Chris Bradford

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Chris Bradford is headlining the fourth instalment of the Prestige Fight Series on October 15. He takes a turn around the Theme Park to talk injury, retirement and the ongoing thrill of the chase.

What brings you back?

A lot of reasons. The main three; I was born a fighter, I live a fighter, I’ll die a fighter. Whether it’s in the ring or in life. In my mind, I never retired. I’ve got a fighter’s mindset; I’m always thinking of it. I love the sport and I love what goes with it.

A lot of people talk… I need to prove I can still do this. I’m going to prove I can put on a showcase event and do it in front of my own crowd in my home city; I’ve never done it before and I’m excited about it.

My life has been turned upside down [of late] because of dramas and press corporations and social media. This is my way of saluting them. This is my way of saying, ‘sticks and stones…’ 

How’s your body?

The ankle specialist says I had twenty per cent cartilage left in my ankle from kicking, and an old motorbike accident from when I was a teenager. The doc said if I have another injury, I might have to have it fused.

I’m confident I can work around it, like when I had broken a zygomatic bone in my cheek and won an IKBF Australian title. The doc advised me not to fight, but with an Australian title on the line, I said ‘Stuff that.’ I fought for it and I won.

My face was ok afterwards. I had a good fight; I moved well on the night and managed to stay out of danger and won on points. There wasn’t much facial damage. The doc re-broke it and set it back into place during a small operation after the fight.

What’s the pattern of your day?

I run Top Tier Muay Thai full time; I’m a strength and conditioning PT. I revolve all my own PT around the [timetable] structure. With my fight prep, I’m doing primarily cardio at 930am for a half hour, and then technique and pad-work at night, five days a week. I’m doing all I can to prep my body and get back into shape after two years off.

Why did you retire in the first instance?

The workload of the gym became too much. I didn’t have other trainers, pad-holders, or PTs helping me – I was doing it all myself. Also add fight prep and training into that… Now that I have more people working for me, I have the ability to train and fight again.

Regardless, age is definitely an issue and I’m definitely sorer than I’ve ever been before. I don’t pull up as good as I used to. I’m aching through the joints… I’ve broken my hands many times, and they’re becoming an issue with training and prep. 

Who is training you?

Ryan O’Donnell, who is a former student of mine. I have great confidence in his pad- holding ability. I’m also relying on students I’ve taught and trained to critique my technique. They keep a watchful eye on what I’m doing.

Who is your opponent?

I’m fighting Rob Ferguson from Queensland. He’s trained by Anthony Vella from Hitman Muay Thai. It’s under full Thai rules over five rounds. I’ve had two years off and pretty much done nothing other than lift weights; I can’t be bothered losing weight anymore.

Rob and I have agreed to fight at ninety five [kilograms] so we can get in and do what we love most, which is punch each other in the face.

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