Redser has arrived – Paul Redmond reacts to UFC signing

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After a year of Twitter campaigns and general speculation from fans and media alike, finally Paul Redmond, one of Ireland’s most exciting MMA proponents, has signed a four fight contract with UFC.

Stepping in to take Alan Omer’s place against Mirsad Bektic in what will be his first outing at featherweight in Stockholm’s ground breaking stadium event on January 24, Redmond discussed how he got the big news of his UFC contract from his Team Ryano coach, Andy Ryan.

“It’s a bit surreal,” he laughed, “just yesterday morning I was in work going about my business, then Andy rang me and told me that UFC were interested in me and he asked me how quickly could I cut to 145 lbs. I told him it would take five or six weeks and then he went and told me he would ring me back after he emailed Sean Shelby.

“I went back into work and I literally couldn’t do anything. So then he rang me and said that they wanted to do it in two weeks. It’s a pretty big cut, but it’s just one of them things – you don’t get a call up from UFC everyday you know?

Adding to the featherweight cut, ‘Redser’ didn’t have to be too strict on what he ate this Christmas without Cage Warriors usual New Year’s Eve card taking place. Although he may have a few extra pounds to lose, the Dubliner is confident that his stamina won’t be a problem when fight time comes around in the Swedish capital.

He said: “I was pretty heavy after the Christmas. This is the first year where I could eat and drink and do whatever I want. The last few years I’ve had to watch myself for Cage Warriors shows and then before that it was for another promotion, so this year was a bit different.

“Because Neil has been getting ready for this card, I’m one of his main sparring partners, I’ve been in the gym with him so I know my fitness won’t be a problem on the night. It’s just about getting this weight down now.

“I was talking to my strength and conditioning coach, Davey, and he said it’s just one of those things – you’re going to have to bite down hard and do it.”

Working a full time job on top of his fight career, much like his teammate ‘2 Tap’ Seery, Redmond will happily hand in his notice given his life-changing news:

“I don’t have the same responsibilities as Neil. I don’t have kids or a mortgage or anything like that. I live a pretty basic life, I’m still living in my ma’s house and I don’t have many bills to pay so I’m going to knock it on the head. I haven’t told them yet but I took the day off today to start my weight cut, so I’ll tell them on Monday.”

As for his opponent, Bektic, Redmond explained how he never focuses too much on his opponents, but is adamant that he will put on a show for his maiden voyage with the world’s flagship MMA promotion.

“I gave up thinking about what the opponents are going to do a long time ago. I know how hard I train, I know what I’m capable of so I’m not really too worried about what he’s going to bring. He’s in the UFC for a reason, he’s good, he’s game and he’s undefeated,” outlined Redmond.

“I’m a serious amount of trouble to anyone, especially now that I’ll be moving down to featherweight. The opponent doesn’t matter, I was going to take that fight with Diego Sanchez a couple of months ago when people start campaigning on Twitter, it doesn’t matter to me.

“It’s not just this performance I’ll be looking to make a statement in, every time I get in there I’m looking to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is the UFC, I know this is the biggest event in Europe but for me, it doesn’t matter where I’m fighting, I’m always going to go out and try to pull off something spectacular.

“I want to send people home telling their mates about the guy they just saw fighting. That’s just the way I am, you’ve seen me fight before, anything this guy gives me I’ll be jumping on it 100 per cent. I can only fight that way, there is no other way for me.”

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One of tightest groups of fighters you are likely to come across, the Donaghmede man reflected on Seery’s signing with UFC to gauge how his team must be feeling for him at this time.

“I’m with Andy six and a half years now, we’ve always been very close knit down there. Myself, Andy and Neil would be really close mates even outside of the gym. It’s just surreal for everyone I’d say.

“When Neil got the contract last year we couldn’t believe it. We were all excited. I don’t know what they’re thinking but I really want to put in a big performance for everyone at Ryano,” he said.

A successful DJ outside of the fight game, Redmond insisted he would be sticking with his classic selection for his walkout music, with no changes set for that spectrum of his performances: “It’ll be Jimmy Cliff, ‘The Harder They Come’, all day. The walkout tune stays the walk out tune.”

Although the news of his contract had only come through a few hours prior to the interview, the Ryano charge is already planning to fight as much as he can in the coming year:

“I’ve been thinking about that. Obviously I’m signed in as a featherweight now so I want to get my walking around weight a little bit lower. I want to keep active, so if I could get five fights in this year, why not?”

With the signing of Joe Duffy and Redmond coming just two days apart, there is more reason to believe that UFC have big plans for Ireland in 2015. Finally, Redmond commented on the heavily speculated Croke Park event.

“No, I haven’t heard anything about ‘Croker’ and I don’t think anyone on the Irish scene has. The problem with holding any event like that in Ireland is that there is no roof and that will pose an awkward logistical problem for UFC. Obviously if anyone could figure something out it would be them, but 90,000 is still 90,000 seats to fill.

“It would be unbelievable. I’ve passed Croker everyday for 28 years, it’s literally ten minutes from my house. It’s a monumental stadium and it’s not just a Dublin thing. With all the hurling, the football and just the history of the stadium itself, it would a really fantastic occasion if it did come off,” he finished.

 

@PetesyCarroll

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