Isi Fitikefu is a man of few words. That’s what I was repeatedly told in the week before talking to the 26-year-old Tongan-Australian. “Ultra-shy” was the gentle caution I received from one of his handlers shortly before our call, and Fitkefu himself was quick to qualify, early in our conversation, that interviews were his kryptonite. The undefeated prospect, who counts UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker among his training partners, doesn’t appear to have publicly accessible social media accounts and dutifully shuns the spotlight – preferring to let his fights do the talking. But those fights are putting him on the radar in a big way, and one expects that he won’t be able to avoid publicity for much longer.
“I just want to fight,” Fitkefu said. “Just keep fighting and winning, getting experience. Doing interviews… I’ve only had to do a few. But when I do I have a panic attack. They give me notice, but I get real anxiety. Even when the cameras are around for Rob and that, I try my best to avoid [them]. Even though they’re coming around and not shooting me, but if I’m going to be in the footage I try and hide behind the cameras. I try my best, I’m just not a camera guy.”
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