Paul Redmond: “If you come in and fight bums, you’re wasting your time”

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Paul ‘Redser’ Redmond was forced to sit at home and watch his good friend and teammate Neil “2 Tap” Seery as he lost out to Louis Smolka via decision at UFC 189 in Las Vegas last Saturday.

Usually in Seery’s corner, Redmond had to take a step back as to not knock his own UFC Glasgow preparation out of sync as he get ready for Robert Whiteford. ‘Redser’ insisted that it was “horrible” to watch Seery go about his business knowing that he could do “100 percent better” if he had been at full health.

“I watched on my phone because I had to get it through my friend’s Fight Pass account,” said Redmond. “It was horrible to watch just because I know Neil can do 100 percent better. Everyone knows that, he just looked a little bit too tired in there. I think it was just down to heat in Vegas that week. Smolka was good though, he’s very tricky and awkward.

“For that weight class, his height can have a big impact on a fight. Neil said he didn’t feel strong in there, he was just bolloxed even before the fight started. Andy told me that Neil actually got sick on the Wednesday and he couldn’t eat or drink properly. He was stuck in his hotel room and he was drained.”

While Irish fans mobbed Seery every time he found himself among the general public in Vegas, Redmond highlighted how easy it is to prepare in Glasgow compared to ‘Sin City’.

He said: “It makes a difference to be close to home and to be in a city. I can walk out and go up to Tesco, it’s only ten minutes up the road. The breakfast table downstairs has been alright too, so it’s grand being in these type of places. As well as that, nobody really knows who you are here, I’m not stopped every two minutes to get into photos, so it’s grand,” he said.

The Scottish crowd is sure to get behind the first ever Scotsman to grace a UFC Octagon, Robert Whiteford, when he meets Redmond on Saturday night. Although he knows Whiteford will get a big reception, all ‘Redser’ is concerned with is the fight itself.

“I generally don’t care about anything like that. I know I’ve got a good fighter in front of me on Saturday night and I’m going to try and take his head, arm or leg off. That’s the end of it. I don’t care if he’s the first Scottish fighter in the UFC or the first whatever, none of that matters. I’m after putting in 11 hard weeks of training and I’ve got my weight down nice and easy. I’m here to fight.

“He’s a good fighter. He’s a big guy with strong hands and he’s a little bit wild on the feet so that’s something you have to watch out for. There is a lot of power there. He’s got great judo, he’s a black belt and he won the Commonwealth Games a few years back. I’ve seen him in action before with Richie Edgeworth so I know he’s good on the ground too.

“This is the UFC, everyone is capable on the ground and standing. It’s going to be a tough fight, I’m not here for easy fights,” declared the Team Ryano featherweight.

From Mirsad Bektic to hometown hero Whiteford, Redmond has had quite a difficult UFC trajectory thus far. According to ‘Redser’, “if you come in and fight bums, you’re only wasting your time.”

“If you come in and fight bums, you’re only wasting your time. If the end goal is the belt or to get into the rankings, you have to fight good bodies. You have to fight decent guys so I don’t think anybody wants easy fights. Obviously, if I go out and submit a good fighter it means a lot more to me than beating an easy opponent.”

The Irish fans have been praised all over the world for their support of the nation’s MMA fighters, but for Redmond, everything outside of the Whiteford bout means absolutely nothing to him.

“I don’t give a bollocks about people coming over to see me to be honest. I turned my Facebook off about a month ago. I don’t care who is coming over, I don’t care who bought tickets. Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t reply to any mails I get anymore, I’ve got to concentrate on my own stuff. This fight is all that matters to me. I need to win this fight.”

Finally, Redmond spoke about how his weight feels like it’s in the right place having missed the 146 lbs in his UFC debut after stepping up on short notice.

“My weight is grand this time around, but I don’t need the stress of walking around to the shops and people asking me how my weight is! I’m like ‘fuck off, ask you missus how her weight is!’ Me and Andy have been going to ‘Fit Fighters’ every Wednesday night, that’s how we kept the weight down. We’ve been eating dust sandwiches to get down to 145,” he laughed.

@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.