Friday, 17 December 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews UFC's James 'Lightning' Wilks (Issue 6)

Where in the UK are you from?

I was born in Leicester.

Were you always a tough lad or did it come with time?

I think some of it is in my blood. My granddad faked his birth certificate at 14 and joined the paratroopers in World War 2. He was a fighting man. My dad is also a tough guy and used to study kung fu. It did also take time to come out. In the early days training was so mentally tough that my coach Erik Paulson would beat me down until I cried. Each time I would say to myself I wasn't coming back the next day but I did. I didn't want to be a quitter.

What martial arts do you practice?

I study various elements of MMA. Kickboxing, Wrestling and JiuJitsu but MMA has almost become an art in itself now. The key is practicing how the arts transition together.

You won the welterweight title on Gladiator Challenge and got selected for the Ultimate Fighter,
what did it mean to you on a personal level when hearing of your selection?

I almost couldn't believe it. For years I dreamed of being in the UFC but there was always part of me that doubted it would happen.

Have you always been so mild mannered or is is something that came with learning martial arts?

My parents say then when I was young I was wild. As young as three they said when their policeman friend came over I would spit on him and kick him in the shins. Martial arts certainly gave me some discipline.

Your American opponent on the Ultimate Fighter final showed a complete lack of respect for your skills during the TV show. We're sure the whole of England was hoping you knocked him out  but how did it feel to completely embarrass him?

It was great to beat Demarques so convincingly. That fight is definitely the highlight of my career.

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