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· On The Spot ~ Paul McVeigh

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 02/20 at 05:32 PM

The HMV Forum in London, England will play host to Cage Warriors 40, Saturday February 26. As always Cage Warriors returns with an exhilarating and action packed card that is guaranteed to have fans on the edge of their seats. The event will be headlined by the biggest female fight in European MMA history, as Bellator’s English superstar Rosi Sexton takes on Japan-based American Roxanne Modafferi.

Also highlighted on the card will be top-ranked bantamweight Paul “Metabolic” McVeigh as he defends his Cage Warriors title against German prospect Andreas “Minigun” Bernhard.

The often outspoken and even more often hilarious McVeigh, poised on the cusp of international recognition, recently sat down with MMA Spot’s Jamie Kennedy to discuss a variety of topics. His answers were as unpredictable and wild as his fights. Whether it’s McVeigh’s take on his opponent, how he would handle life in “The Ultimate Fighter” house, or fighting for a UFC title it is always entertaining, and sometimes for mature audiences only.


Kennedy: You are defending your CWFC title against German prospect Andreas Bernhard. How much do you know about your opponent?
McVeigh: I know he is pretty fly at judo, and has a face melting overhand right. He’s pretty short, which means he’ll be strong. Which is also annoying. He’s 7-1, so he’s experienced. So all in all he’s going to be the sort of opponent that’s going to try and make me work hard to get a win. I hate those guys.

Kennedy: Where do you see yourself having the advantage over him?
McVeigh: I’d say I’m 43 percent more awesome than him. That’s before I go with the reach, experience, jiu-jitsu, and striking advantage I’ve got. I think I’m the most complete guy he’s fought. And I’m pretty good with elbows and cage work, something he hasn’t had to deal with in previous fights. That, and I am just finishing up the best camp of my life and I have a scary array of sparring partners picking on me daily. I don’t think I have ever been more ready for a fight. He is fighting the best ever version of me. So with all due respect, I feel he might be a little fucked.

Kennedy: Your opponent has a reputation as a world-class judo player, and very stocky. Will that present any difficulties in how you approach this fight?
McVeigh: I think the term “world-class” gets thrown around a lot. I am sure he is excellent and would bitch me in a gi, but he hasn’t medaled at the Olympics or Worlds or anything, so I am not going to soil my britches just yet.

His height might be more problematic as he’s always sparring taller guys and knows how to deal with it. Whereas, I had to draft in the ninja hobbit team specifically to prepare for him. Thankfully, I am now quite comfortable with the height. I think the height difference will pose more of a problem for him than me, to be honest.

Kennedy: Without giving too much of your game plan away, how do you see the fight playing out?
McVeigh: I am dangerous for him everywhere, and I have a solid game plan that should keep me out of the way of his dangerous stuff and exploit his weaknesses. Beyond that you should really check out Cage Warriors 40.

Kennedy: What other fights on the Cage Warriors 40 card should fans look out for?
McVeigh: As much as it pains me to be on her frigging undercard, I’m really looking forward to watching Rosi [Sexton] compete; she’s a good friend and a tiny wee midget monster.

Kennedy: What are your predictions for the Rosi Sexton vs Roxanne Modafferi bout?
McVeigh: Rosi by TKO. She has some really funky ground-and-pound stuff that I nick on a regular basis.

Kennedy: What would be the perfect end to your fight for you?
McVeigh: However the fight goes, I’ll take the positives from it. If it’s over in 20 seconds and I am not hurt, sweet. I’ll go do Ground Control [submission grappling tournament] the next day. If it’s five rounds of madness, I get a lot of experience and get to play with more of the new stuff—and find out what is working and what isn’t. Whatever happens it will be a good day.

Kennedy: You are also under the Cage Warrior management roster; does this add more pressure to retain the bantamweight title?
McVeigh: Nah. I never feel any pressure. I’ve trained and prepared well. All I really focus on is playing with the new toys in my game and figuring out my opponent. It’s a game, a really fun and potentially injurious game, but it’s still a game. I just got back in from sparring, where I just got my ass kicked by ten of the best guys in the U.K., and I loved every minute of it—even though I almost pooed my pants. On fight day I get to go out, take my top off in front of thousands of people and have a great time.

Kennedy: Should you defeat Bernhard in impressive fashion, and with you being already ranked as the number one bantamweight in Europe, do you feel it will be time for you to test yourself in one of the big American or Japanese promotions?
McVeigh: That would be nice, but that’s really up to those big organizations. A lot of fighters feel that they are entitled to something after doing well domestically. I don’t see it that way. If the big organizations think that people would like to see me fight, I would be honored; but if they aren’t interested, that’s cool, there are tons of great fighters all over the world I’d rather watch too.

