Are you willing to make a positive change? Join the thousands of individuals on the same fitness journey!

TESTMONIALS Start Your Transformation
English Macedonian

Are you willing to make a positive change? Join the thousands of individuals on the same fitness journey!

TESTMONIALS Start Your Transformation
English Macedonian

An Interview with Gregor Gillespie, Martial Artist

Hello everyone. It is my pleasure to present to you Gregor Gillespie, an American graduate collegiate wrestler and professional MMA fighter who currently competes in the lightweight category in the UFC.

Gregor had a huge talent for wrestling since high school, where he won two titles. Afterward, he continued to compete for Edinboro University, where he won a national championship and was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American and one-time NCAA Champion. Furthermore, he held the school record for the most wins beating 152 opponents.

His professional fighting career started in 2014 when he made his MMA debut. After that, he made a 7-0 record before signing with the UFC. During his mixed martial arts career, he won 14 matches, of which seven were by knockout, and lost only one.

No doubt, Gregor’s career journey was full of challenges and hurdles, so I am sure you are impatient to hear his story.

    Tose Zafirov

    Mr. Olympia Representative

    Hello everyone. It is my pleasure to present to you Gregor Gillespie, an American graduate collegiate wrestler and professional MMA fighter who currently competes in the lightweight category in the UFC.

    Gregor had a huge talent for wrestling since high school, where he won two titles. Afterward, he continued to compete for Edinboro University, where he won a national championship and was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American and one-time NCAA Champion. Furthermore, he held the school record for the most wins beating 152 opponents.

    His professional fighting career started in 2014 when he made his MMA debut. After that, he made a 7-0 record before signing with the UFC. During his mixed martial arts career, he won 14 matches, of which seven were by knockout, and lost only one.

    No doubt, Gregor’s career journey was full of challenges and hurdles, so I am sure you are impatient to hear his story.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Hello Gregor. It’s a pleasure to have you here today. First, can you briefly introduce yourself to the audience and tell us how you came to fall in love with this sport?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    Hello Tose. Well, I wrestled my whole life, starting from 5 years old. My father got me into it and coached me until I went to college, where I attended the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Also, I was a division 1 NCAA 4-time all-American in college, and I was a 1-time NCAA champion. My wrestling career led me into the sport of MMA!

    Tose Zafirov:

    What is your favorite strike or submission during a fight, and do you like to stand with your opponents or knock them to the ground? In addition, what MMA skill is the most important, and which martial art is your favorite?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    My favorite submission to finish a fight is a tough question to answer because I take whatever opportunity is there at the time based on where the fight goes! But I really do love the ground aspect of the fight and prefer to be on the ground, which is obvious because of my wrestling background. Furthermore, the new aspects of the ground game I have discovered through the sport of MMA (specifically grappling) have ignited a new love and interest!

    The most important skill in MMA is wrestling and not because you can take someone down whenever you want, but more because you can decide where you would like the fight to take place.

    For example, if the guy you are fighting is a better striker than you, a wrestler can take the fight to the ground, and conversely, if the guy is a great submission artist, a wrestler can decide to fend off takedowns and keep the fight standing! Therefore, the ability to dictate where the fight takes place is the reason wrestling is the most important.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Who is your biggest inspiration and idol, and how do you wish to be remembered? Also, who would you choose to fight if you could choose anyone?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    My dad is my biggest influence, not just in my career but also in my life. He guided me in wrestling and gave me a great example of how to lead a good life.

    If I could fight anyone in the history of the sport, my dream fight would be a fight against GSP! He was such an iconic figure that shaped sport and gave everyone a great blueprint of not just how to win but how to act when you win!

    Tose Zafirov:

    Do you now have any specific past experiences that had an impact on your career goals? Moreover, how did you achieve a 14-1 record, and is there any formula for success?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    The biggest piece of advice or tricks of the trade I could give to anyone in sports would be persistence and consistency. In other words, skills are not gained overnight, and improvements take time, so the ability to see the long game is such an important attribute.

    Also, the ability to do more work than anyone else and have the gas tank to outlast someone within a fight can offset any discrepancies in skills that may exist in a match-up. Meaning getting someone tired and technique goes out the window. Make someone exhausted and uncomfortable, and they start not to care what the outcome is.

    However, there is a catch with this strategy. Finally, you must be ok with being exhausted and uncomfortable! That’s why it’s not for everyone!

