v Leighton Hill on MB6
: I started out MA practicing Lau Gar Kung Fu when I was 14. I practiced for about
a year and found it quite enjoyable but slowly started realising that it was ineffective.
The final straw was when I got into a punch up at school and got totally annihilated
cos I kept trying out silly blocks and stuff. I had no guard and was jusy being
smacked about. After that I stopped MA and but still kept in shape lifting weights
and punching the heavy bag. In my first year of Uni I ordered UFC2 . I expected
to see a bit of blood and guts but nothing special. I watched it and was instantly
amazed by Royce Gracie. The way he took apart Pat Smith was something I found
astonishing. It was almost biblical. It was like good versus evil.
few months later I was looking in the back of combat for somewhere to train and
I found Andys number. I phoned him up and went down to watch the Fairholme (now
called Ronin) guys train. From the next week I joined in. To become a fighter
was just natural progression. I had trained for almost a year at Andy's and Lee
Hasdell's SSJ ( when I was up in Uni) when Andy offered me a pro fight. I
didnt think i was ready but you never do. Andy convinced me to give it a go and
it felt like natural progression seeing as all the other guys in the gym were
Vale tudo with Jardine
kickboxing with Alex Reid
Sat: Vale tudo & kickboxing training with Sean Cochraine
Sun: Vale tudo with Jardine
: You've trained extensively with two of the old skool MMA coaches, Hasdell and
Jardine - what are they like as instructors, how do you rate them and what would
you say they have given you as a fighter?
Weerasinghe : I think both Lee Hasdell and Andy Jardine are the ones
who groomed my ground game and started to shape it into what it has become. Both
are exceptional instructors. The reason why I stopped training with Lee is because
after I graduated from Uni the distance was too far for me to travel.
I learnt a lot from Lee and a hell of a lot from Danny Batten who used to roll
with me after every session teaching me new things and correcting my ground game.
Also it is my belief that aswell as having good coaching it is essential to have
good training and sparring partners. At SSJ they had some really good guys to
roll with, obviously there was Danny but also there were guys who you probably
wouldnt have heard of such as TI and Fez Rashid and Ramz (cant remember full name)
who were really good ground fighters.
Training at Fairholme at that time there were a bunch of pro fighters such Alex
Evans, Reidy, Brennan and Roriston and other lesser known but excellent fighters
such as Orin Justin. Fairholme was and is a really raw club. Sparring with those
guys was really hard but realistic....it made me realise that submission grappling
and Vale Tudo are two totally different things, in fact vale tudo grappling and
submission grappling are two different games altogether.
: According to your profile, you pretty much train just Vale Tudo and Kickboxing,
whereas many fighters also add BJJ, wrestling, boxing, thai etc - do you feel
Ronin offers a complete system?
Weerasinghe : Yeah definitely. When I say Vale tudo we train a whole
heap of stuff from judo to wrestling to bjj style stuff all geared toward Vale
Tudo. We've definitely get a complete system and we got so many pro fighters that
you really get to see what works and what doesn't. Also you get guys like Alex
Evans who go away and train overseas and come back with some superb stuff. I know
what you mean though, alot of guys train specifically for wrestling or BJJ aswell.
But all in all i think we definitely have a complete system. If you look at us
fight I think it shows. Wouldnt mind finding a good bjj club to work no gi. Hard
to find time though.
: You you guys at Ronin have any unique training methods, techniques or strategies?
If so what are they?
Weerasinghe : The major asset to the club is that we got so many pro
level fighters. That means your always training at a pro level, your always rolling
at a pro level and your always sparring at a pro level which is important. Any
mistakes you make while sparring or rolling will be immediately capitalised on,
this helps to tighten up your game no end. Also Ronin has a wide range of ifghters
with different styles. We got heavy strikers and technical grapplers so you have
a good range of people to work with. Sean Cochraine corners many of the Ronin
guys including me so he really gets to see what mistakes I'm making and so can
adjust my training accordingly. Sean (and Ricky) has really helped me improve
my game over the last year by making me aware of mistakes that I am making.
