A Journey through Time and Space

Category: Interviews

An interview with Mark Millar, the comic book writer behind Kick-Ass.

This is an interview with Mark Millar, conducted on 17 December 2012 at precisely 5.21pm, I made a note of all this because the first thing Mark told me was how he was drunk, which strangely enough made me a shite-sight less nervous about the interview ahead.

For those who don’t know Mark is a heavyweight in the world of comic book writers, being the creator of Wanted (which was subsequently turned into a film with Angelina Jolie) Kick-Ass (which was subsequently turned into a film starring Nic Fuckin’ Cage) as well as working on Marvel and DC giants like Spiderman, The Avengers, Civil War, Superman and Wolverine. This was an interview ahead of the release of Hit-Girl in graphic novel form and was featured in FRONT magazine issue 178.

How are you Mark?

I’ve been working like a dog recently so I’ve decided to get drunk and lie around the house. This’ll be the worst interview ever for you.

I’m looking forward to this interview about 50% more actually… Hit-Girl after a run of 5 comics is coming out as a graphic novel, tell us a bit about that.

Hit-Girl is the first half of the Kick-Ass 2 movie.  The first 45 minutes is the Hit-Girl mini series, and the 2nd hour is Kick Ass 2 graphic novel. It’s an advanced look at the movie I guess.

Hit-Girl must be really fucking fun to write?

She is the most fun character ever to write. You basically write it like Death Wish or Punisher but you make it about a girl that’s smaller than Hannah Montana. It just writes itself. If you write a guy tying a bloke’s nuts to a car battery it’s seedy but if you do it with a 12 year old girl it seems to be alright.

Your comics have a tendency to be really graphically violent, Do you think comic books are more forgiving or accepting of this violence?

As a whole I think the comic book industry is quite conservative. Usually as bad as it gets is Spiderman punching the Green Goblin in the face.  The stuff I love like Garth Ennis’ Preacher and a lot of the British writers tend to be a bit more graphic. I’ll write something like a dog in a mask biting a guys balls off and to me I’ll think ah that’s fine, but when it goes out in America everyone is like WHAT?

Do you think about the film adaptations while writing the comics then?

I just think of it as a comic. I think if you try and second guess a movie you’ll end up making a crap comic, you’ve just got to make it as good as it can be. After Kick Ass came out people were saying “man you just do this for them to be made into movies.” But the opening scene of Kick Ass is a superhero having a wank! Then a wee girl cutting someone’s head off and calling them a cunt! On what planet is that trying to get a movie made?

What has made her such a success/ breakaway character?

Every now and then you create a character people really like and you have to just run with it, this is one of the times I got lucky. No one had really done this. As the father of two daughters I think it’s quite good that there’s stuff aimed at 13 year old girls that I could sit through and not hate. I’ve sat through Hannah Montana in 3D and if I can avoid shit like that then it’s all good.

As soon as I heard Hit-Girl say cunt I was on board.

In fact that’s when Matthew (Vaughn, Director) read that in the script he phoned me up and said “We gotta do this.” That was the line.

Was the plan to always do the mini series or was it inspired by the success?

If I’m honest it’s just because she’s so huge. She’s our Han Solo.

You once said in an interview “I don’t do happy endings”, is Kick Ass doomed before you even write the third book?

Well the third book will be my last one. My agent is saying “are you kidding me?” But I’ve always had that principle about writing. I don’t have an extravagant lifestyle; I don’t need to write stuff I don’t want to write. It might be a happy ending it might not be a happy ending, but it definitely ends with book three.

Anything else to add?

Nah I think that’s everything, I’m so drunk I think I’m just gonna have a lie down.

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An interview with Disclosure

This is an interview conducted in December 2012, with Guy and Howard Lawrence, the two brothers that make up Disclosure. They were talking over a speaker phone in a car on the way to a show somewhere up North and were super nice, even in spite of initially referring to them as Guy and Lawrence Howard. It was featured in FRONT magazine issue 178.

Disclosure
Name: Guy and Howard Lawrence
Age: 21, 18
Lives: Surrey
Job : Musician
Check out: This ultra sexy, albeit unofficial video for What’s in your head

Who are disclosure?

