Gareth Millar Talks Shock N Awe 11: “I hope to be tested again, every time.”
The well rounded and technical fighter from Andy Roberts BJJ took time to discuss the impact of fighting on the ever expansive and popular Shock N Awe event, looked back on his last fight, and talked about all things relevant to his fast approaching fight.
OK Gareth, we last saw you at Shock N Awe 10 in your second semi-pro fight, and what a fight it was. We saw quite a display from you in terms of technical ability with the way you countered the power and wrestling base that your opponent brought to the table. What are your memories of the fight and what did you take from the victory?
I kind of had the suspicion that he was going to come out strong, and before the fight I was pretty chilled out. Looking back at the video of it, it almost looks like it's in fast forward at the beginning of the fight because he came out so intent on imposing his striking on me. I was pretty overwhelmed initially, I think because obviously in sparring you try to emulate fight conditions, with it being only my second fight there was a lot to take on board very quickly. I had a plan start off with and actually when I watch the beginning of that first round I can see myself kind of going through the motions of trying to implement that plan and it's funny for me to watch because I can see what I am trying to do, but I couldn't do it because he was like a whirlwind coming at me.
I remember from the beginning of the fight it was just a flurry of punches. I've been hit harder in training but it was more just the intention of what he was trying to do that was overwhelming, more than the power as such. I was able to get in some decent enough (for me) knees and ended up taking his back at the end of the first round which was quite nice. Looking back I could have finished it but lessons learned from my first fight I didn't want to burn my arms out and end up with nothing left. It was a cool fight, I don't really remember the second round so well, and it ended up being quite a jiu jitsu fight.
I had a moment in the second round where I had mount and he was able to reverse the mount and he had a straight armbar which he was using his legs to try and finish and I thought about tapping to be quite honest because it was coming on quite strong and I actually during the fight kind of had to tell myself that no you're in a fight now, this isn't training anymore.
It was interesting, even during the fight at the back of my mind I was able to see that he was beginning to wear down and his attack became slightly less ferocious if you like, and although I wasn't particularly happy with the second round the reason I feel I was able to get the triangle choke at the end was because I was able to see that he was slowly wearing himself out. That helped me see the right moment to get it.
When we spoke to you before your last fight you were preparing very seriously and were participating in a very interesting meat based diet...have you been following the same diet this time around? How has preparation been in general?
Well I have very close relationship with my butchers T.H Burroughs who are very good! They are good boys and they look after me. I have followed this diet again, there were some big teething problems in the initial fight camp previously which I have ironed out now and I have completely stuck to it. It's not that I just eat meat; I eat other stuff as well, but essentially meat and fat make up a lot of my diet and people take the mickey out of me a bit. I know some other fighters do it as well and it has actually come about from Charles Poliquin who is one of the big names in strength. Essentially it's the paleo diet which is the caveman diet. Carbohydrate is one of the things which is moderated, I take in enough carbohydrate to train and that's it.
Carbohydrate is a very peaky energy source so you kind of find yourself going through sugar highs whereas my energy levels now feel a lot more consistent, and I am able to train a lot better as I am less dependent on pre-eating, which is something I used to do a lot, have a cheeky bowl of pasta before training whereas now days I feel a lot more consistent and a lot better in general.
What do you know about you opponent Manuel Pais and can you tell us a little about how you may be planning on approaching the fight?
I saw him fight on the last show; he was actually the fight before me. I watched it and I don't really have much to say about the fight itself. I think at this stage of the game it's less about the opponent and more about yourself. I mean I only have two fights behind me and Manuel has got one, especially with the nature of the game with opponents dropping out etc, if you spend too much time looking at your opponent it can take you off topic.
At the moment all I know is that when I see him on the day I will know how to deal with him. You can have ideas about how to deal with people but I think when you see them and feel how they react that is when you are really going to know what to do. So for me it's not really been about my opponent but more about my own development.
This is your second appearance on a Shock N Awe card, and it is an event that has a lot of eyes on it. At this stage of your MMA career what does it mean to you to be able to fight on a promotion such as this?
Well I think what some probably don't realise is that Shock N Awe is not just about the show itself. When you actually fight on the show, obviously the exposure is great, but another benefit that you get from Shock N Awe is actually fighting alongside people that are in the same game as you and are pushing and striving to do the best they can. In a lot of promotions people will get paired with easy fights or fights that aren't necessarily going to make any difference to how well they are going to progress in their career. On Shock N Awe you are going to be tested, I mean in my last fight I certainly was and I hope to be tested again, every time.
But also you kind of get to meet people. Last time during the medicals I was chatting with Jack Magee and that was a great experience and I have been down to train with him a few times and that has been a nice side effect of being on a good show. You basically get to see how the other guys are reacting and how they are working and what their mind set before a fight is. When I was sitting in the medical area Jack was chatting to me and we had a bit of a laugh about pre-fight chat with your opponent and then I ended up saying hello to my opponent and it actually settled a lot of my nerves.
Ok, obviously you train at Andy Roberts BJJ and there are a number of good guys there, some of which will be also appearing on Shock N Awe...so tell us who we should be looking out for!
I am pretty excited for both the guys from Andy Roberts, I'm particularly looking forward to Kieran Rice versus Luke Killick. I've kind of been following Luke Killick from Gym01 as I have trained at various places he has trained in the past and before I actually started fighting I had been watching him and for him to be fighting one of my team mates from Andy Roberts is pretty exciting because they are both guys I know have got a great mentality and I think it's going to be an amazing fight. Kieran Rice is one of my top training partners and he's a very strong fighter and I'm really looking forward to his fight with Luke.
Obviously you've got AJ Russell as well. I spend a lot of time with him and do Thai with him outside of Andy's and he's going to be fighting and I'm really looking forward to that.
And do you have anything that you would like to add Gareth? Any message to send?
Basically I think that hopefully us guys at Andy Roberts are going to be putting to bed the idea that gi jiu jitsu isn't valid in today's MMA scene. We all train very heavily in the gi and I hope to demonstrate that it is still, and always has been a really REALLY important aspect and is incredibly relevant to MMA. Anybody that doesn't train in a gi is doing themselves a disservice, and that's what Andy Roberts BJJ are going to show people.
Who would you like to thank ahead of this fight?
Andy Roberts of course, Depesh Desai, Tom Hibbert and everyone at Andy's that I train with.
And last time we spoke you were hopelessly addicted to facebook. Has anything changed in the time between?
Well I have got a major caffeine addiction which I am suffering with at the moment! I have got a coffee machine which is constantly on-the-go, I don't know the difference between night and day anymore. I've been using it to help me with all the training but it's getting out of control now!
AddictedMMA would like to thank Gareth for giving us some of his valuable time and we would like to wish him all the best as fight night approaches. We cannot stress enough that Millar is truly one to watch, with skills and technique in abundance, he is a great example of what the guys at Andy Roberts BJJ are all about.
For more information on Shock N Awe 11 please follow the link:
Images 1,2 and 3 provided with permission from Little Red Creative
Published by Ruarie Farrelly - Mon, 9 Jul 2012 17:23