Last time we saw you in the Octagon, you were victorious against Scott Askham. Did the fight go the way you expected?
Not really. I thought I was going to finish him. I don’t see how it was a split decision. I’ve watched the fight back and I thought I won three rounds to nil but it was good to get the win and get my momentum back. I don’t see how the judges gave him a round because I was more aggressive and he spent a lot of time running around.
Your next fight is against Jack Hermansson in August. How do you expect that fight to go? Knockout? Submission?
It won’t be a submission. His jujitsu is too good. I’m confident that I’ll stop him. My boxing is too good. I have more power than he does and my boxing is much better than his is. I’ve been working on my wrestling because he likes to take people down and if I can keep him standing then I think I will stop him.
This fight will be the first time you’ve fought twice in one year since 2012. How important is it for you to be fighting more actively?
Yeah well I mean it’s mainly been down to injury. After my last fight the UFC made me go and see a specialist because there was a cyst in my shoulder, but that was just because of the impact. I’m alright at the moment so it’s good to get some more in. I’m finally injury free now so after this fight I want one more fight this year. The time off has been good though because I’ve been able to train more and get better. It’s helped me out a lot to be fair.
What do you think you have improved on during this time off?
My boxing’s got a lot better. My footwork’s improved and my head movement has got better. I think my wrestling has got better as well, even though I’m getting taken down left, right and centre. But if you look at my fights, I’m getting taken down a lot less and my scrambles have got better. I think overall I’ve just improved as a fighter.
If you are able to get past Hermansson, who would you like to fight next?
If I beat Hermansson that puts me in the top 25 in the world so I’ll fight anyone in there that the UFC gives me. I don’t really care to be honest.
Are there any British fighters that you’d be interested in fighting?
Well really, there’s only Jack Marshman. I mean, there’s Michael Bisping but that’s a title fight. I don’t really want to fight the British guys because we should be fighting the others. It should be like Britain versus everyone else. I mean, I like Jack and I’ve sparred with him. He’s a very good fighter. I was surprised by how good his boxing was and I think he was surprised by how good my wrestling was. But I like Jack. He’s a really nice guy. But know, I wouldn’t want to fight any British fighters.
One of the losses on your record is Krzysztof Jotko. Is that a fight you would be interested in?
Definitely. When we fought, Jotko was just trying to take me down and not do anything so I don’t see how he won that. He did the same thing in his last fight and lost so I don’t know what the judges are thinking. Surely they should put something in place like a yellow card like they did in Pride to stop fighters doing that.
So UFC rules or Pride rules?
Pride rules. They would suit me to a tee. Soccer kicks on the floor and all that would suit me. And in Pride you got yellow cards for running away and you couldn’t hold people down without doing anything. So yeah, I think Pride rules would suit me better than UFC rules do. If UFC had Pride rules, I wouldn’t have lost to Jotko and I wouldn’t have lost to Claudio Silva.
The Mayweather vs. McGregor fight has finally been announced. How do you see that fight going?
I don’t see how McGregor can win. He wouldn’t even be in the top hundred in the world if he was in boxing so I don’t know how he’s going to do against one of the best ever. I mean it’s good for MMA but it’s two different sports. It’s.starting to become a bit of a thing now with Miocic calling out Joshua, Terry Brazier calling out Eubank Jr and Jimi Manuwa calling out David Haye. It’s just… no, they can’t beat a boxer. I don’t know what Brazier would do because he’s a wrestler. Having said that, Manuwa’s a pretty scary guy and he trains with boxers. I look at him and think “I wouldn’t want him to hit me,” so with Manuwa maybe, but no, it’s two different sports. I think Mayweather will dominate him.
UFC fans first saw you on The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashers. What was that experience like for you?
I hated it. I mean, you’re in a house with a bunch of people that want to smash you up and you can’t get out, so yes, I hated it.
So you wouldn’t recommend it to up and coming fighters?
Well it’s a way to get in, so it’s good but I just hated it.
If you could pick one opponent to fight in a dream match, who would it be and why?
You know what, I’d like to go back to the original UFC and see how I would do against those guys. With their one martial art versus my variety of techniques, I’d like to see how I would do against them.
British MMA has risen in notoriety over the past few years. What do you put that down to and how proud are you to be a part of that?
I think it’s the coaching. Before we didn’t really have a lot of great coaches, and now we’ve got better coaches, like we now have people from countries like Iran who are great wrestlers and are coming over here and coaching wrestling. Before we didn’t really wrestle in Britain so we weren’t as good as the Americans and the Brazilians. And now we’ve got Gracie jujitsu academies all around the UK, and our boxing’s always been good over here. So yes I’d probably have to put it down to the coaching and the amount of new talent, and it feels good to be a part of that.
What’s the best thing about being a Mixed Martial Artist?
To be honest it’s probably the power. Knowing you can beat up like 99.9% of people is pretty cool. That makes me sound like I’m not intelligent, and people think that fighters aren’t intelligent, but I think fighters are quite intelligent because we have to know a lot of stuff like techniques, so I think fighters are quite intelligent.
As some may know, you only took up MMA while applying for the military. What made you decide to take it up as a career?
Well I had a few fights and signed up for The Ultimate Fighter and I got into the UFC, so that’s pretty much it.
Where does your nickname of ‘Bear’ come from?
Haven holidays. Yeah it’s just one of them nicknames that people make up, and I just stuck with it. It doesn’t bother me because I don’t really give a s**t about nicknames so I just kind of went with it.
There’s been a lot of controversy when it comes to fighters smoking marijuana. What’s your viewpoint on it and do you agree that it should be taken off the banned substance list?
It should never have been banned in the first place. I don’t smoke it myself but it’s not a performance enhancer. It just chills you out. If you look at how some fighters are different since USADA came in, they look a lot smaller, but I look like I’ve gone up because I’ve never used PEDs. I mean, you should be able to use whatever you want as long as it’s not performance enhancing. You know, if you want to use things like weed or cocaine, or anything that f***s up your body, then that’s up to you. Just, you shouldn’t be able to use enhancers. So I don’t actually have a problem with people smoking it because it doesn’t give you any type of advantage in the fight, so there’s no point in it being banned really.
When you aren’t fighting or preparing to fight, what do you enjoy doing? How do you unwind?
If you look at my Facebook page, I like to do a lot of airsoft. Yeah it’s on my Facebook page but sometimes people try and catch me saying things and try and get me done. They try and catch me saying like racist stuff, and I’m not a racist. People just try and get me done for saying stuff which isn’t true, but I like doing airsoft. It’s a lot of fun and it keeps my mind off fighting.
How important is it to have that time to recuperate?
It’s important because your body goes through a lot and it’s good to have that time away from training and away from fighting because MMA is f*****g brutal. It’s the most brutal sport out there. It’s just brutal and your body takes a lot of damage, so it’s important to have that time away from it.
Any last words for your fans?
My fans are the best in the world. They’ve come everywhere with me, like even to Australia. You know, my fans are amazing and they always support me everywhere I go. Hopefully they come out to my next fight but it’s going to be hard because of the altitude and stuff, but you know, my fans are great. They’re the best in the world!
We at MMA Thread would like to thank Bradley for his time, and we wish him well in the future.
You can follow Bradley on Twitter @Bradleyscott89