UFC’s Nick “The Promise” Ring on fighting professionally, training, and representing YYC

On July 21, 2012, Calgary’s Nick “The Promise” Ring will be fighting at the much anticipated UFC event, hosted for the very first time by our fair city.

The Calgary Journal sat down with Ring to get an inside look at how he is preparing for his match, his love for YYC as well as what it takes to make a living fighting in the cage.

When did you decide to pursue MMA fighting as a career?

When I was 15 I started doing martial arts. Being a 15-year-old snot-nosed kid you don’t know how you are going to get a career in martial arts, and back in those days martial arts wasn’t even cool.

So, did I know that this was how I was actually going to make my living? No, not really.

It was just something I enjoyed doing – the time passed by effortlessly. I did find a way to make it into a career and it’s really hard.

In this line of work, the majority of people that do martial arts don’t get paid anything. The ones that do get paid get paid very little. So, I’m in a very fortunate position, but at the same time I did pay my dues. It took a long time for me to get where I’m at right now.Nick “The Promise” Ring will represent Calgary at the upcoming UFC 149 on July 21.
Photo by: Melissa Molloy

What does the average day consist of for a professional fighter?

Pretty much every day I wake up and train. I lift weights, I do my strength and conditioning generally in the morning for a couple of hours and then I do martial arts at night for two or three hours, sometimes a bit longer.

I get a little bit of a break and do boring stuff that everybody has to do – you know, clean your house or whatever. (laughs)

What advice do you have for folks out there who dream about being in the UFC?

To get into the UFC, I suppose you’ve got to get noticed or get an in. For me, I got into the UFC from “The Ultimate Fighter” television show, and things just snowballed from there.

Leading up to that I did grappling tournaments, I fought as a kick boxer, I fought as a professional boxer — I’ve done a lot of things for a number of years to get to the point that I’m at right now.

My advice would be: number one, you have to enjoy training. Number two, you have to enjoy competing, and constantly taking competitions, and number three you have to put yourself on the right shows to get noticed.

Make sure that you are meeting as many people as possible. You never know what lead is going to get you (an in). Make sure that you work hard and take the right fights.

How does it feel to be on the card for a UFC match in Calgary?

I’ve lived in Calgary since I was a one year old. This is my home. This is where I started my martial arts career in 1994. I am the product of being here.

For me it’s a great honour to get to represent everybody that’s helped me over the years.

What can the crowd expect from your fight on July 21st?

I’m fighting Court McGee and I’m looking forward to having a great fight with him.
I can promise (fans) fireworks, he’s a hard-hitting brawler and I plan on throwing a few of those (hits) myself.

It’s going to be a good, good scrap.