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Silent but violent

PLAUDITS: Mills

FOR THE majority of fighters, trash-talking, taunting and calling out opponents comes with the territory but one mixed marital artist finds those processes unnecessary.

Gloucester native Che Mills takes on Rory MacDonald at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 145 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on April 22 and instead of verbally abusing his opponent, Mills prefers to let his actions do the talking.

The 29-year-old welterweight told the Voice of Sport: “From a young age I was taught if you’re good at something you don’t need to tell the world. Everyone can see it for themselves. Self-praise is no recommendation.

“I’ve never called anyone out before or bad-mouthed anyone. Literally, I’m just one of those guys who they [the UFC] phone and say ‘this is who you’re fighting’ and I’m like ‘cool, let’s do it’.

On his UFC debut at the LG Arena in Birmingham on November 5, Mills – who has a record of 14 wins (seven KOs and four submissions) and four losses - took just 40 seconds to dispose of Chris Cope. The performance earned Mills knockout -of-the-night plaudits and has helped to stabilise him financially.

“I was struggling day-to-day, I was working rubbish jobs just so I can train, and I was thinking ‘is it all a waste of time?’” admitted the former Cage Rage titleholder.

“Life’s not really a struggle anymore at the moment whereas before, fighting on the British circuit, it was hard to live.”


IN THE THICK OF IT: The 29-year-old in action

With UFC welterweight titlist George St. Pierre sidelined with a knee injury, the 12 stone division has been left wide open and a victory over MacDonald will catapult Mills right into the mix. But he refuses to overlook the threat of MacDonald.

“He’s very well rounded first of all. Everyone’s talking about him saying he’s the future champion. I rate him myself but as good as he is, he’s still a man. That’s the way I look at every fight.”

UFC 145 will be headlined by former training partners turned bitter rivals Rashad Evans and Jon Jones, who fight for the UFC light-heavyweight title.

Jones has been tipped by many experts and fighters to reign as champion for a long time but Mills tips Evans to defeat his arch enemy.

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