James Sheehan returns this weekend (April 1st and April 2nd) at Cage Warriors, and we are in for a treat in Manchester. Cage Warriors returns for another “Double Trouble” event at the BEC Arena. Combat Sports UK will be bringing you interviews from fighters competing this weekend.
James Sheehan, a welterweight contender fighting out of Dublin, Ireland will be facing off against Cage Warriors debutant Karol Michalak. James was kind enough to give some time to Combat Sports UK ahead of his upcoming clash.
Interview with James Sheehan
One week out from Cage Warriors 135. How has this camps prep been for you? Has your camp structure stayed the same as opposed to the last time we saw you in action, or have there been any tweaks?
As cliche as it always sounds when fighters say this camp has been the best ever, I do genuinely believe it. Compared to other camps, I’ve focused on my boxing more, working with Neil Seery and hoping to show my work in the fight.
You’re looking to make it three on the bounce at CW 135. After suffering a defeat to Ian Garry, you’re on the best run of your professional career so far. Is it fair to say the defeat to Garry taught you some valuable lessons to move forward with? If so, what?
Yes, that fight taught me many valuable lessons about my character and my whole approach to fighting itself. Personally, it taught me that when it comes to a tough fight regarding damage and being injured, I have the mental resilience to not let it affect me and keep pushing. Then after the fight, it made me reconsider the actual importance of improving my skill set as a fighter and not just resorting to grinding out a win and relying on heart.
Sheehan Talks Travelling Support
The Irish are known for backing their own and getting behind their fighters. Can we expect a crowd to travel to Manchester to get behind you? What do you think makes the Irish support so special?
Close friends and family are travelling to Manchester to support me as always, but I haven’t fought in Cage Warriors in my own country of Ireland. I feel I haven’t demonstrated to Cage Warriors the true draw I bring as a fighter when it comes to fan base and support.
I like to ask people who I haven’t spoken with before their journey into the sport and their earliest MMA memory. Do you have any cool stories in that aspect?
Unlike a lot of people who do MMA, I never imagined doing this sport. I joined purely on the fact that one of my friends wanted to learn how to fight, and I had just left Hurling which I had done for years, so I joined him in his first class and continued to train even after he quit two weeks later. That was ten years ago so…
James Sheehan Gives His Thoughts on Karol Michalak
You meet Karol Michalak, who makes his Cage Warriors debut. From a stylistic standpoint, how would you personally analyze this matchup? Do you feel it’s your toughest test to date or a matchup that favours you?
Karol is a good opponent. I feel he is well-rounded and from a good gym. I think I have faced tougher competition, but I hate saying that as it alludes to a fight being easy, but a fight is a fight.
I assume it will be a sold-out event by the time it comes, with it being Karol’s debut with the promotion. Do you think the bright lights, the loud crowd will affect him and play into your favour?
I’m not sure, to be honest. I can’t answer that question as it’s something I never really suffered with as a fighter or an athlete. Whether I’m fighting in the 3 arena or a GAA hall – I experience the same nerves. I don’t care how many fans are in attendance because they don’t change the fight in my eyes. He may feel more nervous about joining the Cage Warriors roster because it is stacked with Europe’s best, and you know you will be facing a worthy opponent.
Does Sheehan Study Tape?
Assuming you’ve studied some tape on Karol’s game. I won’t ask about weaknesses as you’ll be attempting to exploit them, but is there anything you picked up you feel he does well and that you need to be cautious of?
I don’t want to comment too much on Karol, but my coaches and I have definitely watched film and discussed a few tendencies.
For people who haven’t watched you compete before, why should they tune in or buy a ticket to a James Sheehan fight? What can they expect when you step inside the Octagon?
People should tune into my fight because you can just look at my track record. If I don’t finish my opponent, then I fight in 3 round wars. I’m in the best shape with a worthy opponent so expect fireworks.
Lastly, can we get an official fight prediction? How do you see it going down on April 1st?
I don’t like fight predictions because regardless of preparation and game plans, a fight is a fight, and it’s hectic. You capitalise on what is there or what is open. I am in great shape, however. I hope to show that off with a 3rd finish. But, the only way to find out is to tune in on April 1st to CW135 in Manchester.
We’d like to thank James Sheehan for his time. Be sure to tune in to watch his bout this Saturday, April 2nd on UFC Fight Pass.
Featured image credits to KO Media