Guy: We are two brothers who make house and garage music. We’ve been making music for about 3 years and had a really good year playing shows, going around Europe, went to America had a tune called Latch which got into the top 15 which was amazing.

How did it all begin?

Howard: we started making beats when I was 15 and Guy was 18 and then we made these two tunes, put them on MySpace when that was still cool, and they got a ridiculous amount of feedback from managers and stuff. It then got posted on a few blogs, they got released on Moshi Moshi and we’ve been doing it ever since.

Highlights of 2012?

G: We’ve had some trips to Ibiza which were amazing, our first headline show in the UK, and the tour of America was good.

What’re you looking forward to 2013?

G: We just wanna finish the album, and we should be releasing that around March. We’re nearly halfway through writing and recording it, that’s the main priority. And yeah, just keep doing shows.

Favourite place to play? Best shows or festivals?

G: Ibiza was definitely a highlight, we did some amazing shows, we played in Space which was unbelievable. We played IMS (International Music Summit, Pete Tong’s festival) on top of a castle in Ibiza which was really great. Done some strange ones in Romania, which I’d never imagined going to before. And you just get treated so well, it’s great man.

Most mental thing to ever happen on the road/ show?

H: We played a show in Romania, at the Palace of Parliament which was Ceaușescu’s (the bastard communist leader of Romania) old house.  We ended up playing a show on the roof. It wasn’t very big, the palace is huge but it was in a building on top of the roof the crowd was about 300/400 people.

G: It was so good ‘cos all the Romanian people were having a party on top of their old dictators house, and it meant so much to them- they were like FUCK YOU Ceaușescu! So that was pretty amazing.

What’s the longterm goal?

G: Mainly nail the album and hope people enjoy it, keep improving our shows, that’s it for now really, we don’t like to look too far into the future.

Sibling rivalry?

G: Nah, we’re good man, we’re more like mates, we don’t really argue about anything it’s all pretty chilled. We send a lot of time together but it’s only bickering about little things now and again but not much. A lot of people say they can’t imagine working with their brother but it takes the right kind of people.

H: We’ve never had a full on fight. Yet.

Who’re some of your influences?

G: Jay Dilla, he passed away a few years ago but he’s a massive influence, his production is insane, we base most of our mixes around him. Zed bias, another old school garage DJ and he’s made SO MANY tunes. More recent people like Burial, Joy Orbison and Floating Points too, they’re all making newer housier and they’re the main 3 that made us get into production rather than just listening to music we actually thought lets make something.

Tell us about your artwork?

G: We used it for our first ever release, our manager’s friend at art school just drew the face, and we thought that’s quite cool we’ll use that. It came to the second release and we didn’t have any money so just used it again but with a different background. After we made our Soundcloud page I started putting the face onto things I liked, like Bond girls and scenes from films and stuff, people started getting into it. It became like a brand. It’s a really happy coincidence just lucky that it worked out really nicely.

disclosure scan

An interview with Jay Bentley, of Bad Religion fame.

This is an interview conducted in December 2012, with Jay Bentley the bassist and co-founder of punk rockers BAD RELIGION. It was featured in FRONT magazine issue 177.

 

Tell us a bit about True North?

Well it’s the 16th record, and we decided to make a more aggressive punk rock album like we used to, just writing what we wanted to do forever. The concept is- if you’re not gonna make the album that you want to make, and the best record of your career then why are you making it?

 

This is the 5th album back with Epitaph and back with Brett (Gurewitz, Bad Religion guitarist and songwriter, and founder of Epitaph records,) has that brought you guys closer?

I think so. Every record we make together is better as a band, and this one as a band everyone is comfortable with each other, and this is the longest lasting formation of Bad religion EVER. I think it shows.

 

33 years into your career as a rock star, is the lifestyle taking its toll?

It took it’s toll and I had to stop doing it for a while about 10 years ago I thought to myself, I just cant do this any more. But this year we didn’t play much and I started thinking “I miss this.”

 

Still got the same motivation and drive?

I think I’ve physically tried to be less motivated! I blew my knee out so I have to say to myself “I won’t jump around tonight” but then a few hours later; “oh shit, I’m jumping around, I’m hurting my knee, I don’t give a shit.” I try to rein it in but I can’t.

