Dungiven fighter Jordan O’Neill will meet his next challenge at this month’s Akuma Fighting Championships in Belfast’s Europa Hotel.
The 22 year-old came to prominence for his knock-out at Clan Wars and he is now preparing for another step on his journey to the top
O’Neill and his opponent Luke Daly come into this fight of two impressive victories on their last outings.
Cork MMA’s Daly makes his return to Akuma after his hard fought TKO victory on his debut on our last show.
Jordan O’Neill makes his MMA debut after his last scheduled Fight was changed to K1 on short notice but didn’t stop the Kombat Jui jitsu man claiming a first round KO victory
Jordan is the latest in our athlete of the week series. Meet Dungiven’s next star…
Club: Kombat Jiu-Jitsu.
What was your first memory of sport?
Playing football for Drumsurn.
Who was your idol growing up and why?
Floyd Mayweather. He was the best boxer in the world and possibly the best ever to do it.
Have you always been involved in sport?
Yes I started sports at a young age and have always tried to keep doing something.
How long have you been involved in MMA and how did it come about?
I have only been in MMA for six months now. I started off in boxing for years and decided to make a change over to MMA. I started with a jiu-jitsu class at Kombat and have been going every night since.
Why did you start?
I’ve always loved fighting and I wanted to challenge myself and see how I would do with all the different aspects of mixed martial arts.
Which season or individual fight do you rank as the toughest so far?
My last fight was my first in the cage it's was a K1 bout as my opponent because my MMA fight pulled out two days before I was due to fight. I haven’t had many tough fights, but I'm looking forward to having some good battles in the cage in the future.
What has been the most memorable moment so far, not necessarily the high point?
Going into my first jiu-jitsu class and getting tapped out about 20 times. I think that is what got me so fascinated with the sport as I went away and realised I can learn to do that and do that to someone else.
What have been your main achievements to date?
In boxing I have won a few 9 County and ulster titles. I had my first jiu-jitsu competition just a few months after I started and I picked up a silver medal at the NI open. In my first fight in the cage I got the knockout in 34 seconds on Clan Wars 35.
What has been the highest point so far?
Seeing the support I’ve been getting from all different areas and people I can't wait for the future because I know I have the backing and support form a lot of people and it’s really exciting.
What is the most disappointing point?
Definitely me doing a 10 week hard training camp and my opponent pulling out with two days’ notice and not knowing if I would get a replacement.
Have you had many injuries?
I have had a few injuries outside of sport but apart from them, a few cuts and bruises I'm lucky enough so far.
How often do you train and what all does it entail?
Leading up to the fight I was training about 10 sessions a week mixed between my jiu-jitsu, MMA, K1 and a lot of help from Oisin Quinn from Quinn Strength and Conditioning.
What are your targets for the season?
To be as active as possible and get on some good fight cards and work towards getting a few title shots.
Is there a long term goal you have, something you have always wanted to achieve?
The long term goal for me is to make it in a big organisation in MMA.
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about getting involved in sport, any sport? There is no reason why you shouldn't at least give it a go, everyone has had their first day at some stage and once you try it I'm sure you will be enjoying it just as much as I do.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] or [email protected] at any time.