Exclusive Interview with Brian “The Pikeman” Moore of SBGi

Brian “The Pikeman” Moore of Straight Blast Gym Ireland (SBGi) was kind enough to answer a few questions exclusively for SevereMMA.com about his recent controversial decision loss to TUF veteran Gary Kelly at OMMAC 14 among other things.

You are coming off a very controversial majority decision loss to Gary Kelly in his hometown of Liverpool at OMMAC 14 last weekend, What did you make of the decision and how did you score it?

In my opinion it was a ridiculous decision. The fight went like this; In Round one I landed more strikes on the feet and got him looking for a takedown. Not only did I stuff all his attempts but I took him down which gave me the only takedown of the round. I dominated round 2 and in round 3, I messed up in a scramble, he took my back and won the round. It was a clear 29-28.

I was the more active fighter, got the better on the feet and got the takedowns. Gary had a good 2 minute spell at the end of the third and that was it. I guarantee deep down he know he didn’t win. The result should be looked at again by experienced judges and rematch put in the works.

What did you learn from the Gary Kelly loss at OMMAC 14?

Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges and scramble like a motherfucker.

Was there anything about Gary Kelly that surprised you?

No, Gary is a TUF season 9 contestant and has been around for a long time. He trains in a good camp so I knew he would be well rounded and a tough fight.

Was there anything that surprised you about Kelly? Did he feel strong in there?

He is a strong guy but most FW at that level are. He’s a solid compact guy and used his weight very well.

You had a long training camp for the fight due to event postponements and injuries, is there anything training wise you learned?

I learnt a lot whilst training for this fight. It was a very long camp and I trained the same the whole way through. I was in the hospital from over training at one stage which was a result of inexperience. But I learnt from it and won’t make the same mistake again. My training age for MMA is 3 years so I’m still learning and striving to get the balance right. The next time I get in I’ll have much more energy and strength.

Do you think that OMMAC getting postponed had a negative effect on your performance?

Perhaps but it’s up to me as a professional not to let it affect my performance. Again, I learnt from the mistake.

How quickly will you return to the gym?

I was back training in SBG on Wednesday and was very glad to be back.

Do you cut much weight to get to featherweight?

I cut a decent amount of weight. I weighed myself the day of the fight and I was back up to 73kg after making 66kg the day before. Some guys cut a hell of a lot more but I’m comfortable where I am.

With your teammates Owen Roddy moving to bantamweight and Paddy Holohan considering moving to flyweight, could you see yourself moving down in weight in the future?

No. I’m happy at Featherweight and staying there for now but may consider cutting off a limb in the future

You have never been finished in your career and your only other loss came at OMMAC 12 against unbeaten prospect Mike Wilkinson (7-0) by decision, which outcome was harder to take?

When I lost to Mike Wilkinson, I took the loss on the chin. I knew he outpointed me and done enough to win. There were circumstances that made it hard for me to perform to my best but I congratulated him, made no excuses and got back to the gym.
This result however has left a bad taste in my mouth. At best, if Gary was blessed and the judges were very biased, they could have awarded him the draw, but for the judges to award him the win was a terrible decision and nothing short of ridiculous.

You have only been a professional fighter for the past 18 months, however you have already fought 6 times as pro, it seems you like to stay busy, will this continue to be the case?

Yes, I love the sport and I love fighting. I only want to fight good guys and fight often. I am quite young to the sport so I’m learning fast. In another 18 months I will be at a much higher stage again.

It’s been a great couple of months for SBG, with Gunnar Nelson signing for UFC, Conor McGregor winning Cage Warriors World Featherweight title, Cathal Pendred beating UFC veteran David Bielkheden, Owen Roddy beating UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty, Paddy Holohan submitting Sitenkov, Chris Fields getting a Cage Warriors title shot, to name a few recent achievements, how motivating is it to see all your training partners making it to the next level?

Their success is no less than they deserve. Everyone of the guys in the Pro Team are inspiring in their own way and train extremely hard. There is always a great atmosphere in the gym and we all push each other and get the best out of each other. I am very lucky to be involved with such a team under a coach like John Kavanagh.

