Joker’s deadly se­ri­ous about re­turn to cage

CRAIG JOHNS BREAKS THE FIRST RULE

Sunday Sun - - Boxing -

AARON Chalmers ad­mits there are rang­ing emo­tions as he con­tin­ues his prepa­ra­tions for his mixed mar­tial arts re­turn on Fe­bru­ary 9.

The for­mer Ge­ordie Shore re­al­ity TV star is chief sup­port as Bel­la­tor re­turn to New­cas­tle’s Metro Ra­dio Arena, with a huge show stacked with North East tal­ent.

For Chalmers it will be his first time back in the cage since Bel­la­tor Lon­don in May last year when BAMMA agreed to wave his con­tract for the huge card in the cap­i­tal.

But when he beat Ash­ley Grif­fiths im­pres­sively to move to 4-0, the top Usbased pro­mo­tion im­me­di­ately ex­pressed a de­sire to sign him, only for BAMMA to stand in his way due to their pre­vi­ously agreed deal.

It’s led to a frus­trat­ing pe­riod of in­ac­tiv­ity for the MMA late­comer be­fore a court date late last year fi­nally cleared him to sign a two-year, six-fight deal with Bel­la­tor.

He’ll fight Corey Brown­ing (4-2) in New­cas­tle in the first of those bouts, and said ahead of it: “It’s a mix­ture of de­light and re­lief to fi­nally get this sorted.

“It’s been a bit of a stress­ful time that was not needed – go­ing to court and all that carry on. They’ve let a lot of fighters go but kept me and took me to court, bear­ing in mind I’ve prob­a­bly done more for them than any­one.

“I got them an ITV4 TV deal, a big­gest sell­ing show in New­cas­tle and all things like that and they held on to me and dragged it on to court.

“But that’s the past now and now I’m mov­ing for­ward with a great com­pany in Bel­la­tor and what bet­ter way to start this new con­tract with a big New­cas­tle show.

“I was re­ally ner­vous last time be­cause I had loads of peo­ple I knew telling me they were go­ing to be there.

“The at­mos­phere was un­be­liev­able though and I think this will be even big­ger and even bet­ter be­cause Bel­la­tor put on an amaz­ing show. “So this time I’m more ex­cited than any­thing. “By the time fight night comes around I’ll have been out of the cage for nine months so what bet­ter way to get back to it than this?!”

Brown­ing, on paper, will be Chalmers’ tough­est as­sign­ment to date.

Ini­tially Chalmers had hoped to se­cure a big fight with fel­low ‘celebrity’ fighter Baby Slice (Kevin Fer­gu­son Jr – son of fa­mous fighter Kimbo Slice), but Brown­ing ripped up the script by beat­ing Fer­gu­son Jr in Oc­to­ber.

Chalmers con­tin­ued: “I was hop­ing for Baby Slice this fight but Corey Brown­ing beat him.

“It didn’t make sense to fight Baby Slice on a loss, so we took the Brown­ing fight. I could have fought Baby Slice but I didn’t want him. I wanted the kid that beat him.

“Baby Slice is like a ri­val. The two big names ei­ther side of the wa­ter and I think beat­ing Brown­ing would make a bit of state­ment and show where I am at com­pared to him.”

That Baby Slice fight might yet hap­pen in the fu­ture. There is a six-fight con­tract with Bel­la­tor and Fer­gu­son is signed to the same com­pany. And Chalmers has said he plans to fight on be­yond the two year deal.

But for now his fo­cus is only on Brown­ing – a fighter he is hop­ing will pro­vide some tough rounds af­ter four stop­pages within the open­ing round so far.

With many doubters when he first an­nounced his de­ci­sion to take up the sport, Chalmers iron­i­cally nick­named him­self ‘The Joker.’ But his main aim is to prove he is any­thing but when it comes to his MMA ca­reer – so much so that he sac­ri­ficed his pre­vi­ous party life­style and most of his Christ­mas in the build up to this next fight.

“We’d been talk­ing with Bel­la­tor and we knew that was where I was go­ing, but with the con­tract sit­u­a­tion it was up in the air when I would be fight­ing,” he added. “So I was al­ways in the gym, in a proper train­ing camp and know­ing once I got a date I was al­ready on my way to be­ing ready to fight.

“I’ve been plug­ging away. We’re mov­ing down to 155lbs (light­weight) for this one and ev­ery­thing is run­ning smoothly. The weight cut­ting is go­ing that well I could af­ford to have a pud­ding on Christ­mas Day! But I was straight back into train­ing on Box­ing Day.

“This is in my home­town. It just fu­els the fire all the more. I want to win there. I don’t want to lose in New­cas­tle!”

Tick­ets are on sale through Tick­et­mas­ter.co.uk and Bel­la­tor.com, as well as the Metro Ra­dio Arena box of­fice.

It’s been a bit of a stress­ful time that was not needed – go­ing to court and all that carry on Aaron Chalmers

■ Aaron Chalmers

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