: Ronin has three of the toughest lightweights in the country, you , Ricky Moore
and Ninja Salhan. So who's the daddy in the gym ;+)?
Weerasinghe : Good question, I think each of us has our strengths.
Its good to train with those guys cos you can work off each others strengths and
weaknesses. None of us fight the same way which makes it brilliant to train with
: Are there any new fighters from Ronin that we should be looking out for?
Weerasinghe : There are always new Ronin fighters coming out. I dont
think I need to advertise....you will notice them when they come out. Watch out
for an animal coming out in march.
v McLeod at MB7
this fight was announced the general prognosis was that Chin was showing major
cahonies for accepting a fight with McLeod but that he was going to get summarily
beat down and no mistake. Which just goes to show exactly how wrong the general
prognosis can be....
crowd, at least those in the know, were amazed at Chins performance. Surely
he didnt used to be this good? Well whatever had gone before he fighting
out of his skin. Michael Johnson remarked "This defies all logic" while
Gaz Roriston commented "Chin has evolved overnight"....by
: Was your (2nd) fight with Neil McLeod your defining moment? (They had met before
at MB2 , March 2001) You
seemed to have had emerged as a totally different fighter for that match. A whole
class better. What was the reason for this vivid improvement?
Weerasinghe : Steroids....................only joking.That was probably
my hardest fight but I dont really see that as a benchmark fight for me. It was,
in terms of showcasing my skills I suppose but I think it was just that my first
few fights were within my first year of training so I was quite inexperienced.
I didn't fight for a while and then came back to fight Neil. I think I had just
naturally improved. I didn't do much different and if you notice I pretty much
faught the same as I had before, it was just that I was better at it. I never
even tried to standup against anyone until Paul
Mcveigh. So the answer to that would be, in terms of training or preperation
nothing was different except I had grown better at what I do, in terms of what
other people saw, yes I think it showed that I could mix it up with the best.
And Neil Mcloud is definitely
one of the best.
: Yeah, loads of fighters say McLeod is the best. You also lost a controversial
fight against Paul McVeigh at CW3-
with your coach Andy Jardine claiming that you had been unfairly elbowed in the
eye - what's you take on this?
Weerasinghe : Got to give my respect to Paul for that one, hes a tough
lad and a nice bloke as well. I didnt feel like myself for that fight at all,
dunno what it was but I was just lazy on the ground. I think I was concentrating
so hard on the standup that I just gave up every time he took me down. I remember
I was so excited when standing up, but when he took me down I was like......shit,
let me back up. As for the elbow, to be perfectly honest I don't really give a
shit, I shoulda done better and thats what bothers me the most. He did elbow me
in the eye but which I dont blame him for (...u bastard), it was just that his
elbow actually caught my eyeball and I had totally blurred vision for 2 weeks.
Shit happens I suppose. Dougie could you send me the video of that please!!
: You obviously have a big fan club - I understand why the SSJ and Ronin guys
cheer for you at events, but I've also seen the London Shootfighters yell their
support - how come?
Weerasinghe : I trained with the London
Shootfighters for a while actually. They were really good and taught me quite
alot. Also I think Ronin and London Shoot are closely linked due to fighters such
as Gaz Roriston and James Zikic and
the Peakocks guys who have trained at both clubs.
: Who do you think are the top five in your weight cat in the UK right now?
Weerasinghe : I wouldnt really look at records to see who the best
fighters are. I think its more about who youve fought than how many youve beat.
Top fighters in under 66 would be: Ricky Moore, Neil Mcleod, Paul Mcveigh, Ninja.
In no particular order. These guys have pretty much proved themselves in my eyes.
: What are your goals for 2004?
Weerasinghe : Put some weight on and kick someones ass.
: Is there anyone out there that you particularly want to fight?
Weerasinghe : Anyone really. Hopefully once Iget my weight up I'll
have more options.
: How far do you want to take this sport in the long term?
Weerasinghe : As far as I can really. As long as i am surrounded by
top level fighters that are constantly pushing me, I know I am Improving. The
plan is to constantly stay ahead of the game and be constantly analysing and improving
: Thanks for your time Chin and best of luck for the new year.