From a kid who was bullied at school to becoming one of the best fighters on the planet — Andrew Fisher has endured an incredible journey to Oktagon MMA 44
On June 17, he returns to the cage in Oberhausen, Germany, against Ronald Paradeiser, knowing that a victory could secure him a shot at the promotion’s lightweight title. But before he sets foot under the lights, he’s reminisced about how he fell in love with the sport to begin with.
Andrew Fisher was a victim of bullying
Speaking exclusively to Sporf, he said: “I just wasn’t very confident as a kid, and I used to get picked on a bit. I just wanted to be tough. So, I went to a local gym.
“I went on a roll from there. I had a fight, and then I started doing all right. I’m definitely not one of the naturally gifted ones or somebody who’s very good. But I would say all the talented people, the naturally gifted ones, as the years went by, they would drop off.
“And then there’d be more naturally gifted people, and the process would repeat itself. So, before you knew it, I had been training for ten years, and nobody else really had been. That’s my biggest thing. Just persistence.”
Andrew Fisher’s mental fortitude is what has allowed him to get to such a high level
Despite the hardships he went through in his younger years, he’s had the mental strength to put it all in his rearview mirror.
Fisher added: “It doesn’t really matter now. I know it sounds like a really funny story, but realistically, that was just my perception of it.
“People in England, at school, if you get emotional about it, they just target you worse, whereas when I got a bit older and obviously living in the gym, you realise not to take yourself so seriously.
“That’s kind of what I teach my kids as well. I’ve been bullying my kids since they were born, and they pick on me back. They have quite a good sense of humour. They don’t take things to heart like I did.
“I didn’t really have a dad or anyone to teach me this stuff. That’s probably why it happened. It’s not like I got beat up every day. People had it a lot worse than me.”
It’s fair to say the 38-year-old has come a long way from his days on the playground, as now he’s targeting the biggest match-up of his career.
Andrew Fisher hopes a win at Oktagon MMA 44 will set up a title shot
In an incredible run, all the Sunderland fighter needs to add the icing on the cake of his already remarkable legacy, is a championship belt. And on Saturday night, he’ll have the opportunity to catch the attention of Losene Keita.
Fisher admitted: “That’s what I’m missing. I feel I’ve beaten some really good guys.
“When I was fighting in ACB, the Russian organisation, I was on the cusp of fighting for their strap, and then they had some Russian problems. But my goal is to win a major world title.”
Away from competition, Fisher has utilised his phenomenal understanding of the sport to transition into the world of coaching at Team Fish Tank, training the likes of KSW heavyweight champion Phil De Fries.
He explained: “I’m quite a young coach. I just started doing it because I really wanted to make it as a fighter, and I got paid to do it. It just started getting bigger and bigger. Now, we’ve obviously got Phil De Fries, and I’ve got some other guys who are just breaking through. Mick Parkin has just got a UFC contract, so that’s big for the gym.
“Me and Phil are old. But these are young studs who are our main training partners, and they keep us on our toes.”
Andrew Fisher is tying the knot after Oktagon MMA 44
In what may make for the greatest seven days in history, after his fight on Saturday night, available on DAZN, Fisher’s heading off to marry the love of his life. And he’s not too concerned about sustaining any facial damage.
He laughed: “I’m actually getting married a week after my fight. So my partner wasn’t very happy about that. The wedding was booked first, and then I got offered this and couldn’t really turn it down. She’s quite cool about it, as she fights as well. So, she understands.”
Considering the idea of standing at the end of the aisle with a black eye, he chuckled: “Well, I feel that probably just sums up what our wedding would be, doesn’t it really? So I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”
Featured Image Credit: Andrew Fisher