When it comes to mixed martial arts, Maryland welterweight fighter Cole Presley couldn’t have picked a much better fighter to emulate than former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
“I once heard GSP say ‘in racing you need a good driver and a good car. If you have a very good car but a bad driver, you’re not going to win the race. If you have a very good driver and a bad car, you’re not going to win either. So I have a good car and a good driver, which is even more important,’” said Presley, who fights with Clinch Academy in Frederick and is fighting for the inaugural Shogun Fights welterweight title on April 18 in Baltimore.
“This quote couldn’t be truer and speaks volumes on the philosophy of conditioning in MMA,” Presley said. “I am a full time union pipe fitter, so I must balance my career and my MMA training carefully or else it can wear on me mentally.”
Presley squares off against Micah Terrill for the Shogun Fights welterweight title after previously competing as a lightweight. He believes a step up in weight class will work to his advantage.
“I have put on some extra muscle, but I am trying to be careful about it so my athleticism carries over to the welterweight division,” Presley said. “I have always been a big lightweight being that I am 6’1 and usually cut from 175 pounds.”
Presley has been a martial arts fan since childhood and was introduced to MMA after ordering the UFC 36 pay-per-view (without his mother’s permission). He first competed in judo and kempo kickboxing, and started his amateur MMA career in 2007. Presley’s mother isn’t the only member of his family to agonize over his decision to embrace MMA.
“My family hates the fact that I fight, but unfortunately for them it is my passion,” Presley said. “My dad’s favorite sport is golf, so that gives you an idea of how different our sports worlds are.”
Presley is very confident leading into his fight against Terrill, which he attributes to his training camp. “Training has been going great,” he said. “I am injury free and I have been doing conditioning and strength training for a steady six weeks now. I have done limited sparring, which has been optional, but I plan on picking up the pace with live sparring within the next few weeks.
“I have also started my sprinting routine this week and have begun focusing on technique training,” Presley added. “This next month is where it all comes together and I plan on peaking the week of the fight, which is a very relaxed week leading up to weigh-ins and the fight itself.”
Presley plans to take full advantage of the opportunities provided to him by Shogun Fights, especially since he’s giving himself a limited window in MMA.
“I am 28 years old and I have no plans on fighting past 35, so I plan on making the most of the several years I have left,” he said.