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.
Interview: Manny Bermudez, “The second this fight goes on the ground, it’s gonna be a pretty terrible story for this guy”
Manny Bermudez is accustom to many things when it comes to fighting, especially when it comes to pressure. “I’ve been doing this since I was young”, the undefeated bantamweight prospect claimed as he brushed off the question. His answer slid off the tongue as if he had been trained to do so, “Yeah, I get nervous. Yeah, it gets scary sometimes but, you either man up and face it, or you take a loss (and) you have to start over”. He certainly hadn’t. What he had trained is a calm and loose demeanor, a mindset that palpably asserts rationality. “It’s best to just take it on the chin”.
Currently, Manny Bermudez is the number one ranked professional bantamweight in the New England region (ranking by Tapology.com). Something you would not expect from the polite and kind twenty-three year old. Despite whom he projects, there comes a time, every so often, when the quiet man morphs into a dominating force. It is something you may see if you travel down to South Shore Sportfighting, in Norwell, the place he began and continues his training.
A place in which he take great pride in beginning his MMA journey, “I’ve known Bill since I was like fourteen”. He praised his head coach Bill Mahoney, the head instructor of South Shore Sportfighting. “He’s seen me, just like, grow up. He’s seen what I’m good at, what I’m not good at”. He continued following an abrupt outburst elsewhere in the room, “One of the things he always talks about is, how you have to know your fighters to be a good coach… You see all these higher up schools like the Greg Jackson’s and all that, they got all these fighters but, they can’t really focus on these guys because they’re not homegrown. And so, South Shore has been an awesome place for me to be homegrown from because Bill really pays attention to me… he knows what I’m good at, what I need to work on. When he sees a weakness, he tells me straight up”.
Or, you may see his ferocity if you purchase tickets to this weekend’s Cage Titans 37 at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Mass. At CT 37, Bermudez takes on another highly touted prospect, Mike Hernandez for the promotions vacant bantamweight championship title. Talking to him, you may not think you are speaking with a fighter, undefeated in ten professional bouts. Not only undefeated but finishing eight of his ten opponents, seven by choke, one by KO/TKO. Lastly, don’t forget, all eight finishes came inside the opening round.
“The second I drop down to 135, I can feel the difference in the guy’s I’m fighting. I feel like a wet rag on these guys”. Fittingly, his fights have nearly all looked that way. In his most recent bout, Bermudez toyed with his opponent on the feet, landing a hard straight right which caught the attention of his opponent, Bendy Casimir. After a bit of measuring done by both fighters, Bermudez ate a head kick from his opponent, caught it, and followed him to the ground. From there, Bermudez immediately worked himself into mount and instituted his infamous Bermudez Triangle forcing a BJJ Black Belt to tap in the opening minutes. An aspect of his game he is extremely confident about.
“I think the second this fight goes on the ground, it’s gonna be a pretty terrible story for this guy”, the Abington-native claimed. Yet, the South Boston fighter respected the ability of his opponent, “He seems like a tough, scrappy dude”. He continued, “He’s a veteran with a good record, a successful record. He’s fought in Bellator, he’s fought UFC vets. I mean, I don’t think they come much tougher, locally”. Although he understands the challenges his opponent brings to light, he is confident, “I want this to be a statement that, it doesn’t matter what you’re throwing at me, I’m gonna to face it and keep going”.
The Cage Titans promotion couldn’t be much better of a place to fight for Bermudez. Without traffic, a drive from his home to the Cage Titans event venue is more or less, thirty minutes. When asked about the significance of earning a title with a local promotion such as Cage Titans, means to him, he had nothing but praise for the promotion who hosted seven of his ten pro fights. “Cage Titans, is one of the organizations that really represents the northeast. I’ve had a lot of shows, where I’ll go down there and I see my friends so close to me and just hearing that support from the people, from the crowds. At my last fight, we flew the guy in from Vegas, and I choked him in a minute or two”, he said. “You could hear everyone yelling, ‘UFC! UFC! UFC!’… I go on Facebook, and everyone’s yelling, ‘Get Manny to the UFC!’, so they all support me, they all have my back so to be fighting for this title and the possibility of somebody else holding it, from out of state, I’d say, it’s a little more personal… it’s a promotion I fought for so many times that I think it holds more personal meaning for me, than it would for somebody like him.”
A win for the local prospect certainly muddies the waters of his situation. The #1 bantamweight in New England has no interest in signing with a promotion other than the UFC. His only desire and goal, at the moment, is to sign with the aforementioned promotion. Considering the achievements Bermudez has already accomplished in his young career, a regional title greatly increases an already deserving resume.
***UPDATE 1/25/18*** Mike Hernandez was forced to withdraw yesterday from Saturdays main event at Cage Titans 37, due to a family emergency. Manny Bermudez will now face Seth Basler, in a non-title bout.
Jake Collier Re-Signs with the UFC
UFC light heavyweight, Jake Collier (11-4, 3-3 UFC) , took to twitter yesterday, announcing a four fight contract renewal with the promotion.
The Missouri-born, Collier, amassed a 7-1 professional record fighting exclusively in his home state. Following his next fight, a 1st round submission victory over Gabriel Checco in the RFA promotion, Collier signed with the UFC.
Originally, Collier signed as a middleweight. His promotional debut took place in December of 2014 at, UFC Fight Night 58. A bout which he lost to Vitor Miranda via TKO (Head kick and punches) with only one second remaining in the opening round.
— Jake Collier (@Jakecollier88) December 7, 2017
In 2017, “The Prototype”, moved to the light heavyweight division. The move came after a three-year stint at middleweight that saw him go 2-2. Losing to the likes of Dongi Yang, while defeating Ricardo Abreu. His final fight at the lower weight earned him a performance of the night bonus in his, UFC Fight Night 88, TKO win over Alberto Uda.
Upon moving to light heavyweight, Collier has the same .500 win percentage with a record of 1-1. His debut at the weight originally scheduled him against John Stansbury. Unfortunately, Collier withdrew from the card due to injury. Devin Clark replaced him on, The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 24, and defeated John Stansbury by unanimous decision. Clark then fought Collier next, defeating him by unanimous decision. “The Prototype”s most recent bout, a victory over Marcel Fortuna in November at, UFC Fight Night 120.
According to, UFC.com, Collier is booked to fight UFC-newcomer, Marcin Prachnio at, UFC on Fox 28, in Orlando, Florida. The only bout booked to the February 24th card, of next year.
Prachnio, holds a record of 13-2, with 10 knockouts. He most recently fought for the Asian-based promotion, One Championship. The Karate practitioner comes to the UFC on an eight fight win streak, the previous four in One Championship. At twenty-nine, Prachnio is another, in his prime, European light heavyweight signed to the UFC this year (Volkan Oezdemir being the other).
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.
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