Ahead of his headlining fight at Cage Warriors 50, Dinky Ninjas main man Paul McVeigh took the time to answer some of our questions and we cover everything from SAFE MMA and title ambitions to comic books and Kung Fu movies.
Irishman and adopted Scot, McVeigh (18-7) faces American, Brandon Hempleman (8-1) at a catchweight of 130lbs in the main event of Cage Warriors first show in Scotland.
While undefeated when fighting for Cage Warriors, and having held both their Featherweight and Bantamweight titles, McVeigh’s recent efforts have not gone to plan as he was eliminated from The Ultimate Fighter by Louis Gaudinot and ended up on the wrong side of a unanimous decision when facing Erik Perez at BAMMA 8.
As he looks to bounce back, while gradually cutting down to Flyweight from his long term home at 135lbs he faces an opponent coming off a five fight win streak who is certainly not just coming to make up the numbers.
As the featured fighter on the biggest MMA card to ever come to Scotland, we’re plenty excited to see what Paul has to say, so without further ado, let’s get into it.
1 – How long have you been involved in MMA, where did you start, what was your first discipline?
For pretty much as long as its been around in the UK. I started of in Japanese Jiu jitsu as a kid and picked up all of the other more established disciplines along the way as it became evident I was deficient in certain areas.
2 – What first got you into martial arts?
Reading the amount of comics and watching the number of Van Damme movies I did as a kid it was only a matter of time before I tried to become a professional ass kicker.
3 – In your fight on the Ultimate Fighter, you received a lot of praise from both coaches and Dana White, despite losing the decision. Did that mean a lot to you?
Losing always stings but so long as you have put everything into your performance you can rationalise whatever occurs. The outcome is a consequence of your preparation and performance. It was cool getting praise from those guys but the lessons I learned where more valuable.
4 – At Cage Warriors 50, you’re making your first stop on a cut down to Flyweight. What caused you drop down from Bantamweight where you’ve been so successful?
It was originally a devious plan to avoid sparring with some of our big scary featherweight nut jobs like Afterburner (Graham Turner), Dean Reilly and Robert Whiteford. But a lot of our flyweights are reproducing so I’ve had to spar with these guys anyway and now that I’m 5kg lighter than normal the kicking I’ve been on the end of have dramatically increased.
5 – You’re undefeated when competing for Cage Warriors and this card marks that promotion’s debut in your adopted home of Glasgow. What does it mean to you to compete on such a card?
I love fighting in Cage Warriors and in Glasgow. When you combine them both with a card this good it’s a real privilege to be a part of it. It’s two weeks out and I’m already waking up every morning like a highly caffeinated chimp,
6 – What are your career aims in the next year or so?
I have a plan and it starts with this upcoming bout. Not looking past my opponent or anything but after that I hope to secure the CWFC Flyweight title. That would make me the first person to hold titles in the organisation in 3 different weight categories which is pretty baller.
7 – What’s it like balancing the demands of being a trainer at the Griphouse with the demands of a fight camp?
Pretty easy to be honest we have good systems in place and great people who are available whenever they are needed. When James Doolan and I are competing Dean Reilly runs the show and puts in so many hours with the guys I feel a bit guilty just training and going home to sleep.
I don’t think it’s as hard as for someone who trains and has a full time job. I can let some business related stuff slide for a few weeks and focus on fighting.
8 – As an experienced fighter who’s also involved in running a gym, not to mention being well known for their commitment to fitness and conditioning, do you think the recently revealed SAFE MMA project will help improve the level of safety in UK MMA and gain more mainstream acceptance of the sport?
It’s adds to the overall professionalism of the sport. Which is something everyone who is serious about MMA has been trying to promote for years so I am all for it.
9 – Over a decade you’ve been one of the key figures in the growth of MMA in the UK, and Scotland especially. If there was to be a movie made of your career, who would you want to play yourself?
Samuel L Jackson….. I shout a lot.
10 – What would you say to any kids considering taking up martial arts training?
Sports are a great vehicle to develop yourself as a person and understanding values like self sacrifice, dedication, altruism and hard work. A few months in good MMA gym will make you a better person in every aspect of your life. You’ll also learn how to engage in some of the most feral banter imaginable. All positive stuff.
Last of all, a shout out to your sponsors, gym etc.
Cheers to the guys at the Griphouse (www.thegriphouse.co.uk) and the rest of the Dinky Ninja Fight Team guys.
Everyone at Kumite would like to thank Paul for taking the time to answer our questions, and we’re really looking forward to watching him and the other Dinky Ninjas, Alan Johnston, Graham Turner and Mark Connor compete at Cage Warriors 50 on Saturday 8th December.
If your minded to experience more of Paul’s ‘feral banter’ we recommend taking a look at this behind the scenes video on YouTube which had us in stitches – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgyYPxzjZaw&sns=em
You can follow Paul and the Griphouse on Twitter with the handles @Maccavelli and @Griphouse and for more information on Cage Warriors 50 and to get tickets if you haven’t already done so, check out http://www.cagewarriors.com
Cage Warriors 50 will stream live internationally on http://www.mmajunkie.com and UK viewers will be able to see it a few days later on Sky Sports. We promise to wave from the cheap seats.
Image from http://www.madebrave.com