Oli Thompson

UFC Fighter Oli Thompson Goes To The Zoo

UFC Fighter and former world strongest man Oli Thompson joins forces with ZOO Fightclub. It is currently run by Heavyweight MMA fighter Paul Saunders and partner Yasmin Edwards. Both teams run their own gyms as well as the MMA promotion. Oli is back from the UFC and ready to build the company. It is not yet known who will play what role, but please read on as we chat with both parties. Oli Thompson is currently 0-2-0 in the UFC. Everyone in British MMA is proud of his achievements and the speed that he has gotten there.
Oli thanks for the time and congratulations on an amazing career thus far. We asked Oli
Oli Thompson
Q/ What made you and Zoo join forces?
A/ I have been a friend of Paul and Yasmin for a while and have helped Paul with his strength and conditioning in the last year or so. During one of our many chats we got onto the subject of the Hastings shows, and future plans for them etc, it went from there.

Q/ What will your main role be in the company?
A/ The first show is Sept 15th, as I have just come on board, I am really just helping with general details on this one and looking over the match making, to be honest they were already doing a great job so it was an easy enough! My role will grow as the show does and I will be looking to assist in bringing more people to the shows and keeping the fights evenly matched.

Q/ Is the show just MMA or a mixed card?
A/ There is some k1, maximum of one or two amateur fights, then Semi Pro and Pro MMA fights, as the show grows the amount of full Pro fights will increase with it. 
Oli Thompson Yasmin Edwards and Paul SaundersQ/ Tell us about the show that`s going down on the 15th of Sept?
A/ September 15th is I believe the 4th show by the team at Zoo. The fight card will be released soon...although I can reveal my training partner Lenny Scudder will be making his Pro debut, so its sure to be exciting...

Q/ What is happening now regarding you and the UFC?
A/ My next fight will not be in the UFC due to my last performance being well below my best. I still have a great relationship with them and with a couple of good results I expect to be back on the big show. I have identified a couple of great fights outside of the UFC that I am very motivated by and once something is signed I will announce it, and I will be back to my best and better by fight time. 
Paul Saunders owns Zoo fight club. He has a strong Greco back ground and has trained with Randy Couture and Dan Henderson. He is also appeared in the TV show Eastenders.

We asked Paul

Q/ How do you feel about Oli joining the team?
A/ We are very excited about Oli Joining the team, his experience and know how in the MMA industry is invaluable. With the way the sport is changing and becoming more and more main stream its important as promoters to look at how we can make the next show better and more exciting than the last one ,Oli`s vision will be great in helping to make this happen especially as he is competing on some of the best shows in the world. It also helps as we are all friends.

Q/ Tell us the new roles that you, Yasmin and Oli will be taking on?
A/ We all take a very active role in every area of the show. We meet regularly to discuss and update on progress or areas that need improving to ensure the show runs smoothly there are some big plans for the next show but let’s just say the spectators will be in for a treat .

Q/ How has is it been arranging the show for Sept 15th?
Paul Saunders and TomazA/ As always arranging a show is hard work, getting fighters, matched, dealing with the fight camps, councils and police. But having Oli on board has eased the pressure with his experience and contacts.

Q/ Tell us about the Tomasz Czerwinski fight at Fury and the rematch that you are going to have?
A/ Well to be honest some people say im mad for re-matching Tomasz after the KO I suffered. But I feel that on 10th June i wasnt in that cage when we fought, no disrespect to Tomasz he won fair and Square and the re-match is about me and my disappointment with my performance. I trained very hard for that fight, lots of conditioning and technical work With Oli Thompson. What the crowds did not see was that the corner crew i had in place did not turn up, so I was backstage alone , no warm up crew or teq advice cage side ,not even walk out music as that was with the no show crew. To be honest that threw me, some people say why go in then? why not pull out? That’s not me, I wont pull out of a fight unless it is injury based, and Tomasz as well as myself trained hard for that fight. This time I will be a different fighter and have the right crew in place cage side, it’s easy for anyone to criticize at home with a beer, but in there it’s a different game, and on the night the smallest thing can determine who is the better man, on the night and on the 10th Tomasz was, and if you are going to win a title that's how you want to do it. But I do plan to redeem that night, I have been offered easier fights but what's the point in that? if its about that then the fight is not about me improving and testing my skill , then it would be about reputation and what people think of me .. and that's not me . My training with Oli is tough and I don't plan to waste it fighting chumps. This is a tough game and I don't want to take an easy route, even at 45. Lead by example or don't lead, simple as that.

Q/ Who is on the Main event on September 15th?
A/ Clive Morgan of Evolution MMA is fighting pro, so he will take the main event slot.
Interview with Oli Thompson filmed at the Glory MMA weight in.
Recorded at Worriors Collide September 8th 2012

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