‘I will finish the fight’ – Webb on Cage Warriors world title tilt with Robertsen
It’s not unusual to hear an athlete training for a big event say they ‘live in the gym’. But for James Webb, as he prepares for a world title shot, that is literally true.
Colchester’s Webb will meet Norway’s Thomas Robertsen for the middleweight belt at Cage Warriors 102 at the O2 on March 2 and is preparing, as he always does, by living and training at the famed SBG Swords gym in Dublin, sleeping on a sofa bed.
“It feels normal now,” said the 28-year-old (5-1), who’s riding a four-fight winning streak, all by stoppage. “Everyone says to me ‘what are you doing?’ but I do it because I want to do something different with my life, I want to be a world champion.
“Sometimes it’s freezing, but I don’t care – I don’t want to be anything apart from being very good at fighting.”
Webb earned his title shot by stopping vaunted slugger Jason Radcliffe in the first round of Cage Warriors 99 in Colchester last November, prompting promotion president Graham Boylan to tip him for the top.
And now the title tilt is confirmed, Webb has every intention of once more stepping up to the plate on the biggest stage of his career so far, against the 7-1 Robertsen.
“I finish people, and I’ll do the same thing here,” he said. “He’s exciting, and he’s fast – he’s good, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I’m expecting a good fight.
“But all my wins are finishes, and I’m not planning to stop now. Each time I fight I’m getting bigger and bigger opportunities. Now I’m main event in London – and each time the ante ups, I get better.
“People talk about being mentally tough but I know Iam – I live in a gym! I don’t know how it will end, but I will finish the fight, it won’t go five rounds.”
With a title belt around his waist Webb – who also trains at ZR Team Essex when he comes home – could justifiably look at following in the footsteps of the likes of Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping and Dan Hardy as Cage Warriors champions who have gone on to superstardom in the world-famous UFC.
But he’s in no rush to make the jump. “The UFC is something that I’ve thought about for my whole career,” he explained. “That’s something that I want to do, of course – but it has to be the right time.
“If it comes after this fight, or I have to defend the belt, then so be it. I’ll just keep on proving my worth by fighting the best guys that I can, and hopefully that impresses someone!”
One thing that certainly won’t change, should Webb clinch Cage Warriors gold, are his living arrangements – world champion or not, Webb will still be sleeping on a sofa bed in a freezing cold gym.
“Yeah, definitely” he said. “The rent in Dublin is too much! As long as the guys are happy for me to be here, then that’s great.
“It’s that hunger which is making me a success - it’s got me to where I am and I don’t think I’ll stop!”
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