This week we had the opportunity to interview top Irish MMA prospect, Tommy McCafferty, who was featured on our weekly segment: “Top 5 Weekly Prospects: Ireland” a couple of weeks ago. This week, however, we had the privilege to catch up with him first hand to get a more in-depth look at his career.
Hi, Tommy. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule of training and coaching to answer a few questions for us here over at MMA Latest. It’s very much appreciated.
How are you feeling Tommy? Is training going strong?
Yeah, all’s pretty good here, back training full steam again now and working on a few things.
Do you have fights coming up soon? If so, against who and where?
I have nothing set yet, as I am signed to cage warriors, so hopefully they will be running shows again soon so I can get something planned.
Is there anyone who you would be interested in fighting? Or even a dream match-up?
I’m not one to really want any particular fight, I just love to fight and keep progressing up the ladder, I’ll fight whoever is put in front of me and that’s always been the way I’ve worked.
Will you fight at UXC next or do you plan on looking elsewhere?
At the minute I am on a 5 fight contract with cage warriors and still have 4 fights left in the contract, my last fight on UXC was the one fight release that all contracted fighters got to keep them busy and fighting.
Oh right, so when do you think Cage Warriors will hold their first show? Is a title run on the cards for you?
I’m in the same boat as everyone else. I don’t really know but I’m hoping they will be up and going again before the end of the summer so we can all keep active again as it is a bit of a hindrance at the minute trying to plan ahead, but yeah when they do get up and going I’ll be looking to put a title run together for sure. I’m not here to make up numbers and be content just to be fighting on a show. I want to progress towards the title.
After your loss to Teddy Violet, how do you feel?
To me, it’s just a bump in the road. It’s just a matter of dusting off and getting ready for the next one, fair play to him to caught me and that’s all there was to it, but it’s the sport we are in, nothing is predictable and a split second can change a fight and that’s what keeps it interesting
What do you think went wrong? How do you think you can bounce back from this?
I just got caught, there wasn’t much more to it,its part of the sport I’ve done it to countless people through my career so it’s no different, I’ll be back even more determined and focused in the next fight
Do you think it damaged any potential top promotion call-ups?
Not really, in this sport it’s near impossible to make it to any of the big shows without a defeat on your record if you are fighting the right calibre of fighters, I may have one loss, but I have 6 wins so far all by stoppage, I’m the type of fighter people want to watch because I finish fights or ill go out on my shield I’ll never be in a boring fight
Artem Lobov pulled out about with you 2nd time around this time which lead to Violet standing in, you called this before it even happened, what do you make of this situation(him pulling out)?
I think art is a hypocrite he gives all the big talk about fighting anyone and how all these fighters avoid him,I had a lot of respect for him and how he used to fight anyone but that is long gone now i had confirmed 2 fights with him only for him to pull out with dodgy excuses, the first time he pulled I couldn’t get an opponent and end up with no fight due to him saying he was retired.
Would you be interested in a future match-up with him?
Not anymore I’ve given him two opportunities to fight me and I’m not going to give him a third time to pull out and leave me looking for a replacement again, the only way that fight will happen now is if both of us make it to the UFC where he is contracted and can’t run and hide.
Previously you were a World Champion Kickboxer, what made you opt to MMA? What was the process of change like?
The kickboxing scene had run dry for me and I was struggling to get fights, I had fought MMA before I went to kickboxing and always wanted to return to it at some stage and when the fights started to dry up I knew it was time to change over
Interesting, would you ever be interest in fighting in both sports instead of just MMA like Joe Schilling and Chi Parry Lewis do, fighting in Glory and Bellator/ONE FC?
At the minute I am 100% focused on MMA and that is my main aim, if I spend time preparing for kickboxing fights I will have to neglect my wrestling and ground game for weeks on end and I am not willing to do that as I am pushing hard to round my game out so that my wrestling and ground game will be on the same level as my striking
What goals do you have set for yourself in MMA? How do you plan to achieve these goals?
My goal in this sport is the same as any fighter with ambition, it’s to make it to the UFC and start putting a run together, I intend to get back in fight and get a few wins under me again and keep finishing fights.
I look forward to seeing that anyway. So how did you first start fighting?
