Rather than finding himself in trouble or being out on the streets, Eugene Fadiora began his journey through practicing Karate as a youngster. Constantly moving home, Fadiora found it difficult to work through the belt system; going from school to school, adapting new styles and having to start from scratch every time. After 10 years of the martial art Eugene found that standing in line at the dojo and participating in semi-contact sparring was not to his satisfaction. Moving into kickboxing he began to push things further and began BJJ through a friend. The expense of following both disciplines led to Eugene moving fully to the BJJ gym and getting involved within the MMA classes; bringing all elements of his game together and competing ever since he was 17.
Starting at Team Supreme in Cannock, Fadiora decided to move on after several years due to an altercation with the fight team and management, although Paul Taylor and Dan Korbely provided Eugene with a new home at Pure MMA. Through his training and development at Pure MMA, Taylor gave Eugene the chance to train with him at Team Kaobon in Liverpool and showed him another side to his MMA ability. Faidora being more than grateful for the opportunity still makes the trips to Kaobon as regularly as possible.
Most of my training is done at Pure MMA with Paul and the other lads there but I go to Kaobon as often as I can especially during fight camps because their level is just so high. Every time I go I know my level is going up too.
Eugene is dedicated to his own cause and training, not being much of a viewer of the sport unless he is supporting his own teammates. However, he does recall Taylor v Kelly as being the most exciting 30 seconds of MMA action he has ever seen. 8 weeks out from a bout, Fadiora will switch his attentions to his fight camp, starting to watch his food intake and bringing his weight down gradually. Fitting in training around his shift work he’ll look for the best opportunities from both the Pure MMA and Kaobon timetables, working from bad positions, stepping up technique and making sure that his training simulates fight conditions the best he can. Taking in the advice of coaches, Fadiora will look to improve weaknesses within his camp and will be aware of what his opponent will bring to the fight.
I generally have a rough idea of what my opponent likes to do. I don't cater for it; I just up everything that I do making everything better so I’m ready for whatever he has to throw at me.
Stepping into the octagon as an amateur was far easier for Fadoira where he managed his training around school and university simpler than with his current working commitments. In some of his earlier bouts, Eugene reflects on using Karate blocks and many other techniques that he has dropped from his toolkit. However, as it is clear to see from his fights, he has since progressed from those early days, adding to his repertoire and in his eyes, being close to where he wants to be as a professional.
With family and work taking up more of his time, Eugene has to be smarter with the way he trains and prepares for bouts, making sure that every session counts. However, despite the tough opponents that he has faced, this work-fight-life balance has been his biggest obstacle; trying to be the fighter, father and partner that he wants to be and making sure that nothing slips in the process.
As an amateur it was a cool hobby for me. Now I’m looking to build my future on fighting and making it my day job to pay bills so I’m doing something that I love. There isn't a better job in the world than doing something you love doing and being paid for it.
Fadiora’s (12-1) only loss to date has been to Gunnar Nelson (9-0) on BAMMA 4 back in September 2010. However, the month prior to this fight, Eugene was at Cage Contender in Manchester scouting out the competition. Knowing that Danny Mitchell was one of the most competitive grapplers that he had faced, Fadiora was set back when Nelson locked on the rear naked choke in under 3 minutes. Mentally this showed Eugene what he was to face and the level that he needed to raise his own ground work at that stage. Although lasting a minute longer against the Icelandic fighter, Gunnar was still too imposing with his own game to even allow Eugene the chance to stand and use his strengths within the octagon. However, Faidora quotes his battle against Rob Devanne as his toughest bout to date due to having just over a year out of action.
There was a lot of cage rust, which showed. It took me a long time to switch on in that fight and before that fight I was a wreck with stress and worry. Once I switched on though in that last 30 seconds you can see the change in me.
Following the Gunnar bout, Eugene disappeared off the scene for a while; only planning to rest until the New Year but training and work became difficult to coordinate and after BAMMA moved their planned July show, Faidora found it difficult to find the right fight with an adequate purse. Illness and things out of Eugene’s control meant a further 7 months out of the game after his Made4theCage title bout in February 2012 against Steve Watson. However Fadiora is more then ready and anticipating the long awaited defense against Andrew Punshon in September.
