MMA Rundown

Interview: Phillipe Nover talks UFC 208, Bourbon County Stout, Brooklyn life and more

With UFC 208 finally here, I had the chance to talk to Brooklyn’s own Phillipe Nover. We chatted on the phone in the beginning of the week and I had the chance to pick his brain about his upcoming fight at UFC 208 against Rick Glenn. If there was one thing I learned about Phillipe Nover, despite my asking of random questions and silly questions, it’s that he’s as ready as ever for this fight. He made sure to tell me he’s in his best shape to date, feels great mentally, and more importantly just wants to have fun.

Phillipe Nover is a Brooklyn boy, that much is certain. Born and raised and still residing there now. If that wasn’t enough to convince you he’s a Brooklyn boy, he will be kicking off UFC 208 by walking out to “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys.

When I asked him how he reacted to the news about getting to fight in his hometown, he told me he was in Cuba vacationing when he got the call. At the moment he went from enjoying drinks on the beach to getting ready to fight. When he summed up the overall feeling he put it simply, “It’s a dream come true.”

When I asked him if nerves would kick in, due to fighting in front of his people, friends, fans, and family, he didn’t hesitate.

He informed me he has always had support, from his time on the amateur circuit all the way to the UFC. He told me he is used to the pressure. To be exact he said he’s, “Going to focus on technique…dance…move…and have a good time.”

I think part of his relaxation comes from being a RN (Registered Nurse) he must be adapted to high pressure situations all the time. In his words his life is a balancing act, “Performing at the top level of both careers” is something he is used too. Phillipe trains multiple sessions a week, over ten if we’re being exact, while working three nights a week. Like any normal person, this seems like a full schedule. For Phillipe Nover? Not at all. He recently applied for his NP (Nurse Practitioner) and if accepted plans to go back to school. He’s all about “setting up a good future.”

With my mother being a nurse, I know she has stories of not being able to restrain larger patients. So I couldn’t avoid asking Phillipe if he’s ever used his top notch submission skills against a patient. To my surprise, he didn’t shoot down the question.

He told me for three years he worked in the emergency room of a Brooklyn Hospital and with the high level of intoxicated patients it wasn’t uncommon for not only hospital security to get called to subdue a patient, but they would usually add “Bring Nover too.” Those days are over according to Phillipe, he works in a Cath lab dealing with just one patient and to be honest he doesn’t miss the old days. To use his own words “I like working at work and training at training”

The question that always interests me is the walk to the octagon. As a comedian I get heckled from time to time and I could only imagine what some fighters hear thrown their way before a fight.

When I asked Phillipe about his worst heckle he said it was a majority effort in his last fight, a loss against Renan Barao, in Brazil. He fought a Brazilian in Brazil, and at the weigh ins and on his walk to the ring was met with the loud chants of “You’re going to die.” How did he handle it? He told me he shouted back “I love you” and went in there and fought a hell of a fight.

Some other random tidbits about Phillipe Nover is that after a fight, win or lose, you can see him with a double bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a beer. His current beer of choice is a Bourbon County Stout, a beer that comes in at $20 a bottle. I guess being a professional fighter and live saver have it’s perks…for me it’s still PBR’s and Budweiser.

Judging off his meal of choice and beverage of choice, he instantly seemed like a dude I’d want to hang with so I asked the very professional question of “Do you have an after party? If so, am I invited?” And to my surprise he told me there is an after party in Manhattan and I am, in fact, invited. I won’t give out the details because quite honestly he only has a six pack of the Bourbon County Stout and I want to get my hands on one before any of you do.

This was my first interview with a UFC fighter. I learned a lot. But I wanted Philippe to have the chance to tell me what he wanted all of you to know. And it was simple, in his words, “I’m a grinder. My hard work pays off, this is what I wanted to do.” This is what he wanted to do, and he’s doing it. He has a bright future ahead both in the octagon and out. And he was quick to give advice to my venture in MMA.

As some of you know I am the Fat to Fit to Fighter comedian (still in the fat stage) he told me to find a good gym and fight team, which I have. He told me to dedicate all I have to it (which I haven’t because let’s be real jokes barely pay my bills as is and I have to tell them because it’s my only skill) but most importantly he said “If your heart’s in it, give it a try.”

Those are some wise words, right now my heart is in this bottle of Jameson so I’m going to go give it a try. Thanks Phillipe.