I got into martial arts aged 6, my parents started me in the local club because I was getting bullied and it progressed from there, I represented Ireland at world level, then by time I got to 17-18 I wanted more of a challenge and went to watch one of the very first ring of truths in Dublin and from there I wanted to have a go so I started training more than. I had my first pro fight in 2007 and fought a kickboxing bout 2 weeks later and stopped the lad with a spinning kick and got a call up to challenge for a European title on short notice as the original opponent got injured and I stopped the lad in the 2nd round. I then put MMA to the side for a while as I got a run at a world title from that fight, but the kickboxing fights started to dry up and I decided it was time to get back to MMA so I started training again with martin mc Laughlin from Torres BJJ and started to travel to train that with Frankie mc Conville
Wow! A great career with some memorable fights there! What’s your all-time favourite fight? And why?
That’s a hard one, it would prob be the first Chuck vs Tito fight, I remember getting it on DVD and watching the build up to it and then chuck smashing Tito with that final combination, I pretty much love watching any of Chuck’s or Anderson Silva’s fights, but that one sticks out for me
Oh yeah! that was epic! And lastly, what is a typical training in the Life of Tommy McCafferty? Could you break down for us to how you spend your day training and coaching?
It really depends on what day of the week it is but generally I’ll train between 5 and 6 hours a day 5 days of the week and then travel for sparring to EFR on a Sunday and that’s usually 2 hours, My weekday training is usually split between morning and night time so i can get as much recovery in between sessions as I can, between fights I train a lot of hours just working on technique and learning new stuff but as I get closer to fights I’ll usually cut down on the hours and up the intensity. My week usually consists of BJJ, wrestling, muay Thai and boxing sessions with plenty of sparrings, I put a lot of rounds in every week between rolling, sparring stand up, wrestling and of course MMA rounds, then I usually teach 6 sessions a week split between kickboxing and muay Thai. I love coaching and seeing people develop in confidence as they train, I’ve been blessed that this is my full-time occupation so I get to coach and train as much as I want.
Is there anyone you’d like to give a shoutout to?
I’d like to give a big shout to my coach sensei Martin McLaughlin and all the lads at Torres BJJ. Frankie McConville my Muay Thai coach, China Coyle my padman, all the lads at EFR who help me with sparring coming up to fights,my family and girlfriend Sarah who put up with me coming up to fights and all my sponsors
Sweeney Spar express
Shipquay Natural Health Clinic
Thanks again Tommy, I really appreciate it, best of luck with training and coaching as well as any fights that come about.
FURY FC 17 Preview: UFC Veteran Roger Narvaez Set to Fight For Gold
Deep in the Hill Country of Texas, there is a storm of MMA action brewing on the horizon in the historic city of San Antonio.
In 1836 the most iconic siege ever to take place in the American West was waged between Santa Anna’s Mexican forces and a small band of Texans fighting for their independence at the Battle of the Alamo. On June 10th that tradition of never backing down continues as Fury Fighting Championships 17 takes place at the Shrine Auditorium with a card that was originally slated to have 20 bouts of MMA action. At the top of the bill, there will be a familiar face as former UFC fighter, Roger “The Silverback” Narvaez, looks to capture his first championship in the sport when he faces Antonio “Doomsday” Jones for the vacant middleweight title. The event will also feature a hot prospect, a kickboxing champion, and a grudge match.
Fury FC 17 will be broadcast live on FloCombat.com.
While the 33-year-old Narvaez (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has already realized his ultimate goal of getting to the highest level of MMA, fighting for a title has always eluded him. The 6’3″ fighter nicknamed “The Silverback” due to his abnormal 79.5″ wingspan, or monkey arms as he calls them was twice scheduled to fight for the Legacy Fighting Championship Middleweight Title against then champion Bubba Bush who now fights in the UFC. An injury caused the first fight to be canceled. Then a call up to the UFC to fight an unknown opponent on short notice put an end to plans for the another scheduled title fight.
To Roger, the secret to grabbing the attention of the world’s biggest MMA promotion is fighting for several different promotions. He fought for six different organizations winning all of his fights before getting a call from the UFC’s former matchmaker Joe Silva to ask if he was ready to make the move. Narvaez feels that fighting for multiple shows tells the UFC that a fighter is ready to fight whoever and whenever. His first fight for the promotion was a loss to Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque where he fought at an altitude of over 5300 feet sea level, something he says will not do again unless he is training at altitude. To put it bluntly, he plainly states “the altitude in Albuquerque sucks.” After a win against Luke Barnett, he faced Elias Theodorou. In that fight, he broke his arm before ultimately losing, and was then cut by the UFC.
