On June 10th, 2011 Phillipe Nover will return to combat sports action. Most remember Nover from his UFC days. The runner up on the eight installment of The Ultimate Fighter has not competed in any type of combat sport since his February 2010 loss to Robert Emerson at UFC 109. His return will not be to the MMA world, but will instead be to the Muay Thai world under the Friday Night Fights banner in New York.
The Brooklyn native was cut from the UFC after his loss to Emerson, and reality came calling. In any combat sport there is nothing but sacrifice until you reach the pinnacle. Nover made it to the big leagues, but making it and surviving in the big leagues are two different things.
With Nover’s resume he could have landed some decent pay days on smaller shows, but a neck injury and wanting to have a stable career prompted him to put his MMA career on hold. Nover was an ER nurse before making it to The Ultimate Fighter; however, after making it to the UFC he quit his nursing job to pursue his MMA dream. He is once again working as a nurse at Lutheran Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. You might ask why try to stabilize a career in the nursing field as opposed to the combat sports field, the answer is simple you make more in nursing. When you break down the time it takes to prepare for a fight and the expenses that go into training then a $5,000 pay day for a fight turns into a minimum wage job. Nover admits that things got to the point where he had to move back into his mom’s house, but is now stable once again and training hard.
Nover began working his Muay Thai with Jason Straut at Church Street Boxing Gym and what better way to return to combat sports than by showcasing his skills on New York’s premier Muay Thai promotion, Friday Night Fights. Despite being known for his stand up skills in the MMA world Nover admits that he has only had one fight that was stand up only, and that was an underground fight in Brooklyn. Although he is only focusing on his stand up he admits it isn’t any easier. “The particulars you have to get use to” such as the different clinches, and sweeps which keep things interesting. Despite being focused on a Muay Thai fight Nover is still training his entire arsenal as he plans to make a run at the UFC again.
Nover’s opponent will be Canadian Anthony Ford. Unlike his UFC days where being able to study an opponents fights is common, in Muay Thai it is a luxury. It doesn’t bother Nover, “Having video is good, but I’m confident in my skills and regardless of what he throws at me I will be ready”. Nover best describes his preparation as “I’m ready to smash leather in someone’s face”.
Nover’s ultimate path might end in the UFC, but for now he’s on a Muay Thai detour. He understands that that it’s now or never and simply states “For those that have faith in me still, this is it right here”.
Nover doesn’t rule out continuing to fight Muay Thai after his June 10th bout, but the offers have to be right. For now a healthy Nover looks to make a successful return to combat sport.
Nover would like to thank a few people. “I want to give a shout out to my friends at Muscle Maker Grill Tribeca. These guys know how to treat fighters. Thanks for the
I would like to dedicate this fight to my niece Cristina Ignacio. She is an inspiration for me and to everyone around her. She is a true fighter stronger than anyone I know”.