Combat Vision MMA conducted a post-fight interview with Padraig Magee after his fight with Jordan Struthers at On Top Promotions “Toe 2 Toe”. Padraig is the current Akuma flyweight champion and has competed at the 2016 IMMAF world championships. Padraig has an amateur record (6-5)
Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Padraig. Unfortunately, the result didn’t go your way tonight. What was your assessment of the fight.
“Jordan was a great opponent with a strange style. The first round I was pathetic, clear 10-8 to him. I was falling over throwing kicks was genuinely on two occasions one punch from going out in the round too. On the other hand, Jordan was as good as I was bad, he stayed out of range and pounced when I was impatient. The second round, I feel I edged due to him spending a lot of the time backing away and not engaging. The third was mine clear as day”
In my opinion, I felt you were growing into the fight from the 2nd round. Did you feel you the tables were turning from the second round.
“Yeah absolutely, I feel I took the 2nd and 3rd. The 2nd narrowly but it was mine nonetheless. That was due to my cornerman Sean Smyth calming me between rounds”
You received an eye poke in one of the exchanges. How did this affect you in the fight and now being three days removed from the fight how is the eye now.
“It actually helped. I was pissed off and caught my second wind. Not at Jordan but the ref, he was not going to do anything until my corner shouted in and he didn’t do anything when I was caught with a stray knee to the balls which was just after I started turning things my way in the 2nd and killed a bit of momentum. Then I asked for a little space to recover and he would not get out of my face. I felt like I was ready to lunge at him so I thought I may as well use those feelings on my opponent. The eye is fine now a little scratch just below it. There is a lot of bruising around it. But, most of the damage came from him nearly caving my face in, in the first round in fairness”
Were there any frustrations that your opponent did not want to engage with you on the ground.
“No, he was smart. If you want to engage with me on the ground you need urgent psychological help. He avoided it well. Fair play to him”
This was your first fight in 2017. Do you believe in cage rust or do you feel this is just make-believe.
“Look at the difference in me after 1 round. Cage rust is very real”
Most people will not know this but you moved up 10kg for this fight. How did the bump up in weight feel – do you feel fighting at this weight was just a one time gig.
“It was not quite 10kg. But, I can make 56.6kg same day weigh in this was 64. His power was genuinely shocking. I am amateur though, so I will fight up weight, fight short notice, fight at home or abroad. I just love fighting and I don’t care about my record until it is professional. This fight came about because I told my coach I was willing to fight at 70kg”
You are now (6-5) in your amateur career. How you would summarise the journey so far inside the cage.
“I don’t think my record tells the full story. I am 5-1 as a flyweight with only one win by decision. I have only been finished once and that was in my 2nd fight. I have fought 5 times at weight classes I can’t even reach. I fight on short notice, I fight hurt. I just love to fight. A lot of people already know this but as recently as Tuesday the week of the fight I was hardly fit to walk from an injury I picked up on Sunday. But, there was no chance I was not showing up. Being an amateur is all learning and I am doing all I can to face all types of adversity so that when I am pro, there is nothing I have not seen before”
How much of a positive effect did competing at the world championships have on your developing amateur career and would you recommend this to other amateur fighters.
“It was unreal it proved that the scene in Ireland is right up there at the top of the sport. It gave me a lot of belief in myself, heading out with teammates too was especially important as our coaches were not there. We looked out for each other, it helped me understand the mental side of the game more from seeing how my teammates struggled with nerves backstage, the same as I do. I would recommend it to any young fighter. As long as they can get sponsorships, it costs a bomb”
You were given the news that possibly you would not compete again. In terms of mentally and spiritually, how hard was it to find a centre of balance during those days. How valuable was the support from your family in helping you pull through this time and get back into the cage.
“It was a nightmare. I would have a good training session and sometimes just stop and think, “what was the point in that? Why did I give my all today and it will never pay off? Luckily, myself and my fiancé had our son around that time. He is my reason for doing anything. I did not even bother working full time before he came about. I want him to see these videos of me fighting and be proud. I chased down every doctor in the country to be cleared. Thankfully, it worked out. If it didn’t I still had my family”
You train out of Team Torres in Newry. How important has it been for your developing amateur career to be exposed to the high level of fighters and coaches the gym is producing at the moment.
“It is amazing. We are a new gym. We have Thai/k-1 champions, high-level pros, and ibjjf gold medallist. Seb is the best BJJ black belt in the country with world class judo. It is impossible not to develop with those guys”
What has been the biggest change in you since you became a competitive fighter.
“My heart. I never considered myself a proper fighter, I could not really take punishment. If things got hard in training I stopped. Now, there is no chance. Inside the cage, I refuse to be finished. I do not give up because a fight will never be as hard as what goes on in that gym”
What are your plans for 2018 and have you set any goals either in training or inside the cage.
“I have no goals. I am just going to fight whoever is available, listen to my coaches and enjoy doing what I am doing”