Wednesday, 08 September 2010 14:44 Written by Hywel TeagueE-mailPrintPDF
Lightweight champion Sinclair to defend title against Swedish challenger
By Hywel Teague
Following a decisive win over top German fighter Daniel Weichel at BAMMA 3 in May, Rob Sinclair is back in the cage for his first defence of the BAMMA lightweight title.
The 155lb powerhouse, who has a professional record of 9-2-0 with seven (T)KOs, is eager to remind BAMMA fans why he was crowned champion. A rough and ready scrapper who has stopped four of his last five opponents within two rounds, Sinclair is a durable and versatile fighter known for his excellent conditioning, punishing punching power and dynamic wrestling.
Originally slated to face Claes Beverlov (who has withdrawn from the fight due to injury), Sinclair now faces another Swedish fighter: Jani Lax, 9-8-0 [ http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Jani-Lax-2940 ], one of Europe’s most experienced lightweight fighters. A, 11-year veteran of the sport from Karlstad, Lax has fought in Russia and Japan and even competed in a series of infamous ‘no holds barred’ events in Finland.
The lightweight champ is respectful of Lax’s reputation but says he’s not intimidated by Lax’s extensive record and past history. “I’ve fought guys with more experience than him, like Greg Loughran [33 fights] and Daniel Weichal [30 fights]. I’ve had 11 fights total myself and I’ve been more active than him lately, so his experience doesn’t matter to me.”
Some fighters find a late change in opponent a lot to cope with, but Sinclair says it doesn’t matter who he’s fighting. So long as got an opponent, he’s focussed and ready to go. “I need a name and a good four or five weeks to get ready, but it hasn’t bothered me. Whoever they put in front of me, I’d be happy.”
With 66% of his wins coming by submission, Lax is a talented and versatile grappler, but Sinclair isn’t worried by the Swede’s pedigree and insists he will be the one to dictate the action. “I’ve got the same gameplan as always. I want to stick to my strengths, and I feel like I’ve got enough to stop him.”
“I heard he’s pretty tough but I’ll approach it the same as I approach every fight,. I’ll keep it standing for a while, try and land a shot, and if it goes to the floor I’ll get on top.”
Based in Burnley, Lancashire, Sinclair trains in the MMA hotbed that is the North West of England. “I’m training between Predators in Manchester with Gavin Boardman, and Team Kaobon in Liverpool with Colin Heron. Just yesterday at Kaobon they had Terry Etim, Paul Sass, Paul Kelly, Paul Taylor, Eugene Fadiora – you’re not going to get any better training than that.”
Training with Etim, Kelly and Taylor, who have 22 combined appearances in the UFC, Sinclair is confidant he’s got the edge over his Scandinavian opponent.
“I wouldn’t swap any of my training partners for the world. I’ve got my brother as well [Mick Sinclair, also 9-2-0] and he’s the perfect training partner.”
Rob Sinclair fights Jani Lax on BAMMA 4, September 25th 2010 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. Tickets are available at www.ticketfactory.co.uk. For more information on the event and current news go to www.bamma.com.