Perth mixed martial arts fighter Chris Indich needs decisive victory in UFC showdown

Perth MMA fighter, Chris Indich Perth MMA fighter Chris Indich preparing for UFC debut
Nanjing Night Net

On Thursday, Rockingham mixed martial arts fighter Chris Indich will have the fight of his life in front of 15,000 Canadian Ultimate Fighting Championship fans and a huge television audience at the live finale of the Ultimate Fighter Nations.

On the line will be what every fighter dreams of, a UFC contract, but, to achieve that dream, Indich will have to beat a teammate, Sydney’s Richard Walsh.

Both fighters were cast members of The Ultimate Fighter Nations, a UFC reality show that pitted a team of Canadian and Australian fighters against each other, with a a six-figure UFC contract in two weight divisions, welterweight and middleweight, on the line.

It was a forgettable series for the Australians, with only Walsh making it through to the welterweight semi-finals. Indich lost his opening welterweight fight against eventual finalist Chad Laprise, however his performance, constantly pushing forward despite taking punishment over the full two rounds from the highly skilled Laprise, was enough for the UFC to throw the Arena MMA-trained fighter a lifeline.

He had been training with world Brazilian jiu jitsu champion Robert Drysdale at his Las Vegas academy, physically preparing himself as if he had already earned a slot on the finale, but, mentally, the proudly indigenous fighter, raised predominantly by his grandmother, was preparing to receive bad news.

“I felt like training was going to be the best thing to do, regardless of whether I got the call or not, so even if I hadn’t got the call I still would have gone to Vegas and picked up some good skills to take home,” he said.

“It was a shock to hear [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva’s voice on the phone because we knew that call was coming but it could go either way. We were told we would get a call that would either give us a fight in Canada or release us from our contract and, thankfully, I got another fight.

“Mentally I was preparing, thinking about what I could do next, sort of expecting not to get the call but physically training as if I would, just to sort of brace myself and leave myself in a good position if it was bad news.”

Having secured that good news, Indich, with his preparation complete, is now preparing to fight on the undercard of an event headlined by a grudge match between perennial contender Michael Bisping (24-5) and former US Army Green Beret Tim Kennedy (17-4).

Taking on Walsh, Indich knows that a gritty performance like his display against Laprise will not be enough to secure his future at the highest level in MMA. He needs a decisive victory and he is prepared to use his full arsenal to secure that victory. He has fully recovered from injuries sustained during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter Nations and is in peak condition.

“During the fight [with Laprise], he caught me with a spinning back kick and that damaged rib cartilage, so I was basically on the shelf for the rest of the show, my training was really restricted,” he said.

“The deal is, I guess, is probably more than likely whoever wins gets a further contract. The winner will probably get another shot but you never know the circumstances of the loser. The way I see it, the winner stays and the loser probably gets cut.

“I’m going in there to fight. I’m not going in there to do anything but that. He has to stop me and, if he can’t, I’m going to be coming at him the whole time.”

While sharing a house for the better part of 12 weeks will lead to a certain familiarity, Indich says his injury, as well as circumstance, meant he was not overly familiar with Walsh. But he and his coach, Taff Davies, believe he has the skills to defeat the Sydney fighter.

Inditch is predominantly a controlled grappler with a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and solid striking skills, yet against Laprise he elected to keep the fight standing.

Indich is now the second Perth fighter with a UFC contract, behind heavyweight Soa Palelei (2-1 in the UFC), and he said he gets an enormous sense of pride representing Perth, even though, under current legislation, the UFC are unwilling to come to his home town due to a ban on MMA contests in a fenced enclosure.

“The more that I go away from Perth, in Australia or overseas, the more I miss and appreciate Perth,” Indich said.

Along with Indich and Walsh, two other Australian fighters will feature on the card. Melbourne’s Vik Grujic (6-2) will take on Montreal’s Nordine Taleb (8-2), while, in the co-main event of the card, Australia’s coach Kyle Noke (20-6-1) will face the coach of Team Canada, former middleweight title challenger Patrick Cote (19-8).

The UFC nations finale will screen at live and free on Fox Sport’s FX channel at 9am AEST. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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