly let me congratulate you on an impressive win earlier this month! Have you had time to digest the performance?
Thank you very much. To be honest it still hasn’t really sunk in yet & as it was well over a week ago I don’t think it will. It just wasn’t the fight I was expecting, not that I’m complaining about how it went but from what I knew of Hakon’s skills & abilities I just expected it to at least go into the 2nd round & have been a bit more of a war.
Could it have gone any better for you?
I took on one of Norway’s best Welterweights, someone who was a heavy favourite going into the bout & made it look easy. It’s not a fight that I was meant to win & there’s a lot more people that had me losing than winning. On Tapology out of 98 people that predicted the fight only 7% went in favour of me and of that 7% only 14% predicted a submission. That’s 1 smart person. On Betsafe I was 3.55/1, so for those who bet on me they made some good money. In an ideal world I would have got a KO or TKO as that’s how it was looking but the pressure I was putting on caused a takedown attempt & gave me a nice opening on the neck to work with so I took it. Part of the game plan that worked exactly how we thought it would.
The fight was broadcast live on TV & you certainly took advantage of the exposure. Has much changed for you since the fight?
It’s still early days but I think I’ve won over a few more people, gaining some extra fans & support along the way. The local paper has done a full page spread which I think show how well the sport is moving forward in the local area, especially when I’m having to compete with the likes of Exeter Chiefs & Exeter City. I’m hoping I’ll gain a few more sponsors, as everyone always is following a win, just to keep me afloat a bit more & welcome anyone who’s interested to get in contact.
How did you celebrate after the fight? Was it more A – cocaine, hookers & roulette or B – tea, foot rubs & solitaire?
It wasn’t quite either but a bit in between. I got a selfie with Danny Devito, had a drink dropped onto me accidentally by Hakon (it really was an accident!) which was a pretty awkward but funny situation & then watched the last few fights with my friends & family who travelled from all across the country to come and watch. Then we hit the after party. I also swapped socks with Lew Long so we could forever be sock brothers. I also got the pleasure of watching Norman Paraisy go for a piss in the sink even when the toilet was right next to him & not in use. I’m sure that makes me the envy of everyone.
Now, looking to the future for you Craig, what & who do you have planned next?
I’ve got some work commitments for the next few months so the next Cage Warriors I’m looking to get on will be in October. Whether it’s Newport or Liverpool I’m not sure yet but I’m sure Mr Ian Dean has some thoughts on where and who. Though I highly imagine that who will fall on which show I’m fighting on. I have no preference but I would like to be given a chance to show what I’m capable of now. Cage Warriors 84 was just a little snippet of my skillset & how much I am improving. It’s time for people to realise I’m not just here to make up the numbers & take fights on short notice. I’m a true professional in everything I do & think that I warrant the reward of great opportunities – which Cage Warriors have given me this year so far. There are too many fighters out there who get everything given to them on a platter & we could all likely name at least 5 of them right now.
You are coming off the back of two 1st round stoppages which certainly will capture people’s attention. Presuming the CW title is the goal, how far off do you think you are from competing against the very best?
The best Welterweight in Cage Warriors is Lew Long & as we train together a lot we have agreed we won’t fight each other. He is the rightful contender for the belt & I have no doubt that should he get the chance he will be the champion. I’m not in this for the belt – it’s irrelevant to me. Don’t get me wrong it would be pretty cool to be given a shot at it but the most important thing to me is to fight and keep active.
Do you have a long term goal in MMA? Where do you think you will be in 18 months?
I am just taking each fight as it comes & going from there so my long term plan goes to about 4 months in the future. If I keep winning my fights who knows, maybe something bigger will come around. But it’s not something I’m going to over think or stress about. I enjoy doing what I do & how I go about that mentally is a key factor in my success.
What is the best thing about being a fighter?
The best thing is linked to the worst thing. The best thing is having an excuse to eat everything you can & everything you want after a fight. All because you have cut weight and been in a fight camp for however long. I’ve taken great advantage of this since Cage Warriors 84 and am well on my way to looking like Mr Blobby. Though as of today I really need to sort it out else I’ll have to rethink this whole cutting to Welterweight – I have enough to lose as it is.
If you could pick any opponent at any venue to fight for the Welterweight title, who & where would you fight & why?
I really couldn’t pick anyone but I would love to fight close to home. I live in a tiny seaside town & if I could bring a big event there that would be amazing. Maybe throw a cage on the beach & have an outdoor show. But with how the weather works down in Exmouth I’m not sure you could really plan for that all too well. I’m part of a small team which has been successful because we are a small team, have a great head coach in Dave Matthews & because we are very professional in everything we do. So it would be great to be able to give back to the team & have that level of event on our doorstep, especially for those who would get chance to compete on it. So the opponent – whoever, the location – Exmouth.
You receive an offer from both Bellator & the UFC tomorrow morning offering to sign you to a 5 fight deal. Who do you choose & why?
It’s a tough decision as you have exposure vs earning potential. Bellator I’d say has a higher earning potential when you take into account the free reign on sponsorships and it is definitely progressing more & more each event. But it would have to be the UFC purely because it has the best of the best for every weight class and that’s who I’d want to be fighting. I’m with a great promotion in Cage Warriors though and am more than happy with where I am. Not everyone wants to sit on the sidelines for the UFC being ungrateful on what they’ve got.
What upcoming MMA fights are you most looking forward to this year?
There aren’t too many at the moment that shout out to me other than Cormier vs Jones 2 & Lew Long vs Karl Amoussou or when Lew makes his UFC debut.
Who would you rather punch in the face & why: A) Donald Trump. B) Piers Morgan. C) Katie Hopkins.
A toss up between Piers & Katie. They’re both such complete & utter pricks. I can’t even begin to give the reasons why, there’s too many. But the reasons will be the general consensus of almost everyone in the world so they will understand. Can I punch both?
You find yourself in debt to a Cornish Gangster & don’t have the funds to pay him back. He therefore gives you 3 options to repay the debt. Which do you choose & explain your reasoning:
A – Your entrance song for your next fight is a continuous medley of farts recorded at the local nursing home.
B – In your next fight you are only allowed to use spinning backfists.
C – You must celebrate your next victory by power-bombing the ring girl.
Spinning backfists obviously. I’d have to constantly change the way I’m spinning else I’ll end up on my arse but I think that would be the best way to repay the debt. For nothing else other than it’d be an entertaining fight and would no doubt make me an instant internet sensation – which is the goal of all this right?
And finally, and most importantly, do you still FeelTheTip?
I used to but I took an axe kick to the tip in 2012 & it’s never been the same.