Fight Academy Ireland

Paul Hughes

Weight Division: Featherweight

  • Cage Warriors World Champion
  • Cage Conflict Champion (x 2 weight divisions)
  • Clan Wars Amateur Champion

Paul Hughes

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in mixed martial arts and join Fight Academy Ireland?

I began fighting at 16, after a couple years I realised I was pretty good, so I decided to have a professional fight at 19. Around the same time, I seen the rise of Conor McGregor in the UFC and it helped me realise that it is possible for me to make an amazing career out of the sport that is my passion.  

2. How has training at Fight Academy Ireland helped shape you as a fighter and contributed to your growth in the sport?

I joined fight academy when I was 22 years old. Working with the coaching staff has helped me take my career to the next level. I believe we have one of the best coaching teams in the world, which is evident in the champions the gym is producing. 

3. Who are your role models or sources of inspiration in the world of MMA?

Some of my inspirations in the sport of MMA include Conor McGregor, Joe McColgan, and Israel Adesanya. 3 of the GOATs.

4. What is the most challenging aspect of being a professional fighter, and how do you overcome those challenges?

One of the most challenging things of being a fighter is the unpredictability of fight dates (we don’t have a season) and of course occasional injuries. If you don’t fight, you don’t get paid so there is a lot of unpredictability in this sport. This is why a bulletproof and resilient, mindset is essential to overcome these obstacles time and time again. If it was easy everyone would do it!  

5. How do you balance your training schedule with other aspects of your life, such as work or family?

In this game training must (selfishly) come first. But tight knit family and friendship connections is essential for the long run. 

6. Are there any rituals or superstitions you follow before a fight? 

No superstitions, that’s mental weakness Imo. Rituals not really. When my music is on in the changing rooms, I naturally enter the zone. 

7. How do you stay motivated and driven during tough times or setbacks in your career?

The core belief that I have the tools to become the best on the planet, can bring me back from any obstacle. If I’m physically able to train, I can, over x amount of time, become the UFC world champion, but I must stay in the fight and not give up. Total faith that it CAN be done.

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