Hinchliffe to Make Impact on Starnes at AFC 3

By:

Nick Hinchliffe

Hinchliffe throws a right towards Craig Brown (photo by Jason Bouwmeester|pixelens.com)

Nick Hinchliffe has come a long way in his MMA career. The former junior football champion was a 275 lb fullback just five years ago, but has now transformed himself into a 185 lb Middleweight with eyes set firmly on the big leagues.  To get there, Hinchliffe will have to beat Kalib Starnes at AFC 3 on July 17th.

After losing his desire to play football at age 21, Nick was looking for an individual sport to play.  A friend suggested MMA, so he started training.  “I wrestled in high school, played fullback, and have a little evilness in me.  (MMA) suited me,”  says Hinchliffe.

The MMA trainer, John Punt, also suited him.  “After my first workout, John kept saying ‘you’ve got to come back, you’ve got to come back’.  Punt recognized Hinchliffe’s ability on day one and to this day his Impact MMA coach “gets the best results out of me.”

Did he ever get results!  Hinchliffe reeled off nine straight wins to start off his fight career and quickly developed a large fan following due to his reknown for always going for the finish.  Hinchliffe explains his success,

I love the training and I love to fight.  I will fight any fighter at my weight. I will fight on two days notice.  I have moved up and down weight classes to fight.  I just love to fight.

Maybe Hinchliffe moved up and down weight classes too much.  Nick fought former Pride fighter Travis Galbraith at Light-Heavyweight and Middleweight and lost two out of three matches.  Nick fought ex-UFC fighter Victor Valimaki and came up short.  He even fought future UFC fighter Rory MacDonald at Welterweight and lost. The former 9-0 fighter was 4-5 in his next nine fights, albeit against higher ranked competition.

Hinchliffe finishes off Brown with a RNC (photo by Jason Bouwmeester|pixelens.com)

Hinchliffe finishes off Brown with a RNC (photo by Jason Bouwmeester|pixelens.com)

Since that loss to MacDonald, Hinchliffe has promised a prolonged stay at Middleweight.  His current climb up the 185 lb divisional ladder has been positive with big wins over Craig Brown and the previously undefeated Dan MacIver.  In fact, the win over MacIver at AFC 2 set up the AFC 3 Middleweight title shot and also avenged a previous loss where Nick states, “I was dominating the fight and MacIver caught me.”

Now there are rumors of potential shots in the UFC or Strikeforce. The Nanaimo fighter, who just fell short of making the casts of The Ultimate Fighter 10 and 11, refuses to confirm the rumors but maintains that “it looks good as long as I keep winning.”

Standing in his way is Kalib Starnes, a fighter who was 2-3 in the UFC with a win over Chris Leben but was let go after not engaging Nate Quarry in an infamous UFC 83 fight.  According to Hinchliffe, Starnes’ camp thinks it should be an easy night and the thought of Starnes trying to steal his shot at the big time infuriates Nick.

He had his shot (at the UFC) and had his time in the sun and he did what he did with that shot. Now he is going to try and take my shot away from me?  That pisses me off and I am not going to let him take it away from me.  It’s my time!

The full time father of a young daughter and full time employee of Saywell Contracting is putting everything into this fight. Nick is solid grappler who hits with concrete hands, but his conditioning may be his ultimate weapon against Starnes.  “Cardio makes a coward out of any man.  I took ‘Farmer’ Brown’s heart when his gas tank ran out,” states Hinchliffe.

Make no mistake.  Nick understands that Starnes is a dangerous fighter.  “Starnes is no slouch,” the confident fighter admits, “but there are things that I am better than him at.  I will beat him where I am better.  He is underestimating me in several areas and that will be his mistake.”

Related Posts:

AFC 3 Lineup

Canadian Middleweight Rankings – April 2010

16 Responses to “ Hinchliffe to Make Impact on Starnes at AFC 3 ”

  1. Telling it like it is says:

    I would have Nick rethink his cardio, as in the fight with Craig ‘Farmer’ Brown his own gas tank was not full and had questionable cardio in the second round leading to the third, but who knows maybe he had the same issue of cutting and reloading at a resort that was at a much higher elevation than the venue the fight was held at. In that fight there were a few factors that lead to his win, of which the biggest being a gash in Farmer’s ear that left his ear pooled with blood during the second round and third round. Having a loss of equilibrium from the amount of blood that left him unable to hear from his ear makes it very difficult to defend back to back RNC attempts.

    For every big win Nick has he has an equal, if not higher number of losses to the same opponent (MacIver, Galbraith) and has a KO loss to a now UFC fighter being Rory MacDonald. So saying that Starnes is trying to steal his shot at the big times is a little too excitable.

    Given that this fight is five rounds he should look to finish this early, because he will not have the gas or mental capacity to go the distance and he many not always be given the chance to make up a loss like he has a few times in the past.

    However, after this fight I do believe he should rematch Farmer and give him the same opportunity that so many fighters have given him to atone for a loss.

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  2. T.i.L.i.i,

    You made a few really good points there, but I think you got “a bit too excitable” yourself in at least a couple spots.

    You’re right that Nick has a multiple high-profile fights series in which he has both won and lost (MacIver & Galbraith), including one in which Nick has lost more fights than he has won (Galbraith). However, you ignore a point that was made clearly in the article, which is that two of the four fighters to ever beat Nick do not fight at middleweight. Also, not all of the Galbraith fights were contested at Nick’s natural fighting weight.