Your teammate Artem Lobov was also on the OMMAC 14 card with you, he faced highly touted prospect Shay Walsh, and won via a very impressive come from behind TKO in the 3rd round, you were in his corner, talk to us about the fight and what was said in between the 2nd and 3rd rounds?

Shay came out and stuck to his game, which is takedowns and keeping a heavy top game. Artem done excellent to keep moving on bottom and create scrambles and avoid any GnP. We knew he was two rounds down going back into the corner but Artem is never done. John said something like ‘Forget the last ten minutes, you have crazy power in your hands, let them go’ and that’s exactly what Artem did. I’m confident Artem is going to go on a tear and show he’s one of the best FW’s in Europe.

What is your diet like in the lead up to a fight, what supplements do you take?

I’m very clean with my diet; I eat 100% Paleo in the weeks leading up to my fight. I take a lot of supplements including Protein, BCAA’s, glutamine, fish oil, zinc, magnesium. I mainly try to eat very well and get my nutrients from my diet.

What weight training program do you follow?

It varies depending on how far from competition I am but I was focusing on Olympic lifting for the last few weeks before the fight.

What is your main motivation behind fighting?

Life is short, so do what makes you happy. I love this sport and I find happiness in training and competing. Add also the fact that I am extremely competitive at everything I do, and you can’t get any more competitive than a fight.

How did you originally get into MMA?

I simply seen it on TV and thought it was the coolest thing I ever seen and even though I had no martial arts background, had to give it a go.

What fighters inspired you to get into MMA?
The fighters that I first looked up to were Chuck Liddell, GSP, Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes.

What did your family think when you first decided to fight?

LOL. They didn’t really believe me until they seen my picture on the TuffNut fight poster and it became real to them! I had only been training 6 months and they were very worried for me. But it all worked out thankfully.

A lot of people see MMA as a vicious sport, what do people think when you tell them that you’re a fighter?

There are rules and regulations in place which makes the sport very safe. I’ve played hurling, football, soccer, rugby, you name it and you pick up the same amount of knocks in each of them. People from my area in Wexford that know I’m a fighter are very supportive and are always behind me.

Are you a fan of watching MMA? Do you watch many MMA events?

100%. I started out a fan and I will always be a fan. When I get up in the morning, I go on Sherdog and MMA Junkie to see about new match ups, signings and general MMA news. I don’t miss a UFC event, I just love it.

Before you started doing MMA, you played for the Wexford minors, do you miss football? Do you think having played GAA helped your MMA game at all?

When I started MMA, one thing I missed was the team spirit and cohesion that came with football. But I got that all back when I joined SBG. I’m not sure if it helped my MMA game, it obviously helped with certain attributes like fitness, competition, work ethic etc.

As well as being a pro fighter, you also run your own gym in Wexford, Ireland, talk to us about that and are there any of your fighters we should look out for?

We’re in the early days of coaching fighters. There are some guys who have shown fantastic potential. There have been some who have boxed out of Pikeman MMA at amateur level and won. In time there will be a few that will make their mark on the local scene.

You also coach at SBG, do you enjoy coaching? Do you think it improves you as a fighter?

Yes I am very passionate about coaching, and when I’m a retired after a long, successful career as a fighter, I’ll give everything I have to the coaching side of MMA. But for now I am on mission as a fighter to get to the top.

What’s next for The Pikeman? Is there anybody you would like to fight next?

I’m taking a couple of weeks off and then it’s back to business. If you can make the 66kg mark, you’re in my firing line.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?

Huge thanks to John Kavanagh, Everyone at Straight Blast Gym Ireland, Diarmuid O’ Sullivan of Kilkenny Boxing Academy. The Irish Strength Institute. My sponsors PUG Athletics, The Pain & Muscle Clinic, Club Whitford, Profitness and Bigshots Sports Nutrition.

If you haven’t seen Brian’s fight with Ultimate Fighter veteran Gary Kelly from OMMAC 14 last weekend, you can check it out below

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.