After first meeting at the airport before joining the TUF Smashes house, Colin Fletcher and Norman Parke both said to each other at that moment they would meet in the lightweight finale, and now both fighters will have to put their friendship aside when they fight for a six-figure UFC contract on Saturday (Friday in the U.S.) at UFC on FX 6 on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Fletcher, nicknamed “The Freak Show,” provided all the laughs in the TUF house, but it’s all business once the cage doors are locked, and he feels that he has the advantage over Parke in the final.
“We’re both going to have fun, its a great experience for both of us,” Fletcher told MMAHeat. “As an older fella, I’ve already got a family; I’m happy to fight for free. If I can provide lots of money for my wife and kids, no one is taking that away from me.”
Despite his big, tall frame, Fletcher says he never has problems making the lightweight limit, but admits he likes to make the cut a challenge as it makes him more hungry going into a fight.
Norman Parke of Northern Ireland found the experience “tough” in the TUF house being away from his family and friends, but it was made that much better by qualifying for the finale.
“We never thought it would be that tough,” Parke said. “Some silly things started happening midway through the show, and that’s where the phone incident took place.”
Although Team UK secured three out of the four spots in the finale, Parke felt that his team underestimated the Australian fighters.
“They had featherweights and bantamweights fighting as a lightweight, but their welterweights had an advantage and they were good,” Parke said.
Parke described Fletcher as a big brother to him when they first met at the airport, but is glad they’ve spent time away from each other in the lead-up to the fight.
“I met Fletcher at the airport and he was just like a big brother to me,” Parke said. “It would have been hard fighting to him in the house but being away from him for a few weeks has made it easier. This is a really important fight for both of us.”