Image: Cage Warriors
Combat Vision MMA spoke to Steve “The Spartan” O’Keefe after his first round submission win over Sean “Sexy Curls” Carter at Cage Warriors 84 at the 02 Indigo in London. This was Steve’s first fight inside the cage in four years.
Stephen congratulations on the win. How did it feel to get your hand raised tonight.
“It felt great, being out a while I forgot what the buzz was like. I want to show the world more of my skills but happy with the win”
The heel hook that won the fight came out of nowhere. How much of that performance and the transitional work was built on the strategy or drilling in training camp for this fight.
“I had no strategy coming into this fight. The only thing I needed to avoid was being pinned against the cage by him as he was taller. I am a BJJ black belt, once I see a sub I’m taking it”
Stephen, you have been out of the cage for four years. How did it feel last night making the cage walk and feeling the canvas under your feet again.
“It felt like home man. It felt like I have never been away. My support was amazing and it was the same people there in the O2 that supported me early on in my career”
With your absence from the cage, Stephen. Have you felt it difficult to watch the progression of the fighters you have shared a cage with previously in your career: McGregor, Lobov and Fishgold. And thought what might have been.
“Not at all. I am so happy with their progress. I always knew I could do more, but it wasn’t the right time. Maybe it is now. I hope Chris gets to the UFC soon, he really deserves it. I am sure offers have been put by him”
Stephen spoke openly on Saturday night about how much he want this now. Does he feel this mental switch makes you a real contender at lightweight and should serve as a wake up call to rest of the division.
“I am definitely a contender. You only have to look at the level of fighter I have fought. I don’t want easy fights. Let’s see who offers what”
Lastly, today is a new day Stephen. Have you given any thought to an opponent or is it very much taking a fight a time and a more relaxed approach to new fighting opportunities.
“I want to fight. I don’t really care who, as long as the offer is right. I have a big following and my fights are always entertaining. Sean was a tough dude with a good record. That is the kind of guy I want to fight”
Image: Cage Warriors