Former UFC fighter Kyle Noke has been retired since November 2016 but after a break from the sport the Sunshine Coast fighter has the desire to return back to the cage.
The 38-year-old spoke about it on Grange TV podcast hosted by Fabricio Itte and UFC middleweight champion Rob Whittaker.
“I did officially retire a couple years ago. Since retiring, now I am training fighters back at my gym Noke Martial Arts on the Sunshine Coast and it’s kind of given me that fire again,” Noke commented.
Not training that much as well has allowed my body to heal to where I feel strong and fit enough. I actually feel better now then I did when I retired. I feel good enough to get back in there. Right now, I would beat the old me. I’m a fighter at heart, I still have that drive and desire to get back in there. Why not?
Noke (22-10-1) ended his spell in the UFC with three straight losses and the Aussie explained that his body was letting him down.
“Basically my body was hurting everywhere. Shoulders, I found it hard to throw a jab and bring it back. It would just fall down. I felt slow, I felt sluggish in there. The desire to be in there wasn’t there anymore. I felt I was behind the ball and behind everyone else so I just felt it was time to retire and let my body heal and re-evaluate what I do from there.”
During the podcast Noke also went into detail about his relationship and how it was like training and working with Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin.
“We used to train at the zoo every morning and we would hang around the zoo making sure the family was alright. He actually built us a cage at the zoo. He loved it that much.”
At one point he (Steve Irwin) was willing to throw his whole career away just to have a fight and we came up with an idea of having a charity fight which still wasn’t OK with his producers and all that. They still didn’t want it.
“I remember he made me go to the movies with him once. He radioed me and said, Kyle meet me in the compound, and I’m like OK. We’re going to watch a movie, alright cool, what’s it called? The Pacifier with Vin Diesel, Irwin answered. That’s like a kids movie. Yeah, yeah. I want to fight him so I want to go there and size him up and see what he looks like.”
“So we went and saw The Pacifier and it was one of the worst movies I had ever seen but whole idea was for him to size Vin Diesel up for a fight. He originally wanted to fight Wesley Snipes but he found out Wesley Snipes was small”.
The veteran fighter went into a lot more detail about starting off his career, his bouts with Hector Lombard and George Sotiropoulos as well as more fascinating stories about his idol and late friend Steve Irwin.
The full podcast is below and is well worth your time.