1. What inspired you to pursue a career in mixed martial arts and join Fight Academy Ireland?
The first time I property paid attention to MMA was during the McGregor come up, when I seen him fight, I had to try it myself, joining FAI was something I wanted to do for a few years the first time I realised this was when I watched the backstage video MMA Connect did at one of the Cage Conflict events, there is no team spirit like it. I was nervous to join but when I did, I was made to feel as if I was there from day one by everyone.
2. How has training at Fight Academy Ireland helped shape you as a fighter and contributed to your growth in the sport?
What I’ve learned since joining FAI is that you don’t just learn physical skills/techniques, your fight IQ will grow at a rapid pace. This is down to the world class coaching and ethos set by Liam & Pat. On top of that you have one of the biggest fight teams on the island and training partners in every weight class, every weight class, I get to share the mats with the most talented fighters in the country.
3. Who are your role models or sources of inspiration in the world of MMA?
I love watching teammates fight, seeing their success gets me excited for what’s next in my MMA career. I find inspiration in those around me more than I would watching fighters on TV.
In FAI alone you have Paul Hughes, Rhys McKee, Paddy McCrory, Kyle McClurkin & Ryan Curtis all on Cage Warriors, then you have the next wave of fighters coming through with fighters like Gerard Burns, Ciaran Coogan, Tiernan Loughran, Michael Shields just to name a few, watching them all pursue their career gives me a buzz to do the same.
4. What is the most challenging aspect of being a professional fighter, and how do you overcome those challenges?
The hardest thing in my opinion is managing time. You must put a lot of work in to fight and the training can be intense. I have to sacrifice time with my daughters outside of work when I’m training, the thing that keeps me going is working hard enough to have success, making them proud would be worth it!
5. How do you balance your training schedule with other aspects of your life, such as work or family?
I work full time, have a fiancée and 2 daughters. The classes at FAI fit nice with my work schedule, I balance this as best I can, my personal life and fight life get different levels of priority depending if I am fighting or not but this will always be a challenge for most fighters on the come up as there isn’t enough money in the sport so you will need to have a source of income to get by and need to make sure your getting the sessions in!
6. Are there any rituals or superstitions you follow before a fight?
When I make weight, I always have a Nando’s that day it has become a bit of a ritual/well deserved meal! Before I actually fight when I’m back stage as it draws close and I’ve done the warm up I like to just walk slowly around the room, zone out and visualise everything until I get called then I snap back out of it and I’m good to go, it’s my way of dealing with the pre-fight emotions as I know how to manage them now, everyone feels the same way!
7. How do you stay motivated and driven during tough times or setbacks in your career?
Having a positive mindset is key, when going through tough times you need to remind yourself that it won’t last, some of the best days of your life haven’t even happened yet.