Fighter Ian Entwistle admits he can be a bit of a talker – but he is ready to let his actions speak louder than words in the ring.
The Accrington battler has helped to raise his profile away from the ring by talking loud of the forums but he is ready to show his worth as he gears up to his biggest test yet at the Liverpool Olympia on March 3 where he faces Liverpool’s Michael Bowman, who starred in the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ TV series.
"He is getting a name for himself – he is a bit of a showman, goes on fighting forums and he can get a bit noisy but it has helped raise his profile and he can back it up with his fighting so it’s not a problem," said his coach Jimmy Hey.
Former Hollins High School pupil Entwistle is already a name around the Mixed Martial Arts circuit but if he beats Bowman it could propel him to bigger things – as he aims to become the next Michael Bisping and fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championships.
"Michael Bisping is my hero and I want to fight in the UFC and, if I win this fight, it could open big doors for me," said the 25-year-old who started out as a footballer at Rochdale before injury ended his career as a teenager.
"Sometimes I open my mouth a bit too much but I can back it up in the ring and I believe in my own ability. I have only been fighting for three years and I am coming up against people who have been fighting all their lives and beating them so I am confident although I have got a lot still to learn."
Entwistle only took the sport up as a self-defence option after owning Level One nightclub in Accrington at a young age and feeling he needed to protect himself.
But it has taken him to places he could never dream of.
"It has happened really quickly for me and I guess I never thought this could happen," said Ian who has won five of his six professional fights.
"I just keep winning and I have taken it on from there.
"I have had 19 fights as amateur, semi-pro and professional in the three years so I am used to working hard and used to the crowd.
"I know Michael will have the home crowd on his side in Liverpool but I am not worried about that.
"Once you get in the ring it doesn’t matter and I can’t wait now."
Entwistle fights at 70kg, he says he is currently 79kg but it’s not a problem.
"You get weighted 24 hours before the fight and it means there will be a lot of hot baths, saunas and not eating to make sure I hit the weight.
"It won’t be a problem although it is the worse bit of the job – losing the weight just days before a fight."
Entwistle will face three five-minute rounds against Bowman and victory will mean the MMA world is open to him.
His fights have already has been on Sky and this will be his biggest purse to date.
"I only want UFC belts – MMA is like boxing where there are different belts but the UFC is the main one and it’s the only one I want.
"I want to be the best – I want to follow in Michael Bisping’s footsteps and there are a few others English fighters who are in the UFC and who have made their name there. That’s my dream."
Ian has been sponsored by fightshop.com who sponsor top fighers such as Bisping and has also been approached by an American marketing ageny as they look to promoted British Mixed Martial Artists.
"It has really taken off for Enty," said Jimmy.
"He knows Michael Bisping and he is an inspiration to him but Enty has come into his own.
"He only started training three years ago and he has achieved what some fighters achieve in 10 or 15 years.
"If he can beat Michael it’s a huge stepping stone for him – it will be his biggest domestic fight, there is a lot of hype about it and he does get a good pay packet for the fight.
"Everything is falling into place for him and, although this fight is a big step up, we are confident."