Ricky Wright drops by for a Natter!
BritFights caught up with the rather comical Ricky Wright who is a master of many different trades. By night he is an MC for Shock n Awe; by day a Carer and at times has been known to train and fight as well! How he fitted in the time to speak to us, we don’t know but we are glad he did.
We wanted to know how Ricky got into MMA in the first place and he tells us that it was watching the UFC. Ricky says watching from the side lines is never enough for him. When he was into rock music he had to learn an instrument and start a band and with MMA he felt he had to write, fight and MC.
As a fighter Ricky is undefeated and he trains out of the most active team in Wales, Tillery Combat. At 26 his fight nickname is Ricky ‘Overhand’ Wright but he tells us it isn’t because he has a good right hand but merely because this is the only punch he can land! When it comes to fighting, Ricky says he likes to fight anyone who is an equal match and has been lucky so far as both his fights have been matched fairly and have gone the distance.
Most friends and family are supportive of their loved ones but we had to laugh when we asked Ricky how his felt. A direct quote from Ricky’s mother ‘the only time Ricky will ever step foot inside a cage again is with a mic and a tux – he is not bloody fighting’! Apparently Ricky’s girlfriend feels the same way. So maybe this is the end of his fighting spree or perhaps he will grace the cage again – watch this space!
Training is tough for Ricky when he is fighting as he trains twice a day as often as he can in any given week but in between fights he struggles to fit training in around his work as he works most afternoons as a Carer, a job that he loves. Having to work most weekends, it is heart breaking for Ricky when he has to turn down top shows because he is working and tells us he needs at least two months’ notice to be booked for anything. He is looking to drop some hours and get more weekends off so we may be seeing more of Ricky in the not too distant future. As for fighting, it isn’t too hard to juggle as he only wants one fight a year as he says he hasn’t got the motivation to be a full time fighter as he isn’t naturally gifted or a physical specimen! Being in shape for one night a year is quite enough for Ricky! Saying that, he does add that if it wasn’t for MMA, he would probably be working in Asda announcing bargains on the tannoy and I quote ‘as a buy one get one free on andrex toilet tissue in aisle 3’!
Ricky works on Shock n Awe and has MC’d for them since the first show years ago. Of Shock n Awe, Ricky says they have gone from strength to strength and they have every right to boast of being one of the top shows in the UK. We have only managed to get to Shock n Awe once but we certainly think the show is awesome and hope to attend next year.
In his role as MC, Ricky must see some fantastic fights and get to know fighters quite well. We wondered if he had an all-time favourite fight and if he finds it hard to remain neutral. He tells us that his favourite fight and the one that sticks out the most in his mind is the Rocci Williams v Alexei Roberts fight on Shock n Awe, as the atmosphere in the venue during the fight was amazing and both fighters went to war for three rounds. When it comes to remaining neutral, Ricky says he doesn’t find it hard at all. He is very friendly with a lot of fighters and has announced them many times and says they kind of feed off of each other. The example he gives is James Brum who always gets into the introduction which makes it more fun for Ricky. Even if Ricky can’t stand a fighter he always gives it 100% when announcing, after all it is his job and the fighters deserve a great intro.
When we look at other MC’s in the business we wondered if Ricky looks up to any and he says first and foremost he looks up to Andy Sledge who put the idea in his head. Also, Aaron Chatfield for hooking him up. Jonathan Millard and Darren Rees are much underrated and deserve more recognition in Ricky’s opinion. He says the smoothest in the business are Shadd Dales and Joe Martiniez and Bret Freeman who he calls the human mirror ball, clad from head to toe in glitz and glammer! Ricky also mentions Paul Booth who is constantly encouraging him and giving him advice. But I was wondering when we would get to Bruce Buffer…………..Ricky says he is his hero and no one announces fights with more passion than the veteran voice of the octagon. Ricky says it gives him a tingly spine. He would also like us to give a special mention to Kermit the Frog who he says is a true inspiration!!
Being in front of so many people it must be nerve wracking getting in the cage and announcing people, especially those with more exotic sounding names but Ricky says he doesn’t get nervous anymore although if the occasion is big he does shake a little. His worst fear is getting a ‘roided up’ fighters name wrong and the fighter taking him out with a left hook or something! Thankfully Ricky hasn’t had too many embarrassing moments but on a recent event the DJ forget to tell him that the order of the fights had changed. It wasn’t Ricky’s fault but he announced the wrong fighter and as he says it is always the MC left standing in the cage looking stupid when it happens.
Ricky tells us his favourite part of the job is the respect he gets from fighters and fans of the sport. But the worst is collecting his notes when fighters lie about their height and record. He tells us that when he is 5’6” and a fighter is shorter than him, there is no way he is 5’9”! It annoys him when fighters lie about their records because half the time Ricky will have announced them a few weeks ago and knows they are not undefeated as he saw them get knocked out!!!
Other than MMA Ricky follows rugby and could watch any game no matter who was playing. He also loves ten pin bowling and tells us he is getting really good, even managing to play with the sides down now! What Ricky wants to know, is how long it will take for Bret Freeman to be wearing bowling shoes in the cage. As Ricky says a whole new level of style right there. We shall definitely ask Bret about this but imagine they would have to be custom made with sparkles galore!
So many people say that MMA is dangerous and needs regulating in the UK. Ricky says he would love to see the sport regulated and supports any attempt by genuine people to make it happen. He says MMA is dangerous, so regulation is needed but adds it is only as dangerous as any other contact sport. He continues to say that more people die from competitive cheer leading than in MMA and no one wants to ban that and also the red bull cliff diving takes some balls and Ricky says if you are blood thirsty and like KO’s that is another sport for you!
Looking to the future, Ricky says he is on the verge of getting a Master of Ceremonies license with the BBBoC. He applied last year and even though they said they would grant him a license they said he would have to give up announcing in other contact sport. Ricky told them he couldn’t give up MMA and they are now considering their position so things are looking up. If the license is granted it will open the door to work on boxing events which will be great for Ricky as he already has many boxing promoters asking for his availability. He has also signed up with a huge MMA show that will be launched next year so at present is still a secret. As well as the MC work, Ricky is writing a book on Welsh MMA that he hopes to self-publish at some point next year.
As Ricky says, he has exciting times ahead of him and has come a long way already. We have enjoyed speaking to him and look forward to seeing him in action next year. So thank you from us to Ricky and Ricky would like to close with the following thanks:
“Thanks to my mother Joyce who has always supported me in everything I do (except fight). . My girlfriend, Becky for putting up with me when I have delusions of grandeur and can’t stop shutting up about how awesome I am. Also thanks to Richard Shore and all at Tillery Combat. And any promoter who has booked me for a show and has supported me. Oh and yourself for taking time out to write up some cool questions”.