At this point in Narvaez’s career, his goals now are different:
“The next goal for me, to be realistic, is to make as much money as I can. I love fighting, but at the same time, I have a family that I am trying to support. That is always first and foremost now…[and] Fury is doing a pretty good job of taking care of me…This is a really big deal for me. I am probably training harder for this fight than I have ever trained before. Part of that is with age comes knowledge and experience and I am doing everything I need to do the right way to get ready to come home with that strap, but that strap means ever thing…I didn’t quit fighting with a broken arm, it is going to take something pretty drastic to get me stop. I don’t think the guy I am fighting is going to be able to break my will or test my heart to where I am not going to be able to pull through…coming home with that title is a big deal.”
That home is one of a fighting family. Narvaez’s wife Brandi is also a fighter who recently made her professional debut at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7. His stepson is a gray belt who competes in Jui-Jitsu year round, his daughter also trains in the sport. They understand the hard work that their dad puts in more so than the average fighter’s family. As he puts “it’s not normal, but it is normal to us.”
The prospect to keep an eye on is Two-time Alabama state wrestling champion turned lightweight MMA fighter, Alec Williams (5-1 MMA) from Birmingham. Williams will be looking to rebound from his first professional loss as he takes on Travonne “Prince Scorpion” Hobbs. In his last fight, Alec relied on his wrestling and got it in his head that he did not want to stand and trade with his opponent. That mentality ultimately not only cost him his undefeated record but also to sustain four broken bones in the right side of his face.
“I didn’t get knocked out, I still got the takedown after I broke those four bones. I know it is going to be pretty difficult to knock me out…Honestly, the loss kind of took any pressure off. Before I was undefeated, that loss was going to be a big change and now a loss is just another loss.”
For this fight, Williams says he has been working with MMA legend and former UFC fighter Pete Spratt on his stand up and will not make the same mistake twice.
Also featured on the card is the first Brazilan World Cup Kickboxing Champion, welterweight Washington “Washingthai” Luiz. Originally slated to fight Nickolay Veretennikov, “Washingthai” Luiz will now take on lesser known Danny Ageday. With a new opponent on just four days notice, the man who has aspirations to become a champion in GLORY Kickboxing is not fazed.
“I did my whole camp studying my first opponent who is a striker like me, but I do not feel harmed by the change. I’m ready for this war…The main reason for my change to the USA is the opportunity to be in the biggest events in the world I have already fought the biggest events in Brazil in kickboxing and MMA. I have fought in big events in Europe and now my challenge is the biggest event of kickboxing, GLORY. But I also love MMA and when a fight appears for me, I do not refuse.”
The grudge match at Fury FC 17 comes to us from the flyweights division’s Mark “The Sparrow” Plata and David “Gallito” Miramontes. These two men were scheduled to fight previously but Plata had to pull out due to his wife giving birth to twins. According to Plata, that is where the beef began.
“The day my twins were born he was messaging me talking about how this was not a good reason not fight and that I just did not want to fight him. My kids were in ICU at the time and he just keeps messaging me over and over…it upset me at the time because they were dying, they were trying to survive, but it just added more fuel to the fire. Then he kept asking promoters to fight me. He asked two or three different promoters to set it up. I got tired of him asking for me. So then I was like, alright cool if you want it that bad, let’s do it…His fighting style matches his personality. He tries to be a bully, and that’s cool, I don’t mind shutting bullies down.”
Titles, champions, prospects, legitimate bad blood…what more you could ask for in a local card?
This is an event not to miss and thanks to Fury FC having a deal with FloSports, you do not have to.
Tune in for all the action live at 6:00 PM CST on FloCombat.com this Saturday.
*VIDEO* Francis Ngannou has his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Title
UFC Heavyweight Francis “The Predator” Ngannou has taken the heavyweight division by storm.
Currently 5-0 in the UFC and riding a 9 fight win streak, the native of Cameroon possesses vicious power and has shown improvements each time he steps inside the cage.
Hear Ngannou talk about his journey and plans for the future:
The humble beginnings of the Korean Zombie
The featherweight division has become one of the most exciting in the UFC in the last few years. With the arrival of Conor McGregor, and an influx of exciting talent, new life has been breathed into a division that was suffering due to Jose Aldo’s dominance.
A notable absentee during this rise has been “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, who returns for the first time in three years against Dennis Bermudez on Saturday. The fight features as the main event of UFC Fight Night 104, and Jung is making his long awaited return after serving his mandatory military service duty for the South Korean Army.
