Ryan McNally is confident he snatches the Almighty FC amateur title from Joe Ambler on February 19th.
One week until fighters from across the country make their way to the Metrodome in Barnsley for Almighty Fighting Championship 23. The promoter, Ray Thompson, has put together a spectacular action-packed professional and amateur card to follow his first event of the year last month.
The card is headlined by undefeated featherweights Callum Mullen and Nicolae Pirogan, who will meet in the middle of the Almighty Octagon for the opportunity to leave the featherweight champion. The co-main event features a light heavyweight banger between Robbie Kennedy and Rhino Daley.
Before the professional fights get underway, fans are treated to a handful of amateur action, including two title fights.
I had the opportunity of catching up with Ryan McNally, who will square off against Almighty FC middleweight champion Joe Ambler. Hear his thoughts below.
Interview with Ryan McNally
Nine days out from Almighty FC 23. Tell me about how you’re feeling physically and mentally in the lead up to this one?
Physically I feel great. I’m always in the gym. I don’t do fight camps. I train all year round and stay ready. Mentally I’m in the best place I have been in before a fight. I feel very calm and confident.
How has your camp been assembled for this fight? Due to it being a title fight, have you switched anything up? Any extra sessions or anything like that?
Like I said in the last question. I don’t do fight camps. I always train hard and prepare like I’m fighting for a title. These last few weeks of training has been slightly different, though. I’ve just competed at the IMMAF world championships in Abu Dhabi and then spent a week training in Dubai. I’m back in England now and training at HAMMA and working on specific tactics that I will do on fight night.
You’ve shown incredible talent and a will to finish in that past. However, the last two haven’t fallen in your favour. What do you feel has gone wrong in the last two bouts, and what measures do you need to take to ensure Feb. 19 is different?
In my fight against Elliot McGibbon on FCC, I feel like I went into the fight overconfident. I also feel like I went in with a genuine dislike for him. I felt like he disrespected me by missing weight, and I wanted to iron him out so badly. I’ve watched the fight back so many times, and I’ve seen how impatient and rushed I was when I was fighting. I deserved the loss on the night, but I genuinely believe if we fight again, it will be a different story. The other fight against Magomed Shakrudinov at the IMMAF world championships. I have no excuses for this loss. He was highly skilled, very experienced, and a former IMMAF world champion and Russian champion. Really he should be a pro, and he’d beat most pro’s, so I have no shame on losing to him.
Why Did Ryan McNally Start Training MMA?
I like to ask everyone I’ve not spoken with before how their martial arts journey began. Why is MMA a route you decided to go down?
I started training in MMA in late 2012 when I was 17 years old. I had one fight, which I won, then I continued to train MMA for another year before falling in love with boxing and switching my focus to that instead. In late 2020 I started to train in MMA again.
I believe you made your MMA debut in 2013 then returned in 2021. What was the reasoning for coming back and becoming so active and dipping your feet back into combat?
I was competing in boxing in those years when I wasn’t fighting in MMA.
Off-course knockouts, quick finishes and submissions are all great, but are you someone who stresses over the results in the early stages of your amateur career? As many fighters just want to get as much experience as possible to prepare them for the professional ranks and aren’t fazed about results. How do you view that?
Win, lose or draw. It’s all about experience in the amateurs.
With defeats also comes a lot of learning curves. You steam-rolled your opponents in your first five contests, but I assume you’ve learned more with the two losses than the five wins. Is that a fair assessment? If so, what lessons have you taken away that you can implement into your fight with Joe?
I learned more in my losses than all of my wins combined. You’ll see when I fight Joe the lessons I have learnt.
You meet a tough Joe Ambler on the night. How do you feel you match up against one another, and is Joe someone you’ve been aware of on the scene before?
I think we match up well, and it will be a fun fight. I respect him as a fighter. He’s a good all-around fighter. I was aware of him because I was supposed to fight him before. We both entered a four-man tournament and was supposed to fight in the final, but Joe got injured in his semi-final bout and had to pull out. It was a shame we couldn’t fight that time, but here we are.
When you put your head on the pillow at night and visualise the fight, in your head, what type of fighting are you expecting from Joe Ambler?
I’m expecting him to mix it up. He seems game, so I don’t think he’ll run away as McGibbon did to me. I think he’ll mix his striking with his wrestling and try to neutralise my strengths.
Lastly, can we get an official fight prediction and let the readers know why they should tune in to watch Ryan McNally on Feb.19?
I believe on Feb. 19 I will become the Almighty Middleweight Champion. That’s my prediction.
Featured Image credits to DN4 Photography