The Rainton Arena in Houghton Le Spring hosted Almighty Fighting Championship 22 on Saturday in an expectational night of action. The card was stacked from the hottest talent within the United Kingdom and further afield, giving the fans in attendance their money’s worth.
Almighty Fighting Championship 22 marked the promotions first show of the year, with eleven more shows to follow. Last year saw Ray Thompson and his team go strength to strength, but with Saturday’s show in the books, it’s fair to say Almighty FC does not intend on slowing down.
Aspire’s own Liam McCracken was among the action making his professional debut after a long haul of inactivity. However, the time away from competition didn’t affect the twenty-year-old who steamrolled Matthieu Moya in the first round.
I had the pleasure of catching up with McCracken to get his post-fight thoughts on his performance.
Interview with Liam McCracken
Several days out from your fanatic win at Almighty FC 22 vs Moya. Talk to me about the emotions and high after a win like that. Considering you’ve been out of competition for two years?
Liam McCracken – “Yes, what a night. I won’t forget that. I’m happy with my performance which is rare for me. I’m always my own biggest critic, but after two years out to come out and fight how I did, I’m happy with it.”
As I stated, you’ve been out of MMA competition for two years. Did anything feel different in the lead up to the fight or even when you were in the cage, or was it all still natural to you?
Liam McCracken – “I felt a lot more focused than when I was last fighting. Like I said before the fight, I’ve matured a lot in my two years off. I dealt with the moment and the nerves better than I have before.”
You had the loudest support in the arena on the night. How much does that drive you to have a bus full of support to watch you chase your dreams?
Liam McCracken – “It’s a lot of pressure having that many people coming down all with high expectations expecting you to perform, but that drives me and brings the best out of me. It does mean a lot though for the people to come all that way to watch me, though, grateful for them all the atmosphere was sick.”
You put it on Moya from the get-go, mixing everything up beautifully. Was that just a small preview of what Liam McCracken 2.0 is capable of and has been working on his time away?
Liam McCracken – “Yes. I’m as well rounded and as skilled as anyone out there. When I switch on and fight to my full potential, I’m a problem for anyone wherever the fight goes.”
You had Moya against the fence and landed a clean elbow on the break, smiling to yourself as you took a step back. How satisfying was it to finally get to land elbows inside the cage now, and can we expect to see the elbows being a significant part of your game?
Liam McCracken – “Elbows change the game, and not many people use them enough, I don’t think. I’ve been drilling them a lot and have got loads of little setups with them, so it was a nice feeling to show a little bit of that. That shot changed the course of the fight. Looking forward to ruining more people’s faces with them in the future.”
When we spoke before the fight, I asked you sub or ko? You told me, “Sub as I’ve not put anyone akip yet….but it’s coming”. You weren’t lying. Now with a vicious finish on Saturday, are we still saying sub?
Liam McCracken – ” Ko all day. Still not got the clean one, but that’s a start anyway.”
People always wonder if ring rust will play a factor when fighters return from a long period of inactivity. However, you looked sharp, and everything was flowing together beautifully. It didn’t seem to have a negative impact on you. What’s your take on that?
Liam McCracken – “I do think ring rust is a thing if you let it be. It’s all just how you handle the moment. The more often you do, the better you can handle it for most people, but I’m a confident fighter and knew I was still going to perform regardless of the time off. If anything, I felt it more before the fight, I was very nervous the night before, but as long as you can channel the nerves and let them take over, they’re a good thing.”
I imagine it was a bouncing bus back home to Liverpool. How did you celebrate the victory afterwards?
Liam McCracken – “I’m a boring man nowadays. I separated the bus and left everyone who was cracking on at the back., staying as far to the front as I could. I couldn’t handle getting my ear chewed off whilst I’m sober.”
Lastly, when can we expect to see you in action again? I imagine you are not injured and healthy. Would the Almighty show in Liverpool interest you in a few months?
Liam McCracken – “Right back in camp for a fight the 4th March, big fight against a more experienced opponent, but I’m ready for it. You’ll be seeing me in the Almighty cage again this year, though, aiming for July and December Almighty’s.”
Featured Image credits to DN4 Photography