Paul Redmond – “We’ve come out here to nail two lads to the wall”

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Paul ‘Redser’ Redmond will make his UFC debut on Saturday night when he meets Mirsad Bektic, after stepping in as a late replacement on two weeks’ notice for Alan Omer.

Although he has cornered his teammate Neil Seery in his two UFC bouts, Redmond spoke about the differences he has noticed now that he is fighting for the world’s flagship MMA promotion.

“I’ve just come in and I’m doing my thing and everyone is being really nice,” said Redmond. “It’s the same as always really, just get the media stuff out of the way, get your cut done, get your workouts done but, I suppose, it is pretty cool at the same time.

“I’m not sitting down in my house looking at my bleedin’ dogs all day,” he laughed. “I’ve been kept busy, I’m not worried about the weight or anything, so it’s grand.”

One of the main concerns for Redmond on taking the bout was getting down to 145 lbs for the first time. The cut has no doubt been tough on the Dubliner, but he is confident that he will be on song on the weighing scales tonight and looks forward to stabilising himself at the weight in the future.

“Where I usually cut down to lightweight, where I usually am for that, I’m below that already and I haven’t even touched the baths or anything yet. I’m fine,” explained the Team Ryano man on Thursday.

“I think this featherweight cut suits me and it will suit me going on. I’m a natural featherweight, I’m feeling full of energy. It’s not going to be hard to stablise myself here.

“I just have to get myself walking around a kilo or two lighter. If I did that I wouldn’t have the massive cut at the end. It will just be the same as the cut that I used to have to make to get to lightweight.”

One of the cornerstones of Redmond’s game is the pace that he puts on his opponents. Despite the bigger weight cut, ‘Redser’ is confident that he will exhibit the same style in the lower weight class.

“I’m gonna run at this guy at 100 miles an hour,” he declared confidently. “There’s no two ways about it, I do it in every fight. If you see me gassing in the third round that’s my own fault.”

Looking at Bektic’s previous UFC bout with Chas Skelly, Skelly managed to win a lot of scrambling battles in the later rounds of the three round contest. With Redmond being one of Europe’s best in that particular area, he commented on what he is anticipating from Bektic having previously trained in his counterpart’s gym, American Top Team.

He said: “I haven’t really read too much into him to be honest. I want to go out there and do my own thing. If he is bad in the scramble, you know me, I’ll jump on anything that’s given to me. With regards to pace, I’m just going to go out there and do what I always do

“He’s coming from a good camp in ATT. They train hard over there and they spar hard too. I’ve been over there with them and I’ve trained with the guys in that particular gym, so I doubt he’s going to throw anything new at me, I know what they do out there to a certain degree.

“They’re really strong wrestlers, they’ve got a big wrestling base. I remember the striking coaches being really good when I was over there too. The jiu jitsu was phenomenal, but the wrestling was definitely the big thing over there.

“He might find it a bit tricky to get me to the mat, but if he does, I’ve got a lot of submissions as people have seen from when I was coming up on the European shows.

“They’re all really nice in that gym though and Mirsad seems like a great guy too. Genuinely, I just can’t wait to get in there on Saturday night and do the business.”

SBG claimed three Irish victories in Boston last weekend, and although Redmond is a supporter and sometimes training partner with the gym, he believes he needs to fully focus on getting the win for Team Ryano on Saturday night rather than continuing the Irish winning streak.

“Not at all,” Redmond replied to the notion of an Irish winning streak. “See all that Irish talk, I know we all fight under the same flag, but I fight for Team Ryano. I don’t fight for anyone else. I just don’t think about it that way. I don’t worry about the other teams as much.

“Don’t get me wrong, fair play to SBG, I support them all and I tweet them my best wishes. We train and spar with these guys, but at the end of the day the Ryano lads doing well is always the most important thing for me.”

A historic date in the Tele2 stadium will provide the backdrop for the Irishman’s UFC debut, and having experienced the scale of the venue, Redmond is excited to get the fight under way:

“We were down there at the media day yesterday and they had us in a room upstairs where we could look out at the whole stadium. It’s huge! It makes me excited, I’m dying to get in there.”

Finally, Redmond talked about the possibilities of a Ryano double win on the night.

“Yeah, I think we’ll both do it,” he said. “We’ve come out here to nail two lads to the wall, that’s what we’re planning on doing.”

 @PetesyCarroll

Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus