On August 18th Dave Nielsen and Ryan Madigan will meet in WBC National Light Heavyweight title fight at Pala Casino. Nielsen took some time from his training to answer a few questions about his upcoming bout with Madigan as well as discuss his future plans.
MTA: Dave you have a big fight coming up against Ryan Madigan. How familiar are you with Ryan?
Dave: To be honest, I was unfamiliar with him until the WCK threw his name out as my new opponent. I, of course, looked him up online and see he’s a UFC guy, quite a good Kickboxer with something like 30 pro fights, holding an IKF East Coast Title and ranked 4th in the World by the ISKA. So, I’m stoked to have the chance to fight him! Can you tell I went to his website? Haha.
MTA: You were originally supposed to fight Fernando Gonzalez; does the switch affect your training in any way?
Dave: A little bit, but not too much. It was more of a psychological adjustment for me. You get your head wrapped around being face to face with one guy for months, then a few weeks out, there’s a new face and body to consider kinda gets in your head…for like a day. ☺
MTA: Fernando is the WBC national champion at your weight, are you disappointed that it will no longer be a title fight?
Dave: Well, it’s my belief that if you do not fight the champion and take his belt, then you aren’t the champion, so initially, I was not very happy. Believe it or not, my immediate thought was concern for him, like he was injured or something bad (personally) happened. But then, I was told Fernando had gone “missing” for no apparent reason, no injury, no nothing, he knew the fight was happening months ago, agreed to it and now a few weeks out, he won’t call the promoter or anyone back. He simply comments on a Facebook post that he won’t be fighting. Fernando won the vacant belt and has never defended it. In the first title defense of his belt, he backed out at the “last minute” without any reason and simply disappears by all accounts. Nobody that deserves a WBC belt and of course respects the art and sport of Muay Thai is going to disrespect the fans, the promoter and their opponent that way. As Dennis Warner the WCK representative has explained to me, the WBC feels similarly and has stripped him of the belt, I’m told it is now vacant and Ryan and I will be making this a true National Title and really, a Super Fight of Kickboxing vs. Muay Thai on August 18th!
MTA: What is your prediction for your fight with Ryan?
Dave: My prediction is it’s gonna be a tough fight. Ryan is good, he looks like a tough guy that puts things together well. It’s really going to come down to who wants it more… I will say this though…this title and that belt around my waist feels like destiny to me. ☺
MTA: Not looking past Ryan, but what do you have planned for the rest of the year if anything?
Dave: How bout this, I’m gonna give you my 2 year plan…cuz after that I’m just Coach Dave. If all goes well, I’ve got an ASAP plan that I’ve been working on with Dennis Warner, so whenever his next show is, I plan to be on that card. Dennis knows I want to fight the best, and that usually means title holders. I told him long ago, before I retire (just a couple years away), I want a run at the big belt…Win or lose, that is my end goal. Then, I’ll end my career with 1 Super Fight to prove, who is Americas best “walking around” at my weight. ☺
MTA: Any words for your supporters?
Dave: All my friends in the Muay Thai Community are the best friggin people ever. Being in San Diego I rarely see many of them, but when I do, it’s a wai, smile and positive attitude...they make the best days even better and I appreciate all of them, thanks. A special thanks my students at American Boxing Muay Thai MMA Academy, the BEST students in the world! They take the good training days with the bad and keep coming for more, just like true Champions! They allow me to do what I love…what more can I say except their support is an indescribable feeling that makes me feel bigger, stronger and better than anyone! With them, Gina and my baby girl Serenity, how could I ever lose?! Thanks everyone.