Combat Vision MMA conducted a Q&A style interview with C-MAC fighter Alexander O’Sullivan after it was confirmed he would be fighting Lee Hammond for the Battlezone amateur lightweight championship at Battlezone 17 on August 19th 2017. Alexander has won many MMA titles in his 15 fight amateur career and has competed at the 2016 IMMAF European championships winning a bronze medal for his country.
Thank you for talking to Combat Vision MMA, Alexander. Battlezone have confirmed you will be fighting Lee Hammond at Battlezone 17 for the lightweight title. What are your thoughts on the announcement and fighting under the Battlezone promotion.
“I want to get as much experience as I possibly can as an amateur. That’s why I have taken every fight I could regardless of opposition. There is absolutely no point in going into a professional career with holes in your game. Lee is one of the very best, literally training with and trained by the very best. It’s a perfect opportunity for me to test myself, see where my game is at. I have titles, wins and losses, so it’s as much about experience now”
“Battlezone is Ireland’s longest running show, so it’s an absolute honour to fight on it for a lightweight title. I’ll be extremely proud if I can put on a good show”
You have fought 15 times as an amateur and this will be your fifth amateur title fight. How much will these past fights give you confidence heading into this title fight and what will you bring to the table for Lee Hammond that fans have not seen before.
“This will actually be my 7th MMA title fight, not my 5th I think. I don’t really think about the titles anymore, just testing myself against other top guys in preparation for my professional career. In my opinion, the three key ingredients for any fighter are good coaching, right mentality, & experience. Title fights help shape right mentality and add an extra element to any experience gained”
“At this stage, I’m not sure if I’ll bring anything that Lee or the Irish fans haven’t already seen. Irish fans are some of the most knowledgeable in the world. There’s no point in me making up something for the sake of it. I’m just determined to put on a great show and I’m sure Lee is too. It should be a great fight”
You have fought at the 2016 European IMMAF Championships. How much has this experience been for your developing amateur career and what have you learned about yourself as a fighter.
“Fighting at the IMMAF European Championships was absolutely great. I got to represent Ireland on an international stage in my chosen sport. I fought the European champion, a superb wrestler from Bulgaria, in the semi-finals and lost, unfortunately. I won a bronze medal for my country. I had three fights, on three consecutive days, against top class opposition and I was very pleased with how well I performed”
“My mother had represented Ireland the previous year in the same competition, also losing to a Bulgarian wrestler, who went on to become World and European Champion. As far as I’m aware, we are the only parent and child to both represent their country at IMMAF events”
“I’m very proud of that achievement as well. But, perhaps the most important thing I learned was that my game was vulnerable to a top class wrestler’s top game. I decided then and there that it wasn’t time for me to go pro yet. I still have improvements to make”
In 2016 you fought an incredible 10 fights. Could you break down how you mentally prepared for a fight each month and physically was there any toll on your body in terms of the weight cut and any niggles coming out the fight. How did you manage the recovery.
“I also had a number of K-1 fights as well. The mental preparation wasn’t difficult at all. Fighting is our family business. It has been for generations. It’s what we do and I have been doing it since I was a child”
“My vision is always long-term. Each fight is just another few steps on the journey. Since I was a child, my father/coach has said the same thing over and over: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The only drag was weight-cutting. Anyone who does a cut, knows that they can be an ordeal. I was absolutely delighted when IMMAA (Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association) brought in same day weigh-ins for Irish amateurs. Now, it’s all just hard work and fun. I love it”
Could you give any insight into your training camp for this fight. Will there be a particular area of training that you will be working on for your opponent.
“Lee is a superb grappler. Most of this camp has been spent on the ground, drilling submission defense”
Lastly, how would you sell this fight to the fans attending Battlezone 17.
“I’m sure all the fans who follow Irish MMA will be fairly keen to see a fight between myself and Lee. All the Jitz heads will probably want to witness Lee, try to prove that grappling is the dominant art. Battlezone is the place to be on August 19th. Don’t miss it”