 

Still as anti establishment as ever?

When you’re 15 you’re this angry fifteen year old, I don’t have that same anger now, I’m more focused now. I know what I’m angry about. I was speaking to my mom last night on her 73rd  birthday, and she said “for the first time in my life I’m pissed off with politics, these people are all fuckers” and I said “Mom, you should start a punk rock band.”

 

Has the concept of rebellion left music?

It’s still there. I think the genre has switched- a guy like Frank Turner is way more punk rock than most of the “punk rock” bands coming out. The bands that are coming out now just want to be wildly popular. Punk rock was never meant to be a commercial success and when it became that it changed the people who got involved and wanted to make this music. I noticed that shift a few years ago on Warped Tour when every other band was like “YEAH MAN PARTY TIME, LOOK AT MY BOOBS!”

 

Did you ever think as a band you guys would become as iconic as you have done?

No. Hahaha! No, at the time we started out being a punk rocker in the San Fernando Valley wasn’t cool and people would literally stop their car, get out and beat the shit out of you. Punk rock was just a way to vent frustration, hide and be a part of something that was really small.

 

Is that why you became so successful?

Success is such a hard idea to determine. If I knew why we were successful then I’d write a book as to why we were successful and be a multi millionaire. It’s completely subjective. We just stayed around long enough for people to find us. Bands get together but get tired of playing in front of five people so they give up, we just never gave up.

 

In the 30 odd years you’ve been around the biggest change has probably been the switch to digital. Thoughts?

It’s just progress. It can’t be good or bad it just is. If you have an opinion on it you just become Lars Ulrich. You can’t be like: “digital’s fucked it’s killing music!” FUCK YOU MAN! No one cares what you think!

 

2013?

The record comes out, we tour the states in March, come to Europe to June, back to Europe in August, we’re working on UK shows right now. After that Greg goes back to teaching at Cornell, so the end of the year patters downs to one offs, weekends, parties, backyard BBQs that sort of thing.

 

Will you ever call it a day?

Sometimes Greg will say: “Thanks for 30 great years, this might be the last time you ever see us.” And I always smile ‘cos we’re just day-by-day-ing it now. It’s nice to have that freedom. We’re not gonna drag it all out, it’s just gonna be over and that’s it. Done. Thanks a lot. See you later. Or not.

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The Library Barbers club of Southsea

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Opening its doors just four months ago The Library Barbers Club of Southsea has taken the stylish Portsmouth town by storm, delivering the highest quality in service and good old fashioned gents grooming.

Josh C. Smith’s vision of the classic barbers, with the added elegance and personal touch of a top London salon has brought a breath of fresh air to the Southsea scene. I took a seat in the chair for a trim and to talk about his first business venture.

At just 24 years Josh has been a professional hairdresser for the past 7 years, starting his apprenticeship in Chichester Josh went on to work in London at the L’Oreal studio while entering competitions in the Capital. Since then Josh has decided to come back down south and open up the Barbers Club in the city he calls home.

After looking into both London and Brighton Josh decided Portsmouth was where he should set up shop; “London would’ve been great but it’s hard to be different. Here it’s something new and fresh, it fits the bill so well. I knew this is what I wanted my place to look like. I looked at Brighton too, but it all added up to come home.

“I think the Southsea scene is a huge part in my initial success. It fits in with the Southsea lifestyle and I couldn’t have asked for a better response. It’s exactly what the town needed I think, and I’ve been quite lucky really. I hate the word, but the trendy lot is who first came in, but I’m now getting the older gents, wanting the classic cuts and services like my hot towel shave.”

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My time in the shop is different to many other salons on the south coast, Josh’s personaltouches like offering me a coffee or beer on arrival, to remembering my last haircut and twitter handle through which I booked the appointment, stick out in my mind as a chap who not only delivers high quality grooming but actually cares about the customers of his now thriving business- which can be no mean feat. Before I know it an hour has passed in a blur of chit-chat from co-attended music festivals and HBO programming, but there’s never a rush in Southsea.