    I know it isn’t fair to speculate like this, but if Hinchliffe had not taken just the MacDonald (on short notice) and Valimaki fights that were not at middleweight, his record would now be a very impressive 15-3. Certainly worthy of a shot in a major promotion.

    Also, you say he “might not always be given the chance to make up a loss,” but of his two fight series it was actually Nick who gave Galbraith a chance to “make up a loss” after beating him the first time. He then eagerly agreed to the rubber match with Galbraith and would likely gladly grant MacIver the same opportunity.

    You seem to imply that Nick would ever dodge a tough fight, which, if you really believe that, only shows how little you know about Nick as a fighter.

    As for wether he should face “Farmer” Brown in a rematch, I think he absolutely should at some point. Their first fight was very close and Brown clearly had Nick rocked in the first. That said, if the UFC or Strikeforce did come a’callin’ no one could expect Nick to turn them down in order to set up the rematch with Brown first.

    Also, if Nick does win the AFC middleweight title he would likely be inclined to only fight for that promotion, in which case Brown would have to come back to B.C. for the rematch in the AFC. That might not work out for various promotional reasons beyond Nick’s control.

    Obviously, a lot of this hinges on who wins on Saturday. I think you would agree that oddsmakers would likely have Starnes as a favourite if lines opened up on this fight, but Nick truly is, as he said himself, much more well-rounded than many give him credit for. He has a very solid chance of wearing the gold come Sunday.

    Again, I thought you made some excellent points.

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  3. Darren Owen says:

    Nick has beating Valimaki then got poked in the eye and went down from that. The ref didn’t see the poke and Valimaki capatalized on it. Also Nick would never make excuses but the fight against Galbraith that he got guillotined early in the first ga had a pinched nerve in his neck and should not have been fighting. Weird how Galbraith new to go tight for his neck, I think that fight was in Galbraiths backyard. Needless to say this is a huge fight for Nick and his future. Should be interesting.

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  4. Bobby Karimi says:

    Nick was beating Valimaki? What fight were you watching?

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  5. Bobby Karimi says:

    Galbraith went right for the neck cuz that’s his go to finish move. It is common knowledge that his ghetto choke is ridiculous.

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  6. Bobby Karimi says:

    Sorry, I shoulda included all these in 1 post lol.

    Come on Josh, “I know it isn’t fair to speculate like this, but if Hinchliffe had not taken just the MacDonald (on short notice) and Valimaki fights that were not at middleweight, his record would now be a very impressive 15-3. Certainly worthy of a shot in a major promotion.”

    Then don’t speculate, that arguement can be used on any fighter for many of their fights. He chose to try WW and LHW was Hinchliffe’s “weight” for many of his fights, he was the KOTC lhw champ, that was his fight weight.

    “Also, you say he “might not always be given the chance to make up a loss,” but of his two fight series it was actually Nick who gave Galbraith a chance to “make up a loss” after beating him the first time. He then eagerly agreed to the rubber match with Galbraith and would likely gladly grant MacIver the same opportunity. ”

    The rematch was in the contract after Galbraith lost the belt, also it was a high profile fight for Nick. I remember many feeling/saying the first fight was a “fluke” (I dunno if I agree with that), and hell I’d “eagerly” want a 3rd fight as well if I got choked defending my belt super quick.

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  7. Bobby Karimi says:

    In my opinion Nick is 3-1 against Top 8-15 level guys and 1-4 vs Top 5 level guys.

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  8. Jamie Locke says:

    I think Nick recognizes his shortcomings in his losses and implements a training regimen to counter those short-comings.

    This fight is definitly huge for him, and I think his drive, focus and the training time he puts in will refelct when he meets Starnes. I agree with him when he says Starnes has nothing to lose here and it’s his big shot. As long as Nick can keep his head and stick to a game plan here I see no reason why he won’t (T)Ko Starnes in the first or second round….

    Really looking forward to this one though…It’d be sweet if there was lines on this somewhere.

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  9. “The rematch was in the contract after Galbraith lost the belt.” — BK

    Bobby Karimi,

    I defer to your superior knowledge of the contract details in the Hinchliffe-Galbraith trilogy. Still, it was “a bit excitable” for T.i.L.i.i. to imply that Hinchliffe had been granted numerous rematches against guys who have beaten him.

    Of course, you’re right that Nick fought multiple times at LHW. I got ahead of myself there and I apologize. That said, Nick is better suited to MW, so it’s good to see him there now.

    Finally, say what you will about his record, but I repeat that anyone who thinks Nick would dodge fights does not know him. I only know him a little bit, but it’s fairly obvious that he does not know fear for his opponents.

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  10. Bobby Karimi says:

    “Finally, say what you will about his record, but I repeat that anyone who thinks Nick would dodge fights does not know him. I only know him a little bit, but it’s fairly obvious that he does not know fear for his opponents.”

    100% agree, obviously dude does not dodge any fights, look at the guy’s record. It speaks for itself.

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  11. Bobby Karimi says:

    Nothing against Hinchliffe at all, I think he’s a good fighter, but I got Starnes finishing him this fight.

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  12. I think Jamie will take your bet on that one Bobby!

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  13. Jamie Locke says:

    I got $50 on Hinchliffe, easy….

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  14. Bobby Karimi says:

    Ok, no prob, I’ll take the bet. Winner just sends the other guy the cash.

    It’ll be no prob if I lose, cuz I’m winning the Lotto Max tonight.

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  15. 10% rake on all bets made on Top MMA News comments bets.

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