'White Mike Tyson' John Phillips aiming for Cage Warriors 48 knockout
It's true. Twenty fights into his MMA career, and John Phillips only now considers it a full-time, professional gig.
His original plan was to remain a boxer. But then he wanted to prove to his mates he could do MMA if he really wanted to. And, well, he really wanted to.
For his 21st trip to the cage, Phillips (15-5) faces Chris Fields (9-3) in the main event of Cage Warriors 48, which takes place Saturday at HMV Forum in London. The main card streams live and free on MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) following prelims on Facebook. The event precedes Saturday's UFC 149 event.
"I got into the sport more as a hobby," the 27-year-old Phillips told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "It's only recently where I started to take the sport seriously.
"I think I've done alright so far for a part-time hobby. It's the same in any profession – the more you put in, the more you get out. The bigger you want to go, the more dedication and commitments you've got to make."
Phillips has made adjustments recently, both small and large. He's stricter with his diet. He's making sure he gets the necessary rest on a daily basis to function properly. More importantly, he's putting in the necessary time in the gym to improve. He spends five hours a day, six days a week, training with the Gracie Barra Predator team under head instructor Chris Rees, who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Braulio Estima.
Nicknamed "The White Mike Tyson," Phillips had won six of seven before a loss to Pavel Kusch in Cage Warriors' middleweight-tournament semifinals earlier this year. However, he quickly rebounded with a submission win over Tomas Penz at Cage Warriors Fight Night 6.
Fields, on the other hand, carries with him the momentum of a seven-fight win streak, and all of his wins are by stoppage. In his most recent bout in February, he scored a head-kick TKO victory over Jack Mason at Cage Warriors 45.
The pair originally was scheduled to meet in the semifinal round of Cage Warriors' middleweight tournament, but Fields was forced to pull out due to injury. Phillips was then set to face fellow fallen semifinalist Faycal Hucin, but Hucin was removed due to injury. Fields was inserted on late notice.
The winner could meet Kusch in the tournament finale if the injured Victor Cheng is not cleared by Aug. 30, the date of Cage Warriors Fight Night 7. The tournament winner will be crowned Cage Warriors' middleweight champion.
"I think it's going to be a good fight," Phillips said. "We have very similar styles. We both like to stand. We both like to mix in all areas, but we prefer to stand. I think it's going to be an entertaining fight for the public."
Phillips has knockouts in 13 of his 15 wins and will be looking to stretch it to 14 and 16, respectively, and maintain his Tyson-esque percentage.
"I can't tell you how it ends, but I can tell you how I hope it ends: a gruesome KO in round one would be nice," he said. "I think it would be a nice right (hand), maybe a right leading into a left. I don't know."
He's not picky.
Big underdog on the bookies. I was tempted to put a bet on him but his opponent is better and i expect phillips to lose.
The "White Mike Tyson" ?
I guess this means that he prefers white ear-meat over dark ear-meat ?
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