North Shields fighter Andy Ogle is hoping to return to the ring stronger than ever – two months after being forced to postpone his third UFC battle.
Ogle faces American Cole Miller in a featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 30, in Manchester on October 26, in his third outing for the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion.
The 24-year-old had been due to face Ireland’s Conor McGregor in Boston in August but was forced to pull out of the fight after contracting a staph infection during sparring.
Former University of Sunderland student Ogle, who trains in Wearside, has bristled at subsequent suggestions that he didn’t want to face McGregor and is eager to set the record straight against Miller.
Ogle said: “I got a staph infection in my blood stream which was pretty bad and put me out for a couple of weeks.
“It’s one of the hazards of the sport because you’re coming into contact with people all the time, but it’s made me look after little nicks more.
“I believe everything happens for a reason and I was meant to fight in Manchester. At the time, I was devastated that I couldn’t fight in Boston.
“My parents still went over and were looked after by UFC with free tickets, which I was really appreciative of.
Ogle has enjoyed one win and one controversial defeat since being handed a UFC contract after graduating from the Ultimate Fighter: Live reality television programme.
But he is eager to be known for more than just his performance on the small screen.
Ogle, who developed his MMA skills training in Fulwell, believes he can take advantage of Miller’s faltering record in UFC. The 29-year-old has lost his last three UFC bouts.