x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Wain wants to be a provider

The British fighter hopes victory over Marcos Oliveira tonight will edge him closer to ensuring him and his family never have to work again.

Neil Wain, left, has respect for Marcos Oliveira and his game and expects the crowd to cheer for his UAE-based opponent in today’s fight. But Wain is nevertheless confident of winning.
Neil Wain, left, has respect for Marcos Oliveira and his game and expects the crowd to cheer for his UAE-based opponent in today’s fight. But Wain is nevertheless confident of winning.

ABU DHABI // Neil Wain hopes victory over Marcos Oliveira tonight will edge him closer to ensuring him and his family never have to work again.

The British fighter takes on the Abu Dhabi resident tonight in the semi-final of the competition which will see the winner walk away with a prize of Dh1 million.

Wain, 32, currently works as a security guard in the north of England and will use his partner, his daughter and his two step daughter as motivation at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre this evening.

"It's a lot of money and it would change my life," Wain said.

"If I'm being brutally honest, I just want to make enough money so me and my family don't have to work again.

"I won't be thinking about the money, though. I'm experienced enough that I'll just go out and do the job if you perform well, the money looks after itself."

Standing in between Wain and a place in the final against either Shamil Abdurahimov and Sokoudjou Nkamhoua, who meet in the second semi-final tonight, is Oliveira, the Brazilian.

He made a huge impression in the first round, taking just 17 seconds to defeat Johan Romming in what was the shortest fight in ADFC history.

"He is a big lad and he has a good ground game," Wain said.

"It was difficult to tell anything from his first fight as it finished so early. But I've got my strengths and I'd like to think I'm dangerous in all areas. I'm prepared for anything. I've been training hard and I'm ready for a tough hard fight.

"I'm in great shape and I'm ready for this to go the distance. I've trained for three hard rounds. I had a fight six weeks ago in the UK and I won it on a decision so I'm in good shape.

"It is a big, big fight and I'm really excited."

Asked if he expects the crowd, who will be supporting Oliveira who fights for the Abu Dhabi Combat Club, to play a part tonight, Wain said: "No, not all. It will hopefully be a big crowd and I will thrive off that.

Absent from the crowd will be Wain's partner. "She started to watch me at the beginning but she gets really nervous now and hasn't come with me here.

"She'll probably watch it on the website."

Known as 'Old Skool', Wain must be considered the favourite tonight. A practitioner of wrestling and jiu-jitsu, the British Total Combat Ultimate Force Heavyweight champion has finished all of his fights so far by KO or TKO.

He made his professional mixed martial arts debut in November 2006 and scored four straight victories fighting for the Ultimate Force and Goshin Ryu MMA Championships promotions.

All four of his victories have come by way of knockout in the first round.

Oliveira, though, is no slouch and he is the Brazilian Pan American champion.

In the other bout, Abdurahimov will face off against Nkamhoua, the Cameroonian 2001 US Judo Open champion.

In addition to the two main fights there will also be nine other bouts, with fighters from Iraq, Iran, India and Canada going head to head.

Hassan al Rumaithi, the Emirati MMA champion, will be action as will other favourites from round one, including Miaco Reiter, Abdullah Abou Hamdan, Malik Omarov and Tam Khan. Mohammed Ahli, the Emirati fighter who trains in Dubai, will also be in action.

kaffleck@thenational.ae

The fighters

Marcos “Santa Cruz” Oliveira
Class: Heavyweight
Nationality: Brazil
Age: 31
Style: Grappling, Wrestling, Jiu-jitsu & Judo
Record (by KO): 5 (3 KO) - 1 - 0

Neil “Old Skool” Wain
Class: Heavyweight
Nationality: United Kingdom
Age: 32
Style: Wrestling & Jiu-jitsu
Record (by KO): 7 (6 KO) - 2 - 0
Titles: Total Combat Ultimate Force Heavyweight champion

Shamil “Rostov-on-Don” Abdurahimov
Class: Heavyweight
Nationality: Russian Federation
Age: 28
Style: Striker
Record (by KO): 9 (4 KO) - 1- 0
Titles: 5X champion (Russia)

Sokoudjou “The African Assassin” Nkamhoua
Class: Light Heavyweight
Nationality: Cameroon
Age: 26
Style: Kickboxing, Boxing & Judo
Record (by KO): 8 (6 KO) - 6 - 0
Titles: 2001 US Judo Open

Details

When: From 7pm today
Where: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
Prize money: Eventual champion will receive Dh1 million
Tickets: Dh250-1,600 at Virgin Mega Stores, Time Out Tickets and www.boxofficeme.com
Bouts:
• Shamil Abdurahimov v Sokoudjou Nkamhoua
• Neil Wain v Marcos Oliveira