No Rest for the Wicked – Paul Redmond ahead of CWFC 70

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Paul Redmond was one of the athletes a lot of Irish fans would have liked to see granted a UFC debut at the historical July event, UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Brandao.

Although the call never came through for ‘Redser’, the Team Ryano product will look to put another winning streak together, after banking a win at Cage Warriors 65 over Damien Brown following his loss to Mateusz Teodorczuk at Cage Warriors 63, at CWFC 70 on Saturday night.

Five months have passed since Redmond’s last competitive outing but the Dubliner explained how commitments to team mates have forced him into a non-stop training camp since his victory over Brown.

“I didn’t have any time off,” he said. “Neil was in camp for 11 weeks for his UFC fight so I didn’t take any time off away from the gym. Straight after my fight Neil was into his training, so basically I’ve been in a training camp for 15 weeks.”

A corner man for his close friend and training partner Neil Seery for his bout with Phil Harris at the UFC’s Dublin return, Redmond spoke of how seeing the Ryano flyweight’s flawless performance after attending the funeral of his nephew on the same week has motivated him.

“It was great for Neil. The week he had leading up to that was horrible for him with the thing that happened with his brother. It was really difficult for him and then for him to go out and put on an inhuman display was unbelievable, I took a lot from that.

“It’s not like I wasn’t inspired to get to the next level before UFC Dublin. You can want it too much though and I have an opponent in front of me that I have to focus on.”

Irish fans continue to campaign to see the lightweight signed by the world’s flagship MMA promotion. However, Redmond often downplays the hype and explained his reason for getting into the sport, to shift a few pounds, make it hard for him to believe that his next workshop could be the UFC’s Octagon.

He said: “If UFC comes, it comes. It’s weird. I’ve never been really into the sport, I never thought that I could take it to this level. I just started training to lose a bit of weight because I used to be going out on the piss every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“That’s the way it was. I was a full time plumber, I was fully qualified when I was 21 because I had started my apprenticeship when I was 16. I was earning about €850 a week and I was just going out and blowing it.

“The closest I thought I’d get to UFC back then was watching it. It never seemed like I could realistically take it that far, that’s probably why I don’t go too crazy talking about it. Don’t get me wrong, when people say it to me it’s great, but I’ll just take it all as it comes.”

With Redmond being matched quite late after his original opponent, Michael Doyle, was forced to pull out of the event, fans feared that they may not get to see the surging 155er on August 16 at all. Now matched with dangerous Greek prospect, Alexis Savvidis, Redmond outlined how his bout came to be.

“Michael got injured up in his own place, within a couple of days I was on the verge of being matched with an American opponent but that fight never materialised. A day after that I got Alexis but the fight didn’t get announced for about a week or a week and a half. We knew for a couple of weeks that the fight was there.

“You’re never in any danger of not getting matched with Cage Warriors. Even if it had of been the day before I’m sure I would’ve got someone, Ian Dean is great at late matching and you can be guaranteed he’ll always do everything in his power to sort something out,” said Redmond.

Asked whether he would consider himself as a loss to the card had he not been matched, Redmond evoked a similar understated disposition to that of Seery’s:

“No I don’t think I’d be that much of a loss to the card. We just train and go in and fight. I doubt it would make a big difference to be honest with you.”

Redmond also described how the late confirmation of Savvidis as his counterpart didn’t have much of an impact on his training. He also described how he has moved away from spending too much time studying his opponents with Andy Ryan now assuming control of the scouting job.

“I don’t think the late notice of opponent messed with my preparation at all. Look at what happened when Seery fought Pickett on short notice. That was a really close fight and he didn’t look into Pickett’s game at all before it.

“I don’t really study too much of my opponents anymore, I used to do it before every fight when I first started out. When I was fighting amateur I’d be on Sherdog and YouTube, I’d be trying to find out anything that I could.

“By the time the fight would come around I’d have myself would up. Neil and Andy would tell me ‘you’re good enough to beat them, don’t worry about what he’s done before’. Andy looks at different things our opponents do, and so does Neil – they have us drill for particular things and that’s how we do it.

“I’ve been drilling specific things for this fight, but I try not to look at footage just because I don’t really feel the need to anymore. I know Alexis is a submission specialist and when he’s on his feet he throws really unorthodox bombs. I’ve seen 30 seconds of him that Andy has shown me, he likes to work off the back foot so I think I’m going to be chasing this guy down to get him to engage,” he said.

Learning a tough lesson through a loss to Teodorczuk on last year’s CWFC New Year’s Eve card, Redmond commented on the importance of his bout with Savvidis and how much of an impact a loss can have on a professional’s record:

“They’re all important. If you want to make that jump to the next level you have to keep your record as clean as a whistle. If you get beaten I think you’re setting yourself back at least 9 months. Going into this fight I can’t afford to lose.”

As for his prediction for what will happen when the lights go down in The Helix on Saturday night, Redmond shared the following:

“I’ve been saying for the last year that my striking has improved and I still haven’t got to show it. I’m not going to go in there and just look to strike to prove a point, if it happens it happens, but I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to do on Saturday.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.