May 8, 2015 6:44 pm

Phillipe Nover: The Return – Part 2

Photo: Christian Buitron - Graphics: Jason Ancheta

Photo: Christian Buitron – Graphics: Jason Ancheta


New York Fighting held an exclusive interview with former TUF finalist and returning UFC fighter Phillipe Nover. This article is Part 2 in a 3-part series based on that interview. Click the link for Part 1 ————>

 Phillipe would like to thank the Brooklyn-based company Future Legend Clothing for their sponsorship over the years.




In Part 1 of this series, Brooklyn-based MMA veteran and returning UFC fighter Phillipe “Super” Nover provided insight on the Filipino MMA connection and discussed his thoughts on fighting on the UFC‘s first event in the Philippines, which takes place on May 16th. He also provided some insight on the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match, picking “Pac Man” by unanimous decision. As fight fans now know, it was instead Mayweather who claimed the unanimous decision, in a match derided as boring by those who criticized Mayweather for avoiding exchanges, and praised by those who appreciated his tactical intelligence and technique. Nover shared his thoughts on his Facebook page:

“Floyd is a master of his craft and could be one of the smartest boxers ever to box. He has amazing speed and impeccable defense. His timing is superb. Not only is his timing in the ring perfect but he has the best timing when it comes to setting up fights. He lagged 5 long years before signing the deal with Manny which would be to his advantage. He has built a marketable persona whether you like it or not. He can back up is trash talk and people watch him fight whether they want to see him lose or want to see him win. Fans will still pay for the pay per view.

The one issue I have is what message he sends to people around the world. And that message is some what confusing. The message seems to be money is everything, he has it all, and he can buy whatever he wants. He calls himself “The Money Team.” As a public figure with all eyes on him, I believe he holds a giant responsibility. After becoming so established in life that all your needs are met plus some, I believe there comes a time to give back to society. He is set to make over $180 million dollars win or lose. If he takes that money and throws it away on garbage then so be it. But what message is he sending to the youth of this era? What if he took 10% of what he makes tonight and set up a few schools in impoverished neighborhoods around the country? I think he could make a huge difference.”

The Internet is buzzing with rumors of a rematch, so the door might not be closed on the recent mega-bout. However with the boxing “Match of the Century” in the rearview mirror, the focus of fight fans has turned to the UFC touching down in Manila, Philippines, for its UFC Fight Night card. Phillipe Nover is proud to be featured on the card, but many fans might not be aware of what took place shortly after his first UFC run.

When I left the UFC in 2010, I took some time off, and I had a problem with my neck. After getting an MRI and seeing a number of doctors, I put my foot down and decided to get neck surgery. I had a very bad herniated disc that was pinching the nerve basically. And I went to a number of doctors, I went to 5 different doctors. I am a registered nurse, so I really made sure that I investigated and interviewed each doctor. And I went to a spine specialist named Michael Shapiro, and when I met him he just convinced me. He had a lot of other patients who were professional athletes as well, and they had great outcomes, so I had a total disc replacement.” The surgery was successful, and the recovery was quicker than some might expect for neck surgery. “Actually within 6 months I fought a pro Muay Thai fight in New York City, which was so exciting, and I had a great time and I won by first round TKO.”

imagePhillipe Nover still works fulltime as a nurse in a major New York City hospital, which can prove challenging to balance along with the demands of competing in professional MMA. “I do 40 hours a week, plus overtime, plus on-calls,” he explains. In fact, this interview was postponed because Phillipe had to respond to an emergency at the hospital where he works. Formerly an ER nurse, Nover now works in the Cardiac Cath unit, which he finds both challenging and rewarding. “Cardiac Cath is pretty much assisting cardiologists who are specialists in interventional cardiology. I assist them in putting stents in people’s hearts and other different specialzed devices, life saving techinques, for people who have heart blockages. I love doing what I do… and I do enjoy saving people’s lives like this, it’s a passion of mine as well. In the meantime during the last 5 years I also got my certification in cardiac cath, so I’m a registered cardiac invasive specialist in addition to being a registered nurse. So I’ve been doing a lot, I’m always pursuing to get better in my mixed martial arts career as well as my nursing career.”

At first glance it may sound like Nover is a full time nurse, and a part time fighter. But speaking with him and hearing about his dedication to his goals in MMA, one gets the sense that he treats both as full time jobs and works hard to balance the demands of both. “You have to have a gameplan and a backup and stuff. You have to have coaches who understand your lifestyle. I’m not the type of fighter who just fights full time in the UFC. I know a lot of fighters who have the opportunity to just train two sessions a day and then be able to sleep. I work at night too, so depending on how stressful my night shift is, or depending on if I’m on call for an emergency, that will screw up my training further. Then I have to sit back and I have to say, should I just tough it out and go to my next training session? Or should I just get some sleep?”

Photo credit: Christian Buitron

Photo credit: Christian Buitron


The balancing act depends on many factors, including how close the fighter is to fight time. “Right now as the fight is close… I’m focusing more on the recovery and sleep, it’s such a priority. Further out I would just say I would tough it out, but right now I feel like I have to get as much rest as possible, being that my energy levels are a little bit lower because I am also cutting weight, and the risk for injury is high if you’re cutting weight. And if you’re not sleeping on top of that, it’s just a total collapse. So I’ll just move my training schedules around, and I’ll text my coaches and tell them hey, work is killing me, and you know, the guys are understanding. So it’s a tough balancing act but I’m still able to do it, and I think in a few years, if and when I re-sign with the UFC for my second contract with them, maybe we can work out a deal where I won’t have to do any nursing.” He is not in any rush though. “Right now nursing is a stable lifestyle. Whether I win or lose a fight, that will change my salary completely. But when I’m a nurse I have a a consistent check, with a 401K, tax-deferred annuity, with my health insurance paid, it’s just stable you know?”

The stability is not the only upside to Nover‘s nursing career. It has also drawn the attention of fans and acquaintances who can relate to his goals. He receives emails from people “who are also pursuing a career in nursing or medicine and things like that. And they love training and they love fighting or they love jiu jitsu or they love wrestling, and you know being able to pursue two careers is something that a lot of people find really cool.”



The next chapter in Phillipe Nover‘s balancing act comes on May 16th when he takes on Yui Chul Nam in Manila. Be on the lookout for Part 3 in this series, coming up this week, where Phillipe Nover discusses his fight career leading up to this UFC appearance, his training, and his preparation for this fight!


Written by Contributing-EditorKyle Antonelli 


Kyle Antonelli is a lifelong martial arts enthusiast and has been following MMA since 2002. He has a background in wrestling and teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which he has trained since 2005. Kyle is also a licensed attorney in New York State.

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