Winner vs. Gonzalez
© Marc Wickert www.knucklepit.com
Special thanks to Izzy Carnwath
December 10 is earmarked to be a very important night for Team Rough House, with Jim Wallhead, Dean Amasinger and Andre Winner all hungry for victories at BAMMA 8.
Andre Winner (13-6-1) will be facing off against Sweden’s Diego Gonzalez (14-5-0) in the BAMMA World Lightweight Title Eliminator, which is a massive opportunity for both men to fast-lane their careers.
While Diego is best known for his grappling skills, Andre has chalked up as many wins through strikes as by submissions, and possesses unforgiving anvil fists. On the ground, Winner has excellent positioning skills, like the dreaded visitor who just won’t leave, and finishes off opponents with a variety of submission techniques.
But before the fight can get to the canvas, Andre will most likely want to test Diego’s durability with nitro mitts, crowbar shin-kicks, and jaw-rattling knees. Backed by plenty of support from his teammates at Rough House, Winner is determined to put on a big show for the home crowd.
Andre, what was it like winning your BAMMA debut against Jason Ball?
To win, get back to winning ways and to do it in front of the home fans was a great feeling.
How many fights is your contract with BAMMA for?
I have a multi-fight contract with BAMMA. I want to stay busy and face quality opposition.
You came off three losses before shining at BAMMA 7; was this new event a big boost to your career?
After going through a rough patch it was a boost to my career to sign with a quality promotion and get back to my winning ways.
You were The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 lightweight runner-up. What are your thoughts on the experience?
I loved doing TUF 9. It was a great experience, and was completely positive. I trained well, it boosted my career and I made a lot of good friends.
What has been your sweetest MMA victory and can you tell us a little bit about it, please, Andre?
My favourite MMA victory would either be my semi-final win in TUF 9 because I had just won, finished my opponent in the first round and I had just put myself in the final, or my win at 105 because I lost in the final and I wanted to prove a point at 105 and I did with the KO of Roli (Rolando Delgado).
I know you’ve studied Mike Tyson’s videos; what is it about ‘Iron Mike’ that appeals to you?
Who doesn’t like Mike Tyson? He had serious KO power, a great chin, super quick, very good skilfully… I loved his attitude plus I could relate to him because he’s a misunderstood person.
Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed away recently. Have you watched his clips?
Yes, I saw that he passed away. I watched the Thriller in Manilla when it came on TV. There was a lot of stuff between him and Ali that I didn’t know. I think Joe was a great man.
Who will be in your corner for December 10?
I will have my usual Team there – Paul Barton and Michael Winner. I like to have Paul Daley and Victor Estima close. I think my boxing coach, Chris Pyatt, may be coming over.
Who have your main training partners been at Team Rough House?
For my fight at BAMMA 8 I have trained with the usual bunch at Rough House – Daley, Dean and Jim, also all the guys at GB Midlands, Chris Pyatt and Michael Winner.
Have you also trained at other gyms for BAMMA 8?
I’ve not trained at other gyms for this fight, but just before my camp I had a chance to train at Mikes Gym in Holland and Tri Star briefly in Montreal.
Will Winner vs. Gonzalez be a classic striker-versus-grappler bout?
It seems like it would be but I don’t think it will; we are both experienced and well rounded, so I don’t think either of us will feel out of his comfort zone standing, in the clinch, or on the ground.
You’re best known for your lightning-bolt fists, but representing Team Rough House, you obviously train extensively in grappling. How is your ground game looking for December 10?
I have always been working on my ground game and I feel confident in it. I have a great coach in Victor Estima.
You and Diego have similar records; what will give you the edge at BAMMA 8?
We have similar records but we are nothing alike. I believe I’m the better fighter and I’m very focused on the job that has to be done.
Andre, is there anything you would like to add?
Would just like thank BAMMA and the fans.
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For more on Andre Winner: www.andrewinner.com.
To keep up with BAMMA 8: www.bamma.com.
To view Andre Winner training video click.