“The slower pace of the Library Barbers is definitely to do with Southsea, you couldn’t get this chilled and laid back in London. That why I call it The Barbers Club, I’m not a salon or in-out talcum powder barbers shop. I have something better than that here- this is a Club where likeminded gents can get their hair cut, you know?”

The shop obviously sits well with today’s trends in male hair and grooming, the side partings, big quiffs and slick backs, the inspiration Josh says coming from the timeless cuts of the 1920s.

“The 20-30s hairstyles have always been a huge influence on me- my first ever competition entry was a bowl cut. A lot of it seems to be stemming from Boardwalk Empire, and the likes of The Arctic Monkeys and even Joey Barton. It’s good to me cos it’s what I want to cut and better than the 90s cuts. Barton loves a quiff and The Smiths and that sort of scene, Alex Turner- his hair is ridiculous at the moment! That huge ducks arse is sick. The same goes for Jimmy Darmody, the severe sides and back is so simple and just so cool.

“In terms of the future, granted at the minute we got the quiffs and slicks, but there’s never any cuts that are in or out of fashion, people can get away with a lot more now and do what they want with their hair, gone are the days of French crops and highlighted tips. In terms of what’s next I honestly can’t say, but the traditional cuts are going to stay for a long while now they’re never going to stop looking cool.”

The Library barbers is currently a one man band but Josh isn’t ruling out expanding the Club, but it must stay true to his mission statement to bring traditional practices back to the South coast.

“My brother helps with publicity and so on, but it’s just me in the shop, I’m getting really busy and booked up which is nice. Before anything else though I want people to know me and my service first and then I can start to ingrain those methods onto other hairdressers.

I do want to expand; I’ve thought about Chichester or Brighton, or a unisex Library too and adapting it to a full salon. Whatever happens I will make sure it’s a success.”

Find Josh @LibraryBarbers or on FacebookImage

Daniel, a gambling addict.

Addiction attacks people in a number of different ways, it can grab you by the balls and pull you in from the first taste, or it can just be a small vice that creeps up on you, gradually dragging you down without you even noticing it. Daniel has been a gambling addict for the past 4 years. And his case concerns the second stereotype, a clamp slowly crushing tighter and on his wallet, but having repercussions elsewhere in his personal life.

Sat across from me in a poorly lit booth of a dingy Portsmouth pub, Daniel, 23, sips a pint of fizzy lager and explains his first experience with gambling: “I was about 15 and working in staples, and my manager who played online poker introduced me to it. I gave him money which he’d put into my account and I’d just play small stakes, but at work that was all we spoke about.”

The small stakes poker progressed as Daniel grew older and it became legal for him to bet, while joining university was the next step up, he was free to visit the casino or bookies when he pleased and had larger disposable income to play with from his student loan.

Soon as I turned 18, and was a fresher at Portsmouth University I went to the casino about 20 metres away from my halls. I signed up and played in a poker tournament, during the break I lost at least 50 quid on the other tables just but remember absolutely loving it. Playing poker live is so much better than online. I was hooked from there.”

Dr Trisha Macnair stated in 2010 thatthere may be as many as 350,000 people in the UK who have some sort of significant problem with gambling.” And there are a number of reasons people get hooked, from the thrill of winning cash to a love for the sequences of numbers found within card games such as Blackjack and the statistics involved with roulette. For Daniel it was, simply put, everything:  “I love everything about it- there’s one hand and you can play it a million different ways, it’s never the same, you can win big money, but you can bluff someone with the shittest hand and just ride the thrill of it”

“You go to the bookies every Saturday and put your money on bets for the football, the odds are ridiculous, but you just put it on for the fun of it, for the thrill, it only costs you a pound and it makes your experience of Saturday watching the football so much better- cos’ everyone looks at their bets and goes ‘Ah I’m 3 matches away from a grand!’. Then everything comes down to the last 10 minutes and it just makes your day that much more exciting. But then obviously, while you’re putting your bets on, you put more money in the machines.”

But eventually like now I just have to go and do it, I don’t even care if I win- unless it’s substantial then there’s no point. Me putting £20 in a machine, I’m not going to leave unless it’s with £60.

