Combat Vision MMA were lucky enough to do a quick fire Q&A with James Sheehan as he prepares for his second amateur welterweight title fight with Vincent McCorry at Akuma Fighting Championship on Saturday 23rd of April 2017. James Sheehan is also the 2nd ranked active welterweight in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Thanks for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, James. Could you tell our readers about the type of fighter you are?
“Primarily I am a stand up fighter. I am very confident in my boxing and kickboxing in terms of amateur MMA. I feel recently, I have added more power and speed to my striking along with more techniques. But, overall I have always had good fundamentals. Since joining Team Ryano I felt my jiu jitsu and wrestling have gone the through the roof in terms of progression. Training with the pro team and black belts in jiu jitsu has really improved my overall grappling capabilities and rolling with the likes of Paul Redmond and Patrick Wixted keeps me on my toes in jiu jitsu”
You train at Team Ryano MMA, Dublin, Ireland. This is a well known and highly respected gym. Being a fighter who is training with top level coaches and the next generation of fighters in MMA. How important has training in this gym and the learning experiences from there played in your amateur career?
“Training in Team Ryano has completed changed my training. Sparring high level guys on a daily basis, forces you to improve, combined with the high level coaching, I just feel it is impossible not to improve! I just feel anytime, I step into a cage, I cannot feel anything but confident. Because, I know I have done a fight camp with the high level sparring partners and the perfect training, in terms of having everything ticked off the list with positional sparring, drilling and rolling. I really feel Team Ryano is the place to be go, to become the next level of competition”
You won the Clan Wars amateur welterweight title against Gerard McKee at Clan Wars 27 by way of unanimous decision. Looking back at the performance, is there anything you would change?
“To be honest I was very confident going into that fight. I really felt I could achieve a first round finish with the level of striking I have. However, I rushed the exchanges a bit and didn’t just let the knockout or finish flow because of that I was always rushing forward without proper technique! Other than that and a few minor boxing issues, like not going to the bed enough and head hitting, I was happy with my performance. I got to show off how developed my wrestling and jiu jitsu is since joining Team Ryano”
We are two weeks removed from Clan Wars 27 and you are now heading into your second welterweight title fight against Vincent McCorry at Akuma fighting Championship on April 23rd 2017. Was the plan to get back into the cage as soon as possible and how did a second title fight come into the conversation?
“I like to stay active. In the end, it is only amateur and it is all about experience, no matter what the result is. I fight to the best of my capabilities so taking a lot of fights is ideal for me. I was offered a title eliminator fight back in October for the Akuma belt after I won with a 10 second head kick knockout in my previous fight. And ever since then, people have been noticing me more and promoters are offering me fights because I am interesting to watch and have the skills”
Your record states you are (7-1) how confident are you that you will be (8-1) and won two titles in the welterweight division come April 23rd?
“I am extremely confident. I don’t like to come off as cocky. But, I am so confident going into fights because of the team I train with and having Andy Ryan in my corner you can’t be anything other than confident. I am fully prepared coming out of my camp and the camp is always tougher than the fight. When it comes time to fight, I just look forward to having a good time. I love this sport”
How much do you know about your opponent Vincent McCorry and his style of fighting?
“I don’t really know much about Vincent. I don’t like to look too much into other people’s styles. I focus more on what I am going to do. But, I respect all of my opponents and I look forward to facing Vincent on April 23rd. I dont trash talk, I do this sport because I love it and there are a lot of fools in this sport who talk big to promote stuff. They are full of shit! I don’t care what anyone thinks, I do this for me and me only. Fuck what anyone thinks”
Is there anything you are looking to exploit in the fight with Vincent?
“I don’t go in with a set game plan. Andy Ryan will give me a few words and I will take them into account. I will go wherever I feel confident in the fight. I am confident in my hands and will look to use my speed and let my combinations go and see how Vincent reacts”
Lastly, what does 2017 have in store for James Sheehan?
“I don’t know, I do whatever Andy Ryan says. I respect him alot and whatever challenge he puts in front of me I do it. I am going to fight April 23rd and probably look to get one more amateur fight after this and then hopefully go Pro in August this year. I don’t like to look too much into the future. I just work hard and see the results as they unfold”