Don’t get me wrong I am on a life-long quest to get really good at MMA, so I am always improving and if I did get a shot I’d spaz out so hard my eyes may bleed. Those “Fight of the Night” bonuses rock, if people are watching, I’ll be entertaining.

Kennedy: If you were in position to pick your next opponent, who would it be and why?
McVeigh: Haven’t really thought about it, what with a wee German guy wanting to punch a hole through my head in a few day’s time.

Kennedy: With WEC and UFC merging there have been many rumors of a lighter weight “The Ultimate Fighter.” Would you be interested in participating in the show, should that season ever happen?
McVeigh: My massive attention seeking behavior would love it, and it would put me on a par with my teammate Sean Wright (he was in the “Contender Asia” show), so I would be all for it. The opportunity to train with some of the coaches would be a great experience. However, if someone jizzed in my sushi I would probably nail the doors shut, set the place on fire, and watch it burn with everyone inside. All while singing and dancing that Billy Joel song about starting fires. On second thought, it might be a good idea for me not to go on it, actually.

Kennedy: Is fighting for the UFC title a career goal of yours?
McVeigh: I’d fellate a Smurf to get a title shot, but I don’t think that would impress the top UFC brass. So instead, I’ll keep fighting and getting better and see what happens. Dominic Cruz looks like a horrendous guy to fight. He’s, well, weird—but really good. I’d frigging have a great time trying to decapitate him before he killed me.

Kennedy: Another big name from the U.K. scene, Brad Pickett, will be facing Miguel Torres soon. Who do you see winning that bout?
McVeigh: Brad should take that one. Torres does well against guys who are crap-scared of his guard. Brad won’t be, has great wrestling, hits hard, and has freaky strong hips. People will call it an upset, but it won’t be.

Kennedy: Do most Brits pull for other Brits when fighting internationally? Or does it really depend on the person?
McVeigh: Jesus dude, are you trying to get me killed? If my Dad sees me being referred to as a British fighter, he’ll frigging end me. [Author cringes in embarrassment, in the realization McVeigh, an Irishman, interprets the question as him being referred to as a Brit. The response, however, was too good to cut.] I don’t really care about someone’s nationality, what with being a tree-hugging citizen of the world and all. If I have met someone and they are cool, I’ll be pulling for them—guys like Brad and Paul Kelly, but also guys like Papy Abedi, Yushin Okami, and Rodrigo Noguiera, who are more international.

Kennedy: Your last win was by inverted triangle choke. How do you train to perform a position like that?
McVeigh: Oh that old thing, I only started training that two weeks before the fight. I was doing some promo stuff for the Cage Contender show I was fighting on and went along to John Kavanaugh’s gym to get some extra training in. He showed me it and I used it in the fight. It’s become a bit of a specialty move for us. Stuart “Spy Kid” Johnson landed the same thing at the end of the year. To be honest, any submission that allows me to smear my balls into someone else face is a keeper for me!

Kennedy: Where do you train and who are some of the guys you have trained with?
McVeigh: I train at the Griphouse Gym in Glasgow. All the guys there are fighting soon, so the vibe has been awesome. The downside is there are a lot of really talented people around who are really sharp and enjoy beating me up. Those fuckers include: James Doolan, Dean Reilly, Titan, Kieran Malone (Junior Commonwealth medalist wrestler), Robert Whiteford (Commonwealth medalist judo), Marcos Nardini (BJJ black belt), Doug MacMaster (BJJ black belt), Sean Wright (Muay Thai world champion), Craig Docherty (Commonwealth champion pro boxer) Brian Hyslop, Alan Macauley, The Mark Connor, Scotty and Gazz Ward.

Right, that’s it. That’s the last ever name check I’m ever doing. But as you can see it’s a veritable army of great fighters who have no mercy and absolutely, positively will not stop until I am dead and then abuse me about it in Nandos.

Kennedy: Who are some of the men you have looked up to or idolized, in this sport?
McVeigh: That sounds a bit fruity. I tend to look at coaches, interviews, and stuff, a lot more than fighters. Us fighters are just big dumb death merchants. The coaches know how to put it all together. Although, I do get a bit of a chubby watching Nick Diaz fight, he does some really cool stuff, and he’s mental, which gives him plus points.

Kennedy: If you weren’t a professional fighter, what would you be doing for a living?
McVeigh: Probably giving handy J’s for crack.

Kennedy: Is there anything, or anyone else you’d like to mention?
McVeigh: Breasts! They’re awesome, aren’t they? Oh and Ian Dean and Warrior Promotions, they are also very awesome—but not as good as boobs.

Kennedy: Thank you for your time.
McVeigh: Thank you for listening to my punchy drivel.

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