Neil Seery on Horiguchi: “I know that people think it’s a mismatch”


Anyone who is lucky enough to be a Facebook friend of Neil Seery’s knows that the Team Ryano man wasn’t happy with Ireland’s centenary celebrations of the Easter Rising.

In an absurd twist of events, after voicing his discontent with the state’s public commemorations, he was later photographer running through a parade in Glasnevin.

“Wasn’t that just the best ever?” he says when I ask him about the pictures that surfaced of him running alongside the parade with his German shepherd, King.

“I was watching the 1916 centenary anniversary thing on the television and I was giving out shit. I’m looking at all them tramps, that’s what I always call politicians, and they’re up there patting each other on the back for destroying our country. Those tramps were sitting up there, front and centre, where normal people should be. That fuckin’ pisses me off. I was losing my mind at these tramps and then my missus tells me to get out and get some fresh air, so I went out running.

“I always run up by the canal and then I come out at the Porterhouse, but when I came out on Sunday I ran straight into the middle of a parade with a marching band and the whole lot. I had my dog and I was just after taking the muzzle off him and I just knew he was going to get agitated.

“As I was thinking that, some little Jack Russell locked on to his harness and his owner just starts screaming ‘ahhhhhhhh ahhhhhhh’. So I was like ‘get off him you bastard’ to the Jacker and when he let go I put the muzzle back on my own dog. Then another lad went by and he was trying to pet him but I swear my dog only missed him by about a centimeter when he tried to put his hand on him.

“I started to pick up the pace as I was running by the marching band, and just when I turned a corner I see this camera. Straight away I’m thinking, ‘this is RTE’.

“I had been giving out all morning about the parade and I was just imagining my head coming up on the news running with my dog beside some copper while it was going on!”

Usually a very active fighter, there hasn’t been much news in terms of fights for the Team Ryano stalwart since his second round submission win over Jon Delos Reyes in front of his hometown crowd in Dublin last October. ‘2 Tap’ admitted that is was a case of nothing exciting him after the bout that brought on the five-month wait for an opponent.

“Nothing excited me after that Dublin card. I got offered a very short notice fight in Australia, but there was no way I could’ve made weight in a week and travel out there. I would have done it if I had one more week because I hate seeing people that have trained for so long left without a fight and an opportunity to make money.

“People are too uptight about their records. It’s great to have a decent one, but you have to look at it and ask who the person has actually fought. It hurt me to turn down that fight. I said from day one that I would never turn a fight down in UFC. Up until that short notice call up I haven’t, and honestly I think that’s why I got the Horiguchi fight.”

Kyogi Horiguchi, a former UFC title contender, will be the toughest test of Seery’s career when they face off in Rotterdam on May 8. Clearly relishing the thoughts of mixing it with one of the karate proponents in MMA, the Dubliner noted that a lot of people think that the fight is a mismatch.

“If you look at him on paper, he’s 16-2, he’s young, he’s exciting and he’s quick. He’s really tough. He fought Demetrious Johnson and lost in the last ten seconds. On paper everyone is looking at it like Seery doesn’t have a chance.

“I’m going in with a 16-11 record. I’m 36 years of age. I know people are looking at it and saying ‘mismatch’. It could be a mismatch on the night, or it could be a fantastic fight between two guys that are willing to fight. I know I’m going to give this guy everything I have, and I know when I’m at my best I can beat anyone.

“It’s a really tough fight. I believe he’s ranked sixth in the world. I’m not even in the rankings. I really don’t understand how I got him. I think a lot of people turned him down because he’s too dangerous. Why, though?

“If people are crying about money and they’re only fighting three times a year and they’re only making 20k a fight–do the sums. It 60k and then you have to pay for this, that and the other. It’s a living wage. It’s not a comfortable living wage, but why would you turn down a fight to cut your losses and not add to your wage? I don’t need this money, but I like to fight.”

It might have taken a while, but Seery has managed to endear himself to the masses since signing with UFC based on nothing more than being himself. As far as he is concerned, he would be exhausted trying to put on a front rather than showing people what he is really about.

“I don’t really notice that,” he replies when I ask him about elevated fan stock of late.

“I think people like that I’m myself. There are a lot of people that are putting on an act, but I just like wrecking peoples’ heads all day long. I can buzz off people all day, but when the time comes to switch off and go to work I can do that too. I’m just an ordinary Joe Soap, and there are so many false people these days.

“They sit around talking about their dreams all day, but it’s like ‘fuck off and get a job’, as far as I’m concerned. If I had to pretend to be someone else all day I’d be fuckin’ exhausted. So I don’t do it.”


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

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