Shay Walsh: “I want Ed Arthur, and I want to take his title”

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Shay Walsh is no stranger to the UKMMA scene. The featherweight has wracked up a 12-3 professional record, with his losses coming at the hands of the upper echelons of European MMA (Andy Ogle in 2011, Artem Lobov in 2012, and Andrew Fisher in 2013).

But at BAMMA 21 we will see a new Shay Walsh. Things have changed dramatically this past year for the Lancastrian in more ways than one.

Firstly, Shay will be competing at bantamweight, and has managed to turn a pull out from a fight in March into something positive. When he discovered that his fight in Australia was off Shay used the opportunity to trial a weight cut down to bantamweight.

“At first I wasn’t interested in cutting down, size just didn’t concern me. However, after the withdrawal I needed something to focus and concentrate on and the trial cut made sense.”

Supported by his Tiger MuayThai team mates Shay found the cut to be not only possible but relatively easy too!

“I’m walking around lighter and my team mates have really helped refine the cut and I have embraced the changes. Bantamweight is definitely my new home, but I won’t rule out a possible return to featherweight in the future.”

Secondly, in the past year Shay earned a spot on the Tiger Muay Thai fight team out of Phuket Thailand. Tiger is quickly becoming one of the foremost fight teams in the MMA world with coaches Roger Huerta and Brian Ebersole having put together a selection of killers at all levels. Shay gets to train, eat, sleep, and train without worrying about anything else.

“I originally went out to Phuket in April of 2014 to take part in the ‘tryouts’ for the Tiger MuayThai fight team, and earned my place. I have been out here for 5 weeks this trip, and I get to travel back and forth. It is perfect! All I have to do is train! And the quality of that training is absolutely ridiculous!”

Shay is doing more than making up the numbers out there. Coach Huerta told SevereMMA:

“Shay is a technician. He has developed over time and is able to dissect and analyse styles and opponents incredibly well. He sees strengths and weaknesses, and can adapt his game accordingly in camp or in the cage. He’s a grinder, tough in all aspects of the sport and (in my opinion) he’s on course for big, big things”

On June 13th Shay gets to put the training into practice at BAMMA 21 against the undefeated submission machine Gaz ‘Spitfire’ Pilot (6-0-1).

“I know Gaz from the UKMMA scene. I have seen him fight a few times and I always watch a little bit of tape on my opponents. Gaz has a dangerous submission game, that is his most dangerous weapon. He has good back takes in the scrambles and solid guard passing. I try not to focus too much on what he brings as I know what I need to do in this fight! This is a massive card and I’m really excited to be part of it. BAMMA have a great roster of fighters, the exposure is excellent, and I am really looking forward to fighting in front of the Arena crowd. I want to be at BAMMA for my next few fights…I want Ed Arthur and I want to take his title! Ed and Gaz are solid, they’re at a good level but they have not had fights or the experiences I’ve had. They’ve not been in ‘those’ fights those tough, test your heart type fights! I have more tools than them! Ed did well in his title fight, he stayed mentally strong but if it were me in there it just wouldn’t have happened that way!”

Shay is not looking past Pilot and understands that a win alone is not enough:

“I want to make a statement! The performance is just as important as the win! I don’t want to leave any questions in people’s minds. I don’t want weight cut excuses made for me! I want people to say he was great at featherweight but holy shit at bantamweight he’s a beast!”

June 13th the beast arrives at the Barclay Card Arena, Birmigham for BAMMA 21.

Shay would like to thank the following for their unending support and sponsorship: Engage Fight Wear, Prestige Salon, Freedom Mobility, Natural Ranks, and everyone at Tiger Muay Thai. Shay is also representing the Blesma Charity which helps amputees from conflict zones and is making a sizeable donation to the cause from the sale of his walk out t-shirts.

He’d also like to say a thank you to Lancaster and Morecambe MMA. If you head over to his website ShayWalshMMA.com you can get tickets to BAMMA and the t-shirts for the charity can be purchased there.

BAMMA 21, June 13th, Barclay Card Arena, Birmingham for ticket and event viewing information go to BAMMA.com

By @SteveCA_MMA

 

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.