Brendan Loughnane: “I don’t want to sit on the shelf”

Last year was an up and down year for Brendan Loughnane to say the least. After the disappointment of not securing a UFC contract last year, Loughnane bounced back impressively. He went on to sign for the PFL, notching back-to-back victories over Matt Wavy and David Valente, the latter in front of a New Years Eve crowd in the famous Madison Square Garden. 

On to 2020, and Loughnane was looking forward to entering the seasonal featherweight tournament. The tournament run by the Professional Fighters League is made up of a round-robin style league. The top eight seeded fighters proceed to a knockout playoff to eventually determine a winner who scoops a 1 million dollar prize. 

Unfortunatly for Loughnane, the PFL announced that this year’s tournament had been canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. This leaves Loughnane on the sidelines until 2021. Loughnane—who is currently training in Thailand—spoke with Andy Stevenson on Thursday about where his head is at with this whole situation. 

“I fought on New Years Eve. I kind of had January off and then I came out here[Thailand], because I knew I was going to be fighting around May. I’ve got great training partners here. The camp was going amazingly well, really smooth. Then I got the news a few days ago that it was off. It’s heartbreaking to be honest, to be sat on the shelf for another year. But you know, the whole world is in a crisis so what can you do?”

“We are working out if I can fight in between[PFL seasons]. I don’t want to sit on the shelf. It’s a long time on the shelf and especially when I’ve just turned 30. I’m coming into my prime. Believe me, I was ready to take that million this year, I was ready. This was my time.”

“I am very grateful for the PFL. I am a very happy PFL fighter. They kept me active last year, they paid me well. They treated me like a professional. I owe them a lot and I’m very happy to be a part of their roster.”

Next weekend, Loughnane’s close friend competes once more for the bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo at UFC 249. He spoke of his joy at seeing his Dominance MMA teammate back competing again.

“I’m just so proud of the guy for everything he’s come back from. To get to this position again and to get a title shot, he’s probably the only guy who could physically do that. After all the injuries and all the mental battles that he’s been through, for him to get there he is a proper inspiration. I am really excited for this. I really believe it’s written in the stars for this guy. I would put nothing past him. I’m gutted I can’t be there,  I’d do anything to be at that fight.”

Listen to the full interview with Andy Stevenson where Brendan speaks more about his turbulent 2019, training and cuisine out in Thailand. Loughnane how having Petr Yan as a training partner is a unique expeirience and more.  

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.