But if I loose the 20 it’s gone and then I start thinking about what I could’ve spent it on- food, drink, rent, bills. But in the moment you don’t think about that at all you just play, and it just happens. And that bit is the problem.”

With gambling comes the ups and downs of winning and losing money, sometimes you get both rushes in the space of an evening. There have been loads of times when I’ve regretted what I’ve played. I turned £20 into £500 or £600 playing blackjack, just out of luck. By twenty minutes until the casino closed I’d racked up so much they turned my £25 chips into £100 chips and you don’t know what a £100 chip is until it’s in your hand. It’s just a bit of plastic. So I started, gambling stupid, betting £100 a hand and obviously just fucked myself over.

I lost the whole lot in 5 hands. So I’m only 20 down but I’m telling myself I’m £600 down- now that’s two months’ rent. I went and took out another ton from the cash machine, and told myself I have to do it. I turned it back into 600 and said to myself you lucky bastard.”

“In my first year of university I won a £1200 poker tournament, I’ve won over five grand while studying, playing poker, but lost way more playing blackjack and roulette. I’ve had really bad runs, six or seven nights a week and just getting unlucky and it’s ruined me. There’s nothing you can do about it except for come back the next day, but then in the same sense you get good luck and you have to ride that too.

It’s not just cards and the football Daniel puts money on, his gambling has overflowed into his personal life, he takes calculated risks almost every day: whether it be playing a friendly round of golf and putting a tenner into a kitty for the winner; womanising and pushing his luck with multiple girls just for the thrill and risk of getting caught, the ramifications of which could be greater than a huge monetary loss; and even his appearance, a bet gone awry leave him staring at me with multiple chunks of his eyebrow missing.

Daniel however claims that he doesn’t need to gamble: “When I have no money I don’t NEED to gamble, but when I’ve got cash I can’t not walk past and go in. It’s like tractor beams on me.”

Finding ways to stop gambling has also been a challenge for Daniel. “Ironically I’ve had bets with people not to gamble. ‘If I go in and gamble a penny you have control of my facebook…’ ‘If I gamble I owe you this much…’ and of course if I have a bet with someone I don’t want to lose that bet- because I’m a gambler!”

Daniel concludes “you always need good people around you; if friends aren’t with you to pull you out and stop you when you need them most then you’re completely fucked.”

Scroobius Pip on MMA

Scroobius Pip is a mixed martial arts fanatic after discovering the sport around seven years ago whilst working in HMV, and when he’s not fulfilling his role as one half of British Hip-Hop duo, Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip, he Tweets the latest action from all pay per views and was kind enough to chat with me about his thoughts on the latest action in the world of MMA.


Who do you think are the rising stars of the sport, or people to keep an eye on?

Tough one really, as they’re all falling at the wayside recently, I really thought Ryan Bader was gonna be up there, although everyone expected Jon Jones to walk through him I believe he had what it took to stop Jones, because he’s got a great wrestling base and very heavy hands.

What about from the UK?

I think, from a British point of view, Ross Pearson is a great and someone that can push through, he’s looking strong.

Do you think the British fighters have the potential to be as big as the Americans and Brazilians?

Sadly what most of the British fighters will have as their main base is boxing or kickboxing just because it’s always been popular over here, but at the moment you need the stronger wrestling or BJJ base.

Saying that, Bisping has actually got a really good ground game and is a very solid wrestler and his ground and pound is great too, so he can dominate on the deck.

We’re at a time where you’re getting people training in MMA, it’s been around long enough now, so there’s definitely tonnes of potential for the Brits.

Speaking of Bisping, what did you think of the knee incident to Rivera a couple of weeks back?

I thought he exposed himself to be a right dickhead to be perfectly honest!

I wasn’t impressed; if you are that emotional it can be tough, it was more the spitting at him afterwards, continuing the verbal game that’s just shameful and he just seems to be his own worst enemy.

What fights in the near future are you looking forward to?

There are loads! Jon Jones vs Rua, I just don’t know where to put my money there. I think Jones is great but slightly untested, he’s always been able to do his thing, he’s never met anyone that can stop him a bit, and I’d quite like to see how he reacts when he does ‘cause he is quite inexperienced.

