When you talk Ricky Hatton, boxing and the Manchester Arena come to mind. This is no different for Manchester-born Brendan Loughnane, who has fond memories of watching the former boxer headline in his own city.
Loughnane, who fights under the PFL banner, has rapidly become one of Britain’s highly touted fighters, and the 32-year-olds stock continues to rise.
Despite a controversial outing on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019, which saw Loughnane pick up a hard-earned victory yet not awarded a contract, the Englishman is relieved he no longer has that cloud hanging over his head. Instead, making a name for himself in the PFL featherweight division.
The US-based organisation announced this week that they would hold playoff shows in the UK. London and Cardiff are the locations for August. Loughnane will play a pivotal role in becoming the poster boy for the UK market, inspired by fellow Manc, Ricky Hatton.
In an interview with GiveMeSport.com, Loughnane reflects on growing up with Hatton as an ideal.
Brendan Loughnane Talks Ricky Hatton
“Ricky was what I grew up on, all the flights to Las Vegas with all the lads.
“Manchester born and bred, supporting our own. It’s just a part of who we are. It’s part of our DNA.
“I’ve always said, even Anthony Crolla, he’s another one, selling out the Manchester Arena and having them nights, them iconic Manchester fight nights, is an absolute dream of mine.
“It’s just a shame that I’m 32 now and on the other side. I would’ve loved to have been 21 in the Ricky Hatton era.
“But, you know, now we’ve got Channel 4, now we’ve got the PFL in the UK, there’s no better time.
“We’re in the golden age of UK MMA, and the amount of talent these guys are going to be signing, they’re going to be making major moves.
“Get my world title in Manchester, why not? Who knows. Put on some dramatic performances, and then say, ‘Pete, come on mate, do the AO Arena for the final, why not?’
“Million dollar Brendan at the Manchester Arena. You just put that idea in my head, I’d never even thought of that before that, it’s got me excited.”
In his most recent outing, Loughnane picked up all three points against Ryoji Kudo after facing some adversity. As expected, he will have a huge part to play in this Summer’s playoffs. His next opponent has yet to be confirmed.
Loughnane also commented on the shock to the system getting used to PFL’s structure.
The PFL Strucutre
“It’s something I’ve had to get used to. What do you mean I’ve got to count points? Who am I going to fight?
“It’s its own entity, and it took a season to get used to it, it took a season to get used to weight cutting so much, to get used to fighting every six weeks instead of fighting every four months.
“It’s so different to anything I’ve been used to in my whole career.
“But it’s a breath of fresh air, I love being active.
“If you’ve got me on socials, you’ll know I’m flat out, all year round, and it could not be a better format for me.”
How excited are you to see Loughnane back to business, and who do you think will be next?
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images