Brendan Loughnane: “It took a lot to come back from that to be honest”

At the start of 2019 Brendan Loughnane was egging for a second opportunity to step into the UFC’s octagon once more. He had tasted what it felt like once before when he fought Mike Wilkinson at UFC on Fox 6 back in 2012. The result didn’t go his way that night and he wasn’t given another chance when an opportunity arose to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series. A win, would give him an opportunity to win a contract to compete once more under the UFC banner. Brendan went out and dominated his opponent Bill Algeo,a top american prospect, claiming a unanimous decision victory. For most it seemed like a certainty that he would get the contract but it was not enough in Dana White’s eyes to offer him one . Bitter disappointment followed. Speaking with Sean Sheehan Brendan opened up about the lead up and aftermath of the whole situation.

“I did nearly a whole year without a fight, I couldn’t get matches anywhere, stayed close to weight the whole year, trained my ass off, I was over here in Alliance and I managed to get a one off fight in a show in Manchester so I took that. But then my break came. I had to wait until the next Contender Series which came through I got my opponent which was a really tough opponent. I went out there. I destroyed him. Thought I had my contract, didn’t get it. It took a lot to come back from that to be honest. I didn’t know where I was going to go from there. Casing the UFC back for six years. I had to really go through a mental battle, with guys like Dominick Cruz in my corner really helped me out with those kind of things. The PFL came knocking with an offer that I couldn’t refuse, as they say. The rest is history.”

Loughnane went on to fight for the PFL in October of this year by beating Matt Wagy as an MMA betting favourite in his debut. Now he is looking forward to New Years Eve where he faces his next challenger, David Valante. This means for both fighters Christmas will be spent in the gym. The Manchester man doesn’t seem too downbeat. “It’s gonna be weird. There’s going to be no Christmas dinner, no celebrations, no presents but you know what? It’ll all come to me on New Years Eve. The juice is worth the squeeze.”

This will be the twenty second fight of the Manchester man’s career. He along with many other fighters have been down a long road to get to where they are right now. Speaking about his journey and how his body feels, “My body feels great, it feels better than what it was when I was nineteen. I’m into Yoga now. I’ve got very smart, planned camps. I dont over-do it now. I know where my body needs to get to where it needs to get into the fight. I’ve had no injuries and i never pull out with injuries. I’ve got to every fight healthy and that’s a big part of it.”

“It’s about taking care of your body and getting the longevity out of the sport. I’ve been able to do that. I’ve just turned 30 last week and I’ve got a wealth of experience under my belt now, fought wrestlers, fought strikers and I don’t think there is anything out there that I’ve not seen.”

For the full video with Sean and Brendan where he speaks more about his time training Stateside in Alliance MMA, his PFL future, fighting big names, what the best route for an up and coming fighter in Ireland and the UK and the correct pronunciation on his last name,

Watch or listen to the full interview below

Ian O'Neill is the host of the SevereMMA UFC Preview show and one of the co-hosts of The Auld Triangle - Irish MMA podcast. You can find more of Ian's work on the SevereMMA Patreon where he co-hosts The Chasing Pack and The Contender. Follow him on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma

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