John Phillips: Welsh middleweight seeks second UFC win against Jun Yong Park

Welsh middleweight John Phillips is set to return to UFC action against South Korean Jun Yong Park on 17 October.

Chimaev was a last-minute replacement after Serbian Dusko Todorovic withdrew.

Swansea’s Phillips, 33, hopes to improve his modest UFC record of one win and four losses, his lone victory coming in just 17 seconds against Alen Amedovski in September 2019.

Phillips says defeat to Chimaev was “a bitter pill to swallow” but insists it was a “blessing” after preparing for a totally different fighting style in Todorovic.

“Take my hat off to Chimaev, he was on form and got a nice easy win,” Phillips said.

“If I’d done a wrestling camp then a takedown fight would have been different, but it’s ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’.

“I’m ready for wrestling, that’s all I’m going to do now. The only way I can be beaten is if I’m outwrestled or they manage to get a submission. As long as I’m on point with that I’m easy.”

As for his latest opponent Park, Phillips says he will have a “good scrap”.

“He’s a stand-up guy, will he swap to a wrestler? I don’t know, but if he does I’ll be ready to wrestle and then knock him out,” he said.

Outside of the octagon Phillips is looking forward to be coming a father, with girlfriend Kerrie expecting a baby girl.

“She’s already got me wrapped around her little finger and she hasn’t arrived yet, but the baby won’t get in the way of training,” Phillips said.

Wales’ first female UFC fighter

This month the UFC also announced a debut bout for Cwmbran-born Cory McKenna, who will fight against American Kay Hansen on 14 November.

She became the first Welsh woman to earn a UFC contract by beating strawweight Vanesa Demopolous in Dana White’s Contender Series in Las Vegas.

Phillips says he has been impressed by McKenna.

“She’s awesome, I’ve seen her fight in a couple of domestic shows, she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does on the big cards,” he said.

In terms of his own ambitions Phillips says he is “grateful” to be fighting.

“Lots of my mates have lost their jobs and where they’ll get the money from is a day-to-day battle; knowing I’ve got a fight coming up is unbelievable,” he said.

“I went away from knockout of the night to getting subbed in the second round, so I want to go out there and showcase what I can do.

“We always feel pressure anyway, but it’s stacked now. I’ve got to win and put on a good performance.”

BBC News