A word with Andy Ogle
Merseyside is quickly becoming the fight capital of the United Kingdom. With top class fight teams such as Team Kaobon, Next Generation, The MMA Academy and Sapphire MMA as well as some of Europe’s top fighters calling it home, it’s a hub of MMA.
Indeed UFC fighter and reality TV star Andy Ogle has upped sticks and moved to Liverpool in order to further his career.
And he’s enjoying every minute of it.
“Scousers are just like Geordies,” explains the 23 year-old, “They are warm hearted people. Everybody here has so much time for you. I really hope the UFC comes here, it would be huge for Liverpool.”
The friendly Geordie trains at Team Kaobon, in Wavertree, home to other UFC notables such as Terry Etim, Paul Sass, Paul Taylor, Mark Scanlon and Paul Kelly. He differs from his team mates however as his journey to the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion was a little different as he starred in the UFC’s reality TV program, The Ultimate Fighter.
He now finds himself fighting on the UFC’s September trip to Nottingham, and he’ll look to improve his 8-1 record against another TUF alum as he takes on Swedish fighter Akira Corassani. After missing out on the show’s finale due to injury, it’s an opportunity he just couldn’t afford to pass up.
He said: “When I found out I couldn’t fight on the finale I asked for the fight. I saw that the UFC was coming to Nottingham and (UFC President) Dana White said he’d give me my chance so I felt like I had to ask for it.
“There are no easy opponents in the UFC, but it’s the place I want to be. We feel like it’s a good test for my first fight. I just look forward to going to war and showing people what I’m made of.”
He needn’t worry though, having already shown what a dangerous fighter he is with an impressive showing The Ultimate Fighter: Live, progressing to the quarter-finals before losing by way of TKO to eventual runner up, Al Iaquinta.
Despite the loss, Ogle say’s the experience was a, “dream” but admits that the cameras took some getting used to.
“The whole thing was great, it’s like everything came to me. I didn’t have to travel, I got to train with great coaches and teammates and the food was supplied. I didn’t have to think.
“Now I’ve got to think for myself again.”
“Although I knew what I was getting myself into, nothing can prepare you for the cameras. There’s CCTV in the bathroom! There is really nowhere to hide. It’s scary.
“But now I feel like everything else is a walk in the park, dealing with the press, the TV, live events, it’s all easy.”
Ogle got to train with UFC superstar Uriah Faber during the show and he credits the experience for launching his career to new heights – and getting recognised in Asda.
“The very fact you’re talking to me now, you wouldn’t even know how I was, so it (The Ultimate Fighter) has made my presence known,” he said.
“It’s been quite different since the show. My girlfriend and I were in Asda, and we were on the checkout and the woman says, “Andy Ogle?” so I said, “Yes?” and she just went, “Whoooo!” It was really crazy and funny but it’s what we, as fighters, want. We are entertainers so it’s a beautiful thing really.”
Ogle credits his team with keeping him down to earth and says that his home is now in Liverpool.
“To my team I’m just Andy, there are loads of lads there who have been in the UFC and I’m just trying to do what they do. I feel at home here now. They have my best interests at heart and are trying to push me to the next level.”
The next level will be carving out himself a niche in the UFC’s somewhat thin featherweight division, and Ogle is hoping he can make an impact at 145lbs.
“There’s not much depth to the division,” he explains, “But there is a big gap between the top guys and the others just starting out. But if you win 4-5 fights you can get a title shot, and that’s what I’m aiming for.”
More wins equals more fame and Ogle will be hoping for a victory on September 29th in Nottingham – and a few more bizarre visits to the supermarket as a result.
By Joe Rimmer