1. What inspired you to pursue a career in mixed martial arts and join Fight Academy Ireland?
I started MMA because my brother was doing it at the time. I had no experience of any sort of martial art but quickly got hooked on the competition. When I started competing I knew I had to train with the best to get where I wanted to be. So I joined FAI.
2. How has training at Fight Academy Ireland helped shape you as a fighter and contributed to your growth in the sport?
If I never joined the FAI I wouldn’t have been able to reach the level of Cage Warriors World Champion. Having Shando and Pat develop my skillset and the team around me to help me perfect it is the reason I was able get to that level.
3. Who are your role models or sources of inspiration in the world of MMA?
Conor McGregor during his rise to the top. Watching a local guy run through the best guys in the world was incredible.
4. What is the most challenging aspect of being a professional fighter, and how do you overcome those challenges?
The most challenging aspect for me was dealing with the fear of the competition and being able to control my nerves on fight night. Hard training, dieting, weight cuts, injuries are all easy when you’re scheduled to fight someone in a cage who has been working hard for 8 weeks to beat you.
5. How do you balance your training schedule with other aspects of your life, such as work or family?
Its all about discipline and organisation. If I am organised in all aspects of my life, and disciplined to do all the things I need to do, then its very manageable. I actually found it really beneficial working a full time job alongside my training. It was a good distraction from constantly thinking about the diet/fight.
6. Are there any rituals or superstitions you follow before a fight?
Shando has actually been in my corner for every single fight since joining FAI. If he wasn’t there it wouldn’t feel right so I guess having him there is my ritual.
7. How do you stay motivated and driven during tough times or setbacks in your career?
A wise man (Pat) once told me when I was at the airport on the way back from London after losing to Jai Herbert. I was feeling really low and contemplating retirement. Pat pointed over to Rhys McKee and said “look at Rhys, he just debuted on Cage Warriors and got a first round KO, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him…. don’t get to high with the highs, and don’t get to low with the lows”. The wins and losses will always be there, just continue to focus on the goals and you will get there.