I was sitting cage-side in Atlantic City, NJ at Ring of Combat 55 in June of 2016 when Sidney Outlaw (5-2 at the time) stepped into the ring to challenge four-time All American wrestler and undefeated (6-0) mixed martial artist Gregor Gillespie for the ROC Middleweight championship. Gillespie had yet to be taken past the first round in any of his fights and had looked invincible.
None of that seemed to bother Outlaw as he took Gillespie’s back late in the first round and was close to wrapping up the rear-naked-choke when the bell ended round one. Gillespie fought back to take the split decision victory and then earned himself a UFC contract shortly thereafter. Outlaw may have lost the battle, but the war was far from over. He has not lost since.
Outlaw got right back in the gym and got to work securing three more victories and then earned a spot on Dana White’s Contender Series against Michael Cora. He once again had his hand raised at the end of the fight, but was not awarded with the UFC contract that was the goal. Sidney tells MyMMANews about his disappointment afterwards…
“I was very depressed and disappointed. I had taken the fight without the benefit of a full camp and I also went up in weight to welterweight for this fight. I went through a ton of stuff with my medicals that took away from my training but I still had a job to do. I do feel that it was one of my two worst performances along with my last fight (victory over Roger Huerta) but I still was down because I did not accomplish what I went out there for. It was the biggest fight of my life and after I got my per diem and went out for a cheeseburger and said I’m alright. It was still worth it.”
On December 29th in Saitama Japan, at Bellator 237, Sidney Outlaw has his next challenge as he steps in for the injured Benson Henderson to throw hands with former Bellator Lightweight champion, Michael Chandler (19-5). Outlaw has won nine consecutive fight and is now 14-3. Outlaw has remained humbled and very well schooled by many in the sport. Much of his career has been spent in the northeast but he has recently moved south and is now a full time American Top Team member in Coconut Creek, Florida .
When I asked him about him about some of the people who have helped him and mentored him to this point he said…
“There are so many people that I cannot just point to one or two. I feel that you become great by contamination in this sport. James Meals, Dante Rivera, Marlon (Moraes) Frankie (Edgar) Edson (Barbosa), Mike Brown once I arrived has dedicated so much time to me, it’s been unreal. King Mo, Jorge Masvidsal who have worked with me and cornered me, the list goes on and on. I’m blessed including all of the guys who I started with who continue to support me and will always be a part of my life.”
Outlaw will undoubtedly go in as the heavy underdog in this fight with Chandler, but he is a tough fight for anyone. He can win on his feet or on the ground. He is very well-rounded and has a huge heart. This very well could be the fight of the night. Tune in on the 29th to find out. As always, live results can be found right here at MyMMANews and the event can be seen live on Paramount.