With the fight with Bermudez fast approaching, the buzz for Jung’s return is noticeable throughout the MMA community. With a return of this magnitude, it is always fun to look back at the career of the fighter and relive the moments in his career that make the fan in all of us excited for his return.
The humble beginnings of the Korean Zombie
Chan Sung Jung was widely considered to be one of the best prospects to emerge from the far east when he was signed by WEC to face Cub Swanson in 2010. An injury forced Swanson out of the contest and Leonard Garcia stepped in as a replacement.
The fight between the two would take place on the preliminary card of Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight championship. The event was the first and only WEC pay-per-view card and with Zuffa on board, the event was treated as such with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan on commentary.
That night, MMA fans were treated to one of the greatest fights in mixed martial arts history and widely regarded as the best fight ever in the lighter weight classes. Many fans call a fight “a war” in an exciting contest between two fighters, but the fight between the Zombie and Garcia was more like a demolition derby.
Both men threw their strikes with wreckless intent and dropped each other on numerous occasions. The fight went to a split decision with Garcia getting the nod from the judges. Many considered Jung the winner, but the fight received praise from every media outlet in the days following the card. Dana White would wear a shirt with the now famous “Korean Zombie” logo at the following UFC PPV weigh ins in support of the epic fight.
Jung returned to the cage to face George Roop in his next outing in the WEC and lost the fight by a vicious head kick. This would be his final fight in WEC as the UFC went on to absorb the WEC’s featherweight and bantamweight divisions and bring both into the UFC.
Jung was scheduled to make his promotional debut for the UFC against Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night 23, but was forced out of the fight with an injury. Ironically Leonard Garcia’s opponent Nam Phan would suffer an injury before their scheduled fight. It seemed like fate that Jung and Garcia would do battle once more. The Korean Zombie came in as a late replacement for the injured Phan. The rematch between the two was highly anticipated and the UFC was promoting the fight as the rematch to the greatest fight ever.
The fight was set as the opener to the main card for UFC Fight Night 24. What came next was history in the making. Both fighters were tentative in the early exchanges in the fight and didn’t have the same enthusiasm to brawl as the previous encounter, but in the final few minutes of the opening round, Jung took the back of Garcia.
In an unorthodox position on the ground, Rogan said on the desk, “Looks like he is setting up for a twister”. The twister was not seen in the UFC at this point and with the clock ticking, Jung stretched Garcia in a position where his spine was turned into a pretzel and Garcia tapped. Jung stated in the post-fight interview with Rogan that he had learned how to do the submission watching videos of Eddie Bravo doing the move. The win won multiple awards for submission of the year.
After that win, Chan Sung Jung was set to face Mark Hominick at UFC 140 in Toronto. Hominick, who fought Aldo for the title at UFC 129 in his hometown, came into the fight as the underdog, but in seven seconds that all changed. Jung cracked Hominick, tying the record for the second fastest knockout in UFC history. A win over a former title challenger launched the South Korean into title contention.
Following another historic win, Chan Sung Jung was now set to take part in his first ever main event against rising star Dustin Poirier with the winner receiving a title shot against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at a later date.
Jung went on to put on another fight of the year that night. The one-man zombie horde overwhelmed Poirier in the early rounds with his aggressive style. Numerous submission attempts and transitions by Jung frustrated Poirier. As Poirier became more aggressive and careless in the fight, Jung launched a flying knee in the third round and rocked his opponent. Poirier attempted to take Jung down, but the Zombie caught Poirier in a D’Arce choke in the third round to get the win.
Multiple injuries, and scheduled title fights between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar; and Aldo and Anthony Pettis, delayed Jung’s title shot. After Pettis was forced out of the title fight with Aldo because of an injury, Jung was called up as a late replacement and finally get the title shot he earned by defeating Poirier a year earlier.
The fight would take place in Brazil and was surprisingly lacklustre. Both fighters were sizing each other up for the majority of the contest. Jung suffered an injury during the fight when he dislocated his shoulder and in typical zombie fashion, Jung attempted to put his own shoulder back in place. Aldo used this time to attack, winning the title fight by TKO.
This would be the last time we saw the zombie in the cage as he would be drafted by the South Korean Army to do his two-year mandatory military service. Jung has not fought in three and a half years.
Now the burning question is how will the Korean zombie look after such a long absence. One thing is sure though, fans are extremely excited to see his return and on Saturday, The Zombie Apocalypse could be on the cards if the South Korean comes out of the cage with a win.
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