Outside of the UFC I’m really looking forward to Dailey vs Diaz, because I love Diaz’s style. He’s so bizarre and abrasive. But I feel like Paul Dailey can just knock anyone out now at any time, so it’s really interesting to see Diaz’s chin tested against Dailey.

What do you think of the idea of GSP vs Silva?

I really don’t know! GSP’s built for Welterweight. And he would have to give up the belt he’s won, give up his impressive unbeaten record to go up and fight someone bigger than him, and he’ll have to be the underdog going into that fight, and why should he have to do that?

Saying that, he’s cleaned out the rest of the division, so there’s a lot of argument for it, although personally I’d rather see Sonnen get another shot at the Middleweight title. Or if Jon Jones does well in the Light Heavyweight then perhaps Silva who’s fought there before move up in class.

GSP hasn’t got an ounce of fat on him, he’s the perfect Welterweight, I’d love to see it obviously, but it’s a massive ask of GSP, almost disrespectful to someone who’s done so well and dominated to say, “well that’s not good enough, we want to see you beat a bigger bloke, who’s dominated even more”.

Catch Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip at this year’s Bestival Festival on the Isle of Whight, where he’s also curating 2 days of spoken word poetry in the new Ambient Forest.

An interview with Marc Goddard

Marc Goddard, the UFC’s only British referee has had a brilliant career both as a fighter and looking after them in the Octogon after his debut in 2008 at UFC 89, but Marc’s career as a ref started much earlier.

After a successful career fighting marc says “I became injured and was due to fight on a show but couldn’t so the promo asked could you just help me out and ref and the rest, as they say, is history!”

The UFC had their eyes on him for a while, and after doing their background research decided to put Marc in the UFC 70 card, but took him off at the last minute as his fighting career hadn’t come to a halt just yet. It was then he asked himself “what am I doing?” and decided that being an official was the road to go down.

Obviously the job is incredibly stressful, with a lot resting on Marc’s shoulders and millions of unforgiving fans staring at him through their TV screens, but Marc takes it all in his stride stating “Nothing changes to me; they give me my assignments, I sit down for 5 minutes and try to clear my head, I let the fight play out in front of me, and protect the fighters. It’s simple but will never let me down”.

Marc's first main event at UFC105

Marc did mention the fight that meant the most to him was his first main event: “UFC 105, in Manchester. It was Randy [Couture] vs. [Brandon] Verra, to be given that responsibility and recognition is a huge deal as well as refereeing one of the biggest legends of the sport was a massive moment for me.”

Speaking of the UK scene and it’s ever growing popularity Marc said : “It’s seen a massive burst in popularity, at the moment we’re getting one big show a year and it shows no signs of slowing down but I think the fans would love to see more!”

An Interview with Scroobius Pip.

Just over a week ago I had the pleasure of talking Scroobius Pip about all things MMA for part of a feature writing unit, you can read about the experience here.

So, without further ado here it is!

When did you first take an interest in MMA?

Probably about 7-8 years ago, I was working in HMV and we had a lot of DVDs started coming in and I started buying them and having a look. It was when Tito, Chuck and Randy were all having their big fights, so I then became completely addicted and obsessed!

As MMA rises in popularity what do you think has triggered it, especially over here in the UK?

I think it’s gonna keep rising in the UK, it’s basically where the starting point of where the US were a few years back, with people realising gradually that it’s not just meatheads in a cage beating each other up, that it’s a sport and there are rules and a technique and there is an art to it. It is a legitimate sport.

Who do you think are the rising stars of the sport, or people to keep an eye on?

Tough one really, as they’re all falling at the wayside recently, I mean I really thought Ryan Bader was gonna be up there, I think he will, although everyone expected Jon Jones to walk through him I believe he had what it took to stop Jones, because he’s got a great wrestling base and very heavy hands.

Also the older George Sotiropoulos- his BJJ is just ridiculous.

What about from the UK?

I think, from a British point of view, Ross Pearson is a great and someone that can push through, I also think it’s good that he had a loss kind of early in her career, it can be tough for fighters to go undefeated for ages and not really experience that, and he’s looking strong.

Do you think the British fighters such as Ross Pearson, Andre Winner and Michael Bisping have the potential to be as big as the Americans and Brazilians?

