Almighty Fighting Championships second event of the year is upon us as Almighty FC 23 is just under two weeks out. If Almighty FC 23 lives up to the expectations of their first showing of the year, fans will be in for an expectational night of fights.
Almighty promoter, Ray Thompson, has put together a well-matched twenty-four bout fight card that will take place at the Metrodome in Barnsley on February 19th.
The fight card is headlined by hot prospect Callum Mullen who squares off against fellow undefeated fighter Nicolae Pirogan for the Almighty FC pro featherweight title. Before that, fans are treated to a handful of professional and amateur contests from the countries rising talent.
I had the opportunity to catch up with one half of the main event in Callum Mullen.
Interview with Callum Mullen
Just over ten days until you make the walk and get your 2022 season underway. Talk to me about preparation ahead of Feb. 19? Your followers have seen you’ve been at Higher Level MMA recently. Has your entire camp taken place in Bathgate?
Yeah, my training couldn’t have gone any better I’ve sacrificed a lot this camp and put the work in; I’ve been training at Higher Level with James and the lads up here. I’ve done a good few weeks and learnt a lot about myself. Also, I have my team closer to home aspire where I started the beginning of my camp.
How has your time been at Higher Level MMA among the talent under James Doolan’s roof? Although you’ve been there a short time, have you been able to take some value away from training under James?
Coming and training with James, I’ve learnt loads. I feel like we’ve clicked straight away. He’s a cool guy and loves the sport. He makes this his lifestyle, and he is very passionate about the sport and the way he coaches. He has been in the game years, and I’ve picked up a lot of his knowledge from working with him. He’s put some time into me whilst I’ve been here, and I really appreciate it. Also, my other coaches, Dean and Phil, have supported this all the way. They are open-minded and know what’s good for the fighters.
Mullen Talks the Benefits of Training at Different Gym’s
How beneficial do you feel it is for young up-and-coming fighters to travel to different gyms, get different looks, guidance and different training partners? I think the UK as a whole has sort of stepped away from that having to be loyal to one gym/coach type feel. Would you agree?
For fighters, you need to go out of your comfort zone, meet new people, spar with new bodies and learn from different coaches. You have to be open-minded in this sport, or you won’t progress.
Touching on your last fight at AFC 20 with Alex Bodnar, a tough opponent in his own right. You finished the fight in the third round. Were you completely satisfied with that performance?
My last fight against Alex was good to go three rounds, and against a tough lad, there was some back and forth scrambles, and I learnt a lot from it, which has made me a better fighter.
Does the ‘Prospect’ tag faze Mullen?
You are now 4-0 in your pro-career with four stoppage wins. With that comes people within the community touting you as the next big prospect and so on. Does that put any extra added pressure on your shoulders when you go in there to compete? or on the opposite end does that fuel the motivation even more?
I’m 4-0 now because I work hard, love what I do, don’t feel any pressure, live for this day in and day out, and work hard every day. Me winning these fights is just another step closer to my dream.
You’ll be headlining a sold-out venue in Barnsley on the night against Nicolae Pirogan. What were your initial thoughts when offered the matchup? Is Pirogan somebody you were aware of on the scene?
I can’t wait to get in there and showcase my skills and prove why I am one of the best featherweights in this country against a good opponent. I have seen him at shows before but don’t know much about him, but his record is similar to mine, and it will be a good test.
Fingers crossed all goes well, and you leave AFC 23 healthy and un-injured. How many times can we expect to see you compete this year?
Yeah, I want a busy year of fighting and put my name up there with the top guys.
Five years from now, where is Callum Mullen?
Without a doubt, in the next five years, I’ll be in the UFC taking that title.
Lastly, what is your official fight prediction? How do you see this barnburner unfolding?
No prediction. I’m coming for that win and going to do all I can to make sure I can get the job done and come away with the win.
Featured Image credits to DN4 Photography