As Eugene’s game develops, he states that much has changed from his beginnings in 2008. Over the course of his 24 bouts at amateur and professional levels he has progressed a lot with the ground game, wrestling well and submitting as many opponents as he’s finished with striking. Often misjudged as a weak grappler, Fadiora is more than accomplished but just prefers to entertain the crowd and win standing and striking. Both, Pure MMA and Team Kaobon have helped take Eugene to another level but even with the such a successful record behind him there seems to be little buzz about the 24 year old.
To be honest I have fought some of the best and there still isn’t this big buzz. It might be the long breaks that I’ve had, it may be the fact that I don’t go to every show in the UK or go on the message boards all the time. I prefer to let my fighting do the talking but I guess that isn’t enough right now as MMA is becoming more and more popular with more and more people doing it you have to make more of an effort to stand out.
After making fairly light work of Steve Watson at Made4theCage5 and shaking off the ring rust prior to that bout against Rob Devanne, Fadiora is now mentally prepared for the challenges ahead. His next bout against Andrew Punshon at next Made4theCage 7 is set to be exciting title bout but neither of these facts effects Eugene.
I’ve often been a main event which I think shows that I’m recognised as a crowd pleaser and I welcome the challenge. I need to fight those perceived to be better than me so I can progress up the rankings and closer to my goal. The fact that it is a main event doesn't put any extra pressure on me. I like to feel and train like the under dog so I train harder and fight hungry so as not to get complacent and lazy.
Eugene Fadiora on:
His biggest success
I think the fight on BAMMA was great, as it had a massive crowd and was aired on TV, so there was a lot of pressure but I like the pressure and think winning on there twice is high up there. Also winning all my titles a few titles are worth more than some others but just that fact that I can call myself champion is a great achievement. Losing only once out of 24 fights is probably my best achievement though.
Fights that never happened
There has been lots of fights that should have happened but didn't for various reasons. Myself against Che Mills for the BAMMA welterweight title but then BAMMA had some issues and the whole final never happened. Me against both of the Maguire brothers at different times. I was supposed to fight on OMMAC a few times and once had 7 different opponents before saying finally they didn't have a fight for me. I think that was a difficult time for promoters and myself because my record was dangerous. I was a good fight to have but I was risky for people’s records because there was a chance they could lose (there was a lot of record protecting going on then)
A return to BAMMA
If they offer me a top 10 fighter and the money to fight them then I will more than likely be there. I was offered Marshman but I wasn’t ready at this weight; it was going to be my first one back at middleweight and wanted to make sure that I was settled in it before fighting the big dogs again. Now I’m hunting down anyone higher than me.
The dream within MMA
To make it my job and pay the bills out of it; maybe get enough to open my own gym and retire but eventually still involved in the sport. I’ve just got to fight the best fights that I can in the near future and set the ball rolling in September 2012.
Tips for newcomers in MMA
Train as hard as you can, as often as you can. You won’t be the best by training every now and again; give it everything. However, always have a back up plan. I have a law degree and I’m going through personal training qualifications so I can rely on my mind as well as fighting.
Eugene would like to take the time to thank the following:
I'd like to thank all the guys that I train with at Team Kaobon and Pure MMA for helping me to be the best fighter that I can be. My family for putting up with me when I’m moody, tired or never in; especially the Mrs. who has to put up with a lot of my crap.
My Sponsor Telford MMA Store for helping to support me through my training for this fight. They sell only the best gear at a great price so get down there.
10 quick questions
What’s your walk out song: Ghetts - Legend In The Making
Favourite Domestic fighter: Terry Etim he’s amazing to train with and to watch fight
Favourite International fighter: Can’t name 1, I Like Anderson Silva and Dos Santos to name a few
If you could change 1 rule in MMA what would it be: I like it the way it is but I wish all the rules were unified.
Biggest inspiration: lol not a fighter but Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is an amazing role model
Favourite food: Carrot Cake - new found love
Favourite film: Never Back Down. I know its not technically great and considering the title the coach tells them to tap a lot but its a good film to just stick on and not have to think too much about
Dream opponent: No idea
Best fight you've seen: Best 30 secs was Paul Taylor V Paul Kelly, don't know about full fights.
Any superstitions: I used to use the same boxers to fight in before fight (I washed them after every one) but now I’m not too bothered, you can get too hung up on them going right or wrong and it have a negative impact on your mental state