Combat Vision MMA spoke to Ciaran Mulholland as he prepares for his bout against Jack Eglin at BCMMA 20 on Saturday 25th November 2017 at the Charter Hall in Colchester.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Ciaran. You are set to compete against Jack Eglin at BCMMA. Could I get your thoughts on the fight.
“I think it’s a great match up. It is a guy who has been active against some of the top guys in the UK. Jack has been touted as one of the UK’s biggest flyweight prospects. I am really looking forward to getting in there and showing what I can do. When the fight is said and done I feel they will really know who the top flyweight is. I am going to make a statement come November”
Jack comes into the fight on the back of two losses against the 11th and 3rd ranked flyweight. Most recently against Muhammed Mokaev. What information have you gathered about Eglin from those performances and what areas will you be looking to exploit come fight night.
“One thing I like about Jack – he is chasing the top guys and he is not afraid to take these guys on. I feel cage control and ground control were major factors in both those fights. I think Mitchell laid down a blueprint that Mokaev followed. I have a lot to prove to myself and I am planning to pour on the pressure in this fight. My last 2 fights I have not really shown my standup ability and this is the fight where I will look to showcase it”
In terms of visualization. How do you see the first couple of minutes unfolding in your fight.
“I can see this fight starting at a blistering pace. I think he will be hoping to come straight out of the blocks and establish his striking game. But, when he picks his head up I will have met him across the cage ready to get my striking going. I am going to pour on the pressure and I will not relent from the first bell to last”
You come into this fight yourself on the back of two losses. Particularly against the number 1 ranked flyweight, Liam Gittins. What was the assessment of your performance and other than the result what would you change.
“This fight was tough to take. I feel I did not perform nowhere close to where I can. I feel I lost this fight due to Liam’s willingness to come forward, particularly in the middle rounds. Liam really poured it on and started to pick me apart”
“I have said before, sometimes I get too comfortable on the back foot and I have focused in on cutting out this habit. When I came forward in the fight, I looked my best and had some success. My other loss is against Mattis, this was a close fight and it could have easily gone my way. I opened the fight great, stuck to the plan and had a real dominant first round from start to finish. I established my footwork and I landed my takedowns – everything went to plan. I came out the second round really slow and I gave away the round. This fight really did not sit well with me because it could have gone either way. But, it went against me so it was more a learning curve for me. Mentality, I need to keep the pressure on from start to finish and don’t let off!”
Has it been difficult to dust yourself down and get into the gym to make the changes and tweaks to your fight base after those defeats.
“Quite the opposite. I have been busting to get back in there and I took both those fights on really short notice (2 weeks). I feel with more preparation I will be able to showcase more of my ability. I am super excited for this fight and training has been going excellent”
How important was it for your developing amateur career to compete on the Cage Warriors platform and to be exposed to the setup they can provide.
“The Cage Warriors platform is a great setup. Paul and the guys are excellent guys to work with. I feel the level of competition is much higher across the water and to become the top flyweight – I need to be at the top shows against the top guys”
This will be your 5th fight in 2017. In terms of both mentally and physically, how do you cope with the demands of being in constant training and fight mode.
“Mentally, I can not wait to get back in there. I feel after my last loss, I took a week or so to let the body heal and then I dived back into training. Physically, I am feeling better than ever – I have been doing a little bit of cross training and working with some really high-level guys. That combined with the guys I train with on a regular basis has me ready for anything Jack can throw at me. Strength and conditioning for this camp has been great and I feel primed and ready to go”
You are currently 7 fights into your amateur career with six title fights. Do you feel your wealth of experience of being involved in big fights is what separates you from the rest of the flyweight division.
“I do believe it plays a role. There is an extra focus in a championship fight and an extra gear you need to reach. I feel competing in these big fights such as the Gittins fight will propel me on. I felt like in some of these fights “I have swum the deep water”. But, I have taken positives and negatives from every fight and I have worked on them to become a better fighter than I was last time out. I believe I have a champion mentality and that is what separates me from the rest”
Looking ahead to 2018. You have signed up to compete in an 8 man flyweight tournament at BCMMA 21. How did this opportunity come about and what excites you most about the tournament platform.
“I had been asked to fight Leigh Mitchell for the BCMMA title. Leigh was unable to defend in November, so the matchup between me and Jack came about. I think the public see the depth in this division and wanted the tournament. Fair play to BCMMA for setting that up. I am most looking forward to the tournament to clear out the division. I feel like tournament setup will factor massively with matchups and fighting styles. I think to win this tournament, you will need to have a solid game plan and a solid camp behind you as well as a real mental toughness”
Looking at the tournament roster. Is there a particular opponent that you would like to compete against.
“Maybe Leigh Mitchell. He holds the promotions (BCMMA) belt. So, it would be good to beat the champ on the way to winning the tournament and claiming the number 1 UK spot”
What has been the biggest change in you as a person since you became a competitive fighter.
“I think as a person. I feel much more grounded and appreciative. I think as a fighter you put so much hard work and time into this sport. The early mornings and the late nights, it can be daunting on those around you. I feel really appreciative to those who support and stick by me”