Mark Gallivan “Winning the Welterweight title at Cage Warriors Academy 2 was the highlight of my MMA career”

Combat Vision MMA spoke to Mark Gallivan after his welterweight amateur title victory at Cage Warriors Academy North West 2 on Saturday evening. Mark has an amateur record (7-2) with 6 submission victories.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Mark. Congratulations on winning your first amateur title. Could I get your thoughts on the fight itself and getting your hand raised on Saturday night.

Saturday night was a great experience for me. Definitely the highlight of my MMA career to date. Obviously, I am delighted with the result and I was happy with my performance too. I knew my opponent was a southpaw that would come out swinging. So, the gameplan was to feel him out on the feet until he over committed and gave me an opportunity to take him down and finish. Which is exactly what happened. In terms of the belt itself, I don’t know what to say other than it’s a beauty and I am not giving it up”

You won the fight by submission. How much of Saturday’s performance was down to the gameplay set by your coaches in camp.

My coaches have a huge impact on me getting a submission victory. Jiu Jitsu is my favourite aspect of MMA and I have got access to the best coaches in the country on a daily basis. I am constantly improving and learning what translates best to use in MMA”

This will be your six submission victory. How much do you work on your ground game in our out of camp and do you feel future opponents should take your ground game more seriously.

I try to focus on all aspects of my game equally during a fight camp. But, obviously, Team Ryano being a BJJ orientated gym, means grappling is my favourite nights to train. I think any of the opponents I have faced up to this at least on the Irish circuit would have already known my ground game is of a good standard. I guess this fight can be a reminder to them”

You fight out of Team Ryano. How important has it been for your developing amateur career training with this team and have the experience of Andy Ryan in your corner.

I take a huge amount of confidence from the group of lads I train with at Team Ryano. I genuinely feel I won’t come up against anything I haven’t already seen in training with those killers”

“The same applies to having Andy in my corner. It keeps me calm knowing I will be given the best advice on what to do in the cage whether I am in a good position or not. There is still aspects of my game I need to work on. But, I am very confident I will get there with the team of coaches and athletes I have around me at Team Ryano”

You took part in the 2016 IMMAF tournament. How valuable were those experiences for you.

Competing in the IMMAF championships was a brilliant experience. I took a lot away from it. The standard was really high and based on the fight I lost, I learned a lot about my own game and what I needed to work on when I got back, which is what I have been doing”

“I would love another crack over at the worlds. But, it’s an expensive way of competing so we will have to see”

You have suffered two losses in your career. What have those losses told you about yourself as a fighter and self-improvements have you made to your game since then.

“Yeah, I have had two losses. One over at the Euros where I was out wrestled by a heavy top game and the other to Daniel Olejniczak who gave me a taste of my own medicine and put me to sleep with a triangle”

“Both fights contributed to me getting that little bit more composed in the cage and how important positional work is in terms of not trying to rush submissions”

Saturday was your 2nd fight in 2017. Would you like to squeeze one more fight in or would you prefer to reset the body and get ready for 2018.

It is only my 2nd fight this year because of an injury. I most definitely want to compete again before 2018 and better again for an Irish title if the opportunity arose”

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