    Tose Zafirov:

    Have you made friends with other top fighters during your travels?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    Yes, I have made some great friends over the years of training and fighting! One of my favorite experiences was going to New Mexico, training with cowboy Cerrone, and staying on his ranch! Also, I met a ton of cool people out there as well! I ended up going back a few times.

    Tose Zafirov:

    The most significant element for every kind of athlete is food. Your girlfriend comes from Macedonia, known for its delicious Balkan cuisine. Therefore, have you ever tasted traditional Macedonian food? In addition, what nutrition advice can you give to aspiring individuals worldwide?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    My girlfriend Christina is such an important person in my life, and I try to spend as much time with her and her family, who are all from Macedonia. I love being around them, and I have sampled some Macedonian foods on several holidays!

    On Christmas Eve this year, I got to try kifli and zelnik. I’m not sure I’m spelling or using those words right, but I know that’s what I remember trying, and they were delicious. My girlfriend is making fun of me, though, because I say I’ve eaten Macedonian food, but she says that’s just a snack, not a Macedonian meal!

    My tip with diets is to be consistent and to stop calling them diets. Instead, they have to be a lifestyle, just the way you always eat! I’ve eaten the same thing every day for almost 11 years! (Minus the few times I’ve eaten kifli and zelnik, haha!)

    Tose Zafirov:

    There are ups and downs in every sport. So, is it difficult to recover after an injury? Additionally, how do you keep yourself motivated, and how do you deal with pressure?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    Injuries and losses are just part of this sport! If you fight long enough, you WILL lose, and you WILL get hurt.

    My college coach Tim Flynn told me one time that you have to have amnesia in this sport. Forget it and move forward, whether it’s a win or a loss, or a hard time! In other words, don’t let it affect what the future holds!

    Tose Zafirov:

    Where do you get inspiration and motivation for living a healthy life? Furthermore, is it difficult to strike a balance between your personal and work life? How do you spend your free time, and what makes you happy besides fighting? Lastly, do you have a hobby?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    My biggest inspiration in sports is seeing the people I love and those who support and help me be happy when I win! That’s the best feeling in the world - when these people you love are all so happy that you won. Therefore, that alone is enough for me to endure the hardships that come with this sport!

    Outside of fighting, I love fishing, and also, this past year, my girlfriend got me into climbing mountains! Furthermore, we are currently on our journey to climb the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondack mountains, all of which are over 4 thousand feet! It’s called the 46er challenge, and we are constantly trying to get up there and knock off more and more along the way!

    Tose Zafirov:

    Many people found 2020 as a big challenge. Also, professionals struggled to maintain their forms. So, how did you respond to the situation, especially with the lockdowns, and how did Covid-19 and 2020 influence your body shape?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    It’s tough, but it’s also very easy to break it down when you look at it without emotions involved. In other words, you can work out anywhere; you don’t need much equipment. You can do so many great workouts in a small space with just your body weight! As a result, it was such a double-edged sword being in lockdown due to COVID-19.

    It was tough being stuck at home and not being able to train like normal. Still, the silver lining is that I got to spend so much amazing time with my girlfriend, and it brought us so much closer together. Also, I got to spend the most time I’ve spent with my family that I have in 10 years!

    I train and live in Long Island, New York, and my GF and family live in our hometown in upstate NY; it’s an hour away. During the lockdown, I spent 4 or 5 months up there with everyone and doing my workouts on my own in my brother’s basement!

    Tose Zafirov:

    Finally, what is your motto and message to the world, especially for the young fighters?

    Gregor Gillespie:

    My motto and mantra would be this… Be comfortable being uncomfortable, and consistency is the most important attribute to have! Be ok with not getting instant results and see the long game.

    I call it “delayed gratification.” I’d much rather have less right now as a trade for much greater things down the road, be patient and work hard quietly!

    Final Words

    Gregor, thank you for your time and honesty. You are a real motivation for many young fighters, and I hope we will see you succeed even more in the future!

    If you want to find out more about Gregor’s life and career, please visit his official Wikipedia page.

    For more inspiring stories, feel free to check the Interviews page. 

    Latest Interviews

    If you are willing to read more aspiring stories from both professionals and beginners, you can do so by joining the most powerful fitness transformation group. Famous or not, we all walk the same difficult path to success. Feel free to share your story, and get never-seen-before support and motivation!

    Learn More