Unable to impose himself on the featherweight division in the UFC, after a near three-year absence from the cage Chris Fishgold is back after admitting he fell out of love with MMA.
The Liverpool native returns to MMA next month with a fresh mindset and at a favourable weight class.
Making his debut in Levels Fighting League on March 12, the former Cage Warriors champion will compete at welterweight against Adrian Kapa (10-7), and is confident of securing victory in his big comeback.
He told MerseySportLive: “I’m going to go out and put him away within a round.
“I’m not going to go out and strike, I’m going to do what got me to the UFC, take him down and beat him up. I already know this for a fact. I know this fight will be over within a few minutes.”
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Going 1-3 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, albeit against a high level of opposition, Fishgold pushed his body to the limits to compete at 145lbs.
This is something he admits affected his performance and mental condition.
“It made me not like the sport,” Fishgold said of his weight cuts.
“When I was going in the gym to train, you’re meant to be focusing on your skills getting better, and I found that I was just checking the scales every two minutes.
“I was going in just to get the weight off rather than to actually get better. I’m never going to fight at featherweight again. I’ve only ever lost four times, those four times were at featherweight. I’ve won 19 times and that was all at lightweight and above.”
Desperate to return to the pinnacle of MMA, Fishgold wants to remain as active as possible to make a good impression on the UFC top brass.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt believes he gave a good account of himself against very high-level fighters.
“They did put me in the deep end,” he said.
“All of the performances except for the last one where the weight cut killed me, I was winning the fights up until I got caught. My skill level is there, I just made a mistake and got caught.
“If those fights went the distance, I’d probably be in the top 10 in the world now. I’m going to go out there in a couple of weeks, put him away in the first round and hopefully get another fight sorted within three weeks of this one, go and put them away quick, and hopefully be in talks with the UFC by the end of the year.
“I’m going to hopefully get four or five fights in this year.”
In his time away from mixed martial arts the 30-year-old has remained busy and occupied himself with a brief stint competing in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, the hard-hitting bare-knuckle boxing promotion.
Fishgold went 1-1 in the sport, winning his debut before losing via stoppage in his second and final bout.
Unfazed by the tough nature of the sport, Fishgold says he didn’t take bare-knuckle boxing too seriously.
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“It sounds a bit mad saying it but the bare-knuckle boxing was just for fun! I like to fight, but my career is MMA,” he said.
“I gave a good account of myself in BKFC, but I’m not really too bothered about my record in that. After the fights it’s probably your hands that hurt more than your face.”
A long time in the combat sports wilderness has led Fishgold back to what he knows, and while he dreams big, it is his upcoming bout with Kapa that carries immediate importance as he looks to reignite his dreams and career.