Combat Vision MMA spoke to Higher Level MMA fighter Stevie McIntosh after it was announced he would be fighting Daniel Rutkowski for the OnTop professional lightweight title at OnTop Toe 2 Toe on Saturday 30th September 2017. Stevie heads into this fight on a 3 fight win streak, finishing his opponents all inside 2 rounds.
Thank you for speaking to Combat Vision MMA, Stevie. Congratulations on the news that you will be competing for your first professional title at OnTop: Toe2Toe. What are your thoughts on the announcement and do you feel this title fight has come at the perfect time in your career.
“Yeah, I feel it comes at a good time. I knew fighting for the title, would give me a tougher fight and feel I have got that with having Daniel as an opponent. I’m looking forward to testing my skills and showing my improvements from my last fight”
You head into OnTop: Toe 2 Toe 7 fight win streak from both your amateur and professional career. In your opinion what do you think has been the key to your success inside the cage.
“I’m actually on an 11 fight winning streak just now. But, to be honest that doesn’t mean anything it’s all about what I do on the night. Obviously, it’s good for my confidence, but I don’t really read into it too much I just take it one fight at a time. The key to my success is without a doubt moving to Higher Level 3 or so years ago. It’s been the best thing I have done, getting to train with absolute killers on a daily basis and having the best coach about in James Doolan, has really brought me on and I think it’s shown in my fights. Having two guys that are in the UFC as my main sparring partners is a luxury not a lot of people have, so I feel lucky to be a part of such a great team”
Look at the fight itself you will be fighting Daniel Rutowski for the OnTop belt. I am excited about the fight because it is between two of the best teams in MMA at the moment in IFS Belfast and Higher Level MMA. How important has your team been to your developing pro career and what is like to have someone like James Doolan in your corner and crafting the strategy for the fight.
“Yeah, it’s a cool fight that I’m looking forward too. IFS is a good gym so I know Daniel will be well prepared. James is an unreal coach and has brought me on so much as a martial artist. He’s also excellent in the corner, the only voice you hear is his. We don’t really come up with game plans in fights unless someone is excellent in one specific area, I just do my thing and concentrate on myself. Whatever James tells me to do, I do it, so we’ll see what game plan he comes up for the 30th September.
Daniel Rutowski has not seen a pro win when competing at lightweight twice. Does this give you a degree of confidence heading into this fight and what have you seen in his fighting style that you will be looking to exploit come fight night
“I don’t think that’s a big factor in the fight as he’ll be full of confidence coming off 3 back to back wins. I haven’t watched much footage of him, to be honest. I saw a round from one of his fights on BAMMA because I watched the card and from what I saw he looks good, well rounded so will be a tough test for me. But, like I said before that’s what I want. He looks pretty well rounded from what I have seen, but I feel I’m better in a lot of areas so I’ll look to use that to my advantage”
Could you tell our readers how you deal with fight week. From getting into the zone to making weight, to finally refueling and rehydrating for fight night.
“Making weight is probably the hardest part but I have never missed it. I have plenty time to get my weight down so I’m not stressed over it. I was surprisingly a little lighter than I imagined coming back from New York so that’s a bonus. I have a rehydrating/refueling system I always stick to for before fights and I always manage to get a Nandos in there as well. I don’t really think about the fight until after I make weight. But, I’m usually pretty calm.
Could you give our readers any insight to what the training camp will consist of for you and will be you be working on anything specifically.
“I don’t really do a fight camp as such as I don’t really stop training. I don’t take time off out of fight camp as that way I’m not improving my skill set. The good thing about me not competing since March is I have improved my game since then, so hopefully that’ll show on fight night. If James has specific things he wants me to work on that’s what I’ll do”
Your last 7 fights have not gone more than 2 rounds. Do you see foresee this form continuing come September and where do you see this fight being won.
“That’s the plan. But, we will see what happens, like I said it’ll be a tough test. If I can get the finish that’s great if not I’m happy to go 3 rounds. I just need to make sure I do everything I can to get my hand raised. I feel whoever makes the first mistake in this fight will lose on the night.