Blaine O’Driscoll: “People having been overlooking me, they won’t be doing that after Saturday”

Blaine O’Driscoll (3-1) was scheduled to face Ross McCorriston at BAMMA 28, but McCorriston was forced to withdraw. Fortuntately for O’Driscoll, the Cage Warriors team got in touch on the same day and offered him a bout against Darren O’Gorman at Cage Warriors 81 in Dublin.

“First round, it is going to be over, first round finish,” the Dublin-based fighter confidently predicts.

O’Driscoll has studied his opponent and sees flaws in the MMA Clinic man’s game that he can take advantage of.  “I looked at a lot of his fights and I don’t see any danger in him,” he told SevereMMA. “I think he is slow, he gets lucky with submissions.”

He will be approaching this fight in a way that he has not done so before, O’Driscoll and the SBG team have created a game plan for this fight. “It is different with this one. I know what I want to do and where I want this fight to go. I’m looking forward to this.”

He made the move to SBG four years ago, believing that he needed to surround himself with the best fighters and coaches in the country, as he no longer wanted to be a ‘big fish in a small pond’ and thought that being coached by John Kavanagh & co. would help him turn into a ‘big fish in a big pond.’ He credits the coaches at SBG for the improvements in his grappling and fence work, and is adamant that a victory over his opponent will make him one of Irish MMA’s hottest prospects.

“This is the fight that gets people looking at me,” he declared. “People are going to start taking me seriously.”

“I know my last fight was only a few month ago, but I’ve improved so much, I looked at the mistakes I was making and I zoned in on them. I think people having been overlooking me, they won’t be doing that after Saturday!”

The lone blemish on his pro MMA record came when he competed at Total Extreme Fighting Championships 1, and Adam Caffrey was the fighter getting his hand raised at the National Stadium in Dublin. O’Driscoll acknowledges that he failed to prepare for the fight as he should have, and that the poor cut impacted his performance on the night of the fight.

You can hear the frustration in his voice when he looks back at the fight, he simply lacked the energy to take his opponent’s back when he had a single leg, and he was too fatigued to advance his position, and the judges felt that his opponent had been the better fighter on the night.

“Adam is a good fighter,” he said. “He did well, but the loss was my fault.”

“I was taking the piss with the weight cut, I don’t think I would have lost if I had focussed. I moved up for that fight, but I didn’t take the cut seriously, and then I ended up cutting so much in the last week, even more than I would normally cut for a flyweight fight.”

The SBG fighter defeated Caffrey when they were both amateurs, and says he would be open to a rubber match if it was ever offered. “We’re basically sparring partners now, since we’ve spent so much time in the cage together, I’d be happy to go again.”

O’Driscoll made his professional MMA debut at flyweight, but moved up to bantamweight for the Caffrey fight and has stayed at 135lbs since. He mentions the lack of mid-level fighters available at flyweight has been problematic for him, but he is happy to face those challenges at bantamweight for now.

“There is a big gap at 125 between the lower level fighters and the really high level fighters, there is no middle ground. I’m going to stay here for now, there is a middle ground at 135, and there are a number of good fights here for me, but I’ll go back down to 125 later.”

The 24-year-old is aiming to become a household name in the sport, and not content with just becoming a UFC fighter, he dreams of becoming a champion.  “I’m aiming to go all the way to the top,” he told SevereMMA.

O’Driscoll acknowledges that he isn’t the first fighter to say that he believes he can become a champion, but he takes a moment and is open enough to admit that he would be able to walk away if he didn’t accomplish his goals, though he doesn’t think that is likely to happen.

“I don’t get these fighters who are 32 or 33 years old, you just become bait for younger guys, especially if you’re a lighter weight fighter, the speed advantage young fighters have is just too much. If I don’t make it, for some unknown reason, I won’t be risking my health at that age.”

“But I’m going to make it, and my goal is to reach the top and get out before I’m too old, and then look at training the new generation of fighters.”

By @JeevanMMA

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