Irish MMA: The next step for Neil
There are a few Irish fighters involved in Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 49 in Cardiff and we’ll be featuring some of them on JOE over the next few weeks.
To kick it off we caught up with JOE’s first ever featured fighter, Neil Seery from Team Ryano to discuss his upcoming fight.
Next Saturday Irish MMA stalwart Neil Seery (10-9) steps back into the cage at CWFC 49 to take on Karl Harrison (4-3). Harrison trains with UFC fighter Vaughan Lee at the Ultimate Training Centre in Birmingham, UK. Neil’s last outing was a calm and calculated 2nd round stoppage by rear naked choke of Mark Platts back in June.
Neil is currently ranked 2nd in the flyweight division of UK and Irish fighters behind the UFC’s Phil Harris, who needed all three rounds to beat Neil by decision at BAMMA 3 in May 2010. Platts was ranked no.3 when Neil beat him and Harrison is currently ranked 13. Its testament to Neil’s quality as a fighter that 9 years into his professional MMA career he’s still facing top competition at the biggest show in Europe.
After his last victory Neil was incredibly thankful for having got the opportunity to fight at CWFC 47 in Dublin. Some people might have thought his loss to Europe’s number 1 ranked flyweight Artemij Sitenkov in February was the beginning of the end of his career, Neil was thinking otherwise.
“The Sitenkov fight went so badly, I got caught so early in the fight that I knew in my next fight I had nothing to lose. I was thinking ‘that can’t happen twice,’ there was no way I was getting caught that early and that cold in the fight with Platts. I was delighted that Graham Boylan (CWFC CEO) and Ian Dean (CWFC match-maker) gave me such a big opportunity so soon after that loss.”
Check out the final moments of Neil’s win over Mark Platts at CWFC 47 in The Helix.
You can check out the full fight between Neil and Mark Platts at CWFC 47 in The Helix here.
With a new target in sight Neil is tooled up to go to war for the victory, “I’ll be honest and say I don’t know that much about him. He has beaten one of the lads I train with. I know he’ll be game on the night but I’m prepared for the fight to go the three rounds if necessary. A finish would be great and I’ll be tryin’ to finish him, but I’m happy to take it to him for three rounds and get the decision if that’s the way it works out.”
Having recently signed for Intensiti Fighter Management, Neil is conscious that a win streak would carry a little more weight than normal. Intensiti’s Phil Harris recently debuted at UFC on FX 5 in their newly formed flyweight division. Neil is particularly valuable to Intensiti as he could make the 115lbs limit for the straw-weight division, which the UFC are proposing to introduce.
While it would be a dream come true, the bright lights in the distance aren’t going to distract Neil from the task at hand, “I’d love to fight in the UFC but if it happens - it happens. It’s never the reason I get up and go training. I don’t think that far ahead really, I take every fight as it comes. I’ve got a wife, three kids, a job and a mortgage, so they come first. I know that at some point when it stops happenin’ for me in the cage it’ll be time to stop, but I don’t think I’m there yet. I feel that I’m an exciting fighter and I still represent a challenge for lots of fighters, so while that’s the story I’ll keep fighting.”
Head coach at Team Ryano, Andy Ryan is impressed with Neil’s dedication after being in the game for so long, “This is the best I’ve ever seen Neil in all areas; he’s doin’ great work in training himself and he’s doing great work with the other lads on the team. But mentally he’s solid as well, he seems to be able to do exactly what he wants when he wants.”
Irish MMA fans will get a chance to see Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 49 on Sky Sports next week, which hopefully will feature Neil getting his hand raised.
Photo Credits: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors