British featherweight Leigh Remedios was one of the first UK fighters to feature in the UFC, appearing at UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall.
Fond of describing himself as “The People’s Champion”, Remedios was recently the subject of some incendiary comments from current Cage Rage British featherweight champion Robbie Olivier.
In issue 39 of Fighters Only (June 08), Olivier called Remedios out, suggesting that Cage Rage had tried to set up a fight between the pair several times but that Remedios had “refused every time.”
“For some reason, he doesn’t want to fight me,” he stated.
When asked why he thought that might be, Olivier said:”I think he’s scared of my ground and pound, my punches.”
He added: “I’ve watched a lot of his fights and he rarely gets hit very hard by his opponent and I think that he has been quite clever at choosing his opponents when it comes to their attributes and I think he knows that I’d be too much for him.”
Fighters Only suspected that Remedios might have a thing or two to say in return, so we contacted him to find out what he felt about Olivier’s comments.
‘Ridiculous’, was how he described the accusation that he had repeatedly ducked out of fighting Olivier.
“Me and Rob were due to fight in 2004, but a week before the fight he pulled out with an injury. I ended up fighting Jean Silva instead,” said Remedios.
“He describes me and Danny Batten as the top contenders for his title, but I retired three years ago! He only wants to fight me now because I have got three years of ring rust.”
Remedios did recently challenge Cage Rage world featherweight title holder Masakazu Imanari, but says that the organisation weren’t interested in setting up that fight.
“I don’t think Cage Rage wanted to throw me into a title fight after a three-year lay off,” he says.
Despite being retired, Remedios admits he would be willing to fight again for the right money - or the right opponent. Aside from the challenge to Imanari, Remedios was also due to come out of retirement to face Danny Batten, a stablemate of Olivier’s.
But Batten pulled out of that fight citing injury, prompting a massive fall-out between the two camps. Remedios felt that he hadn’t been accorded a proper explanation for, as he put it, “wasting three months of my life in training”.
“I have no problem with Danny Batten,” he explains, “but I am annoyed that he pulled out of our fight without any explanation.
“When I asked for one, it was suggested that he doesn’t have to explain himself to me. I am still not sure what the injury was supposed to be.
“I see him around, at shows and what have you, but I’ve got nothing to say to him really. He owes me an apology, I wasted a lot of time training for that fight.
However, the aggravation between Remedios and Batten has died down, and it is Olivier who is the focus of attention now.
“Rob is a good fighter and deserves to be the champion – but only because I am retired,” he laughs.
Remedios says he could not believe what he was reading when he saw Olivier’s statement that he was ‘scared’ of his ground and pound technique.
“His comments are ridiculous, saying I am scared of his ground and pound!” he exclaimed.
“I have never been ground and pounded by anyone, and he never wins by ground and pound, so what is he talking about?
"And as for saying I don’t like to get hit and I pick my opponents well, well, I have fought better strikers than he has.
He added that he has “a far better record against common opponents like Jean Silva, Emmanuel Fernandez and John Kavanagh”.
Remedios predicts an early night if he and Olivier ever do meet in the cage: “I don’t think Rob is in the same league as me, he would have nothing for me if we fought.”
However, he added that he is “more confused than annoyed” about the comments Olivier made and says he can only think of one good reason why Olivier would choose to call him out as a title contender.
“He is probably just annoyed because I wind him up when I see him.
“I always tell him he is fat and he gets angry,”