Oli Thompson- Interview with PureMMA.com

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Taken from PureMMA.com
Ultimate Challenge MMA (UCMMA) is primed for their 19th event: Lights Out, which takes place on 26th March at the Troxy in London.

Topping the card is a heavyweight championship showdown between Oli Thompson and Champion Ben Smith. The Ultimate Challenge Bantam Weight title is also on the line, for the second time in four months. Former British Judo champion, James Lutman will be defending his recent title against the undefeated and relentlessly aggressive, Giorgio Andrews
Oli Thompson is one of the brightest heavyweight prospects in British MMA. Thompson (6-2) lives in East Sussex and trains primarily out of the ZT Fight Skool in Eastbourne. He played Rugby Union at English county level and was crowned Britain’s Strongest Man in 2006.
We catch up with Oli as he prepares to fight for UCMMA’s heavyweight belt, currently around the waist of Ben Smith:
PureMMA.com: How did you first get into MMA?
Oli Thompson: I got into MMA after I decided to retire from Strongman after ‘World’s Strongest Man 2008′. I decided that I was going to stop while I was still out in West Virginia. My best friend Tolly (1st generation bjj) Plested had always been telling me stories about grappling, wrestling etc and it sounded like something I thought I could do, so I began training with him in Jan ’09.
PureMMA: Who are you biggest influences in MMA?
Oli: I look up to the guys that are so well rounded, that can do it all, have speed, power and can fight in every area… eg GSPFrankie Edgar.
PureMMA: How does training for an MMA fight compare to training for a Strongman competition?
Oli: The training is totally different, both have to be the toughest sports in the world, Strongman training I would just train so hard every day to the point where I feel like I am falling apart. With MMA training I can apply the same hard work but it’s more intelligent, and there is so much to work on. I go home still thinking about aspects of my technique, so its non stop.
PureMMA: What has been your favourite fight (you’ve been in)?
Oli: I guess it has to be the ZT Tournament final with Rob Broughton, not because of my performance but because it was fun to go in with the UK no1 and go 15 mins after we had both already fought twice that night.
PureMMA: What do you see as your biggest strengths as a fighter?
Oli: I train very hard to be a complete fighter that can take the fight on my feet, the ground or wherever.
PureMMA: Do you think your strongman background has helped your MMA game/skills?
Oli: The main benifit would be the work ethic, and winning mentality, also many of the Strongman events are now used as part of top MMA fighters conditioning.
PureMMA:  How was your experience with Bisping and the Wolfslair gym? And how have they helped you train for the Ben Smith fight?
Oli: Was a great experience and am hoping to make a few more trips ASAP. Getting rounds in with Mike, Kongo etc def. raised my levels and confidence.
PureMMA: How do you see the fight at UCMMA 19 against Ben Smith playing out?
Oli: We usually fight in a fairly similar way, I will need to showcase my full range of skills to bring the belt home and thats what I will do. Don’t miss this fight!
PureMMA: What’s next after this fight?
Oli: 26th March is all that matters.
PureMMA: Who would you like to thank for preparation for this fight?
Oli: Thanks to 1st Generation BJJZT Fight SkoolCombat Ready TrainingI Am SenshiCherry Active and everyone else who has helped out.
PureMMA would like to thank Oli for taking the time out of his training for this interview and to HaloPRfor hooking us up.
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