Sadly what most of the British fighters will have as their main base is boxing or kickboxing just because it’s always been popular over here, but at the moment you need the stronger wrestling or BJJ base. Over here we don’t have a big history of wrestling in schools like they do in The States or BJJ like in Brazil obviously, but I think it’s a gradual thing and I think we will develop.

Saying that, Bisping has actually got a really good ground game and is a very solid wrestler and his ground and pound is great too, so he can dominate on the deck.

We’re at a time where you’re getting people training in MMA, it’s been around long enough now that it’s not necessarily just a boxer moving into Mixed Martial Arts but people starting training MMA, with all BJJ, wrestling and stand up combined, so there’s definitely tonnes of potential for the Brits.

Speaking of Bisping, what did you think of the knee incident to Rivera a couple of weeks back?

I thought he exposed himself to be a right dickhead to be perfectly honest!

I wasn’t impressed; I can understand his point when he said it was unintentional with a lot of people saying it was [intentional]. It’s that weird, where the line of culpability is for it? If you are that fired up he should have known what he was doing, but if you are that emotional it can be tough. I think it was more the spitting at him afterwards, continuing the verbal game that’s just shameful and he just seems to be his own worst enemy.

I thought after the Wanderlei fight and the interview in the ring he did I really thought he was really respectful and it was like “Yes! This is a turnaround for Bisping!” because he is a great fighter and he was humble, obviously having the big loss to Dan Henderson a while before that, but as soon as he got to the press conference he started going on about how Wanderlei would be celebrating in a gay bar tonight and I thought “Oh shut up Bisping, why did you have to go and ruin it?”

But he’s a tough character, and there are talks about him taking on Sonnen, in the UK maybe, as I’m a big fan of Sonnen and think he’s a great fighter.

What fights in the near future are you looking forward to?

There are loads! Jon Jones vs Rua, I just don’t know where to put my money there. I think Jones is great but slightly untested although that sounds stupid, he’s generally come out and always been able to do his thing, he’s never met anyone that can stop him a bit, and I’d quite like to see how he reacts when he does ‘cause he is quite inexperienced.

I want to see how Shogun does as well, it wasn’t until Shogun won the title that he really proved that he was up to his old standard, he’s had a few unconvincing wins, followed by his domination of Machida for the title, but he’s coming off an injury, so that’s a really difficult fight to call.

But there’s a lot of amazing fights out there at the moment, the next TUF with Junior Dos Santos vs Brock Lesnar, Edgar Maynard 3.

Outside of the UFC I’m really looking forward to Dailey vs Diaz, which should be a really good fight, because I love Diaz’s style. He’s so weird and bizarre and abrasive, he’ll land about 100 punches in a round but they won’t be hard, they’ll just wear you down then build up ‘til he knocks you out. But I feel like Paul Dailey can just knock anyone out now at any time, so it’s really interesting to see Diaz’s chin tested against Dailey. Also Diaz is amazing on the ground but I really think he’ll just stand toe to toe and bang with Dailey, he’s that cocky and weird and it’ll make a great fight.

I’m also looking forward to GSP vs Shields; I think it’ll be a great technical battle. And it might end up being booed by the commercial fans, Shields is one of the best, although his wrestling isn’t the same as Kos or the like- it’s more adapted to MMA.

What do you think of the idea of GSP vs Silva?

I really don’t know! GSP’s frame is not a Middleweight- he’s built for Welterweight. And he would have to give up the belt he’s won, give up his impressive unbeaten record to go up and fight someone bigger than him, and he’ll have to be the underdog going into that fight, and why should he have to do that?

GSP hasn’t got an ounce of fat on him, he’s the perfect Welterweight, I’d love to see it obviously, but it’s a massive ask of GSP, almost disrespectful to someone who’s done so well and dominated to say, “well that’s not good enough, we want to see you beat a bigger bloke, who’s dominated even more”.

Saying that, it’s tough as he’s cleaned out the rest of the division, so there’s a lot of argument for it, although personally I’d rather see Sonnen get another shot at the Middleweight title. Or if Jon Jones does well in Light Heavyweight then perhaps Silva who’s fought there before could move up in class.