Josh Hoey has strongly voiced that those in attendance at Saturday’s UKFC 19 fight card can expect fireworks when he steps in the cage.
The Northern Irish native made a notable start to his amateur career, which saw him stop Matthew Mulligan at Chaos Fighting Championships 19 in round three. The young amateur is relishing the opportunity to build on the success he found in his debut.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Josh Hoey before his bout this Saturday to see where his head is at before he makes the trip to Preston.
Interview With Josh Hoey
Fight night is upon us. How are nerves and anxiety leading up to your second time making the walk? Are you somebody who can control your feelings, or are you feeling a mix of emotions?
Every fighter gets some nerves coming up to fights. It’s normal, nothing crazy, but we all get some, and if a fighter says they don’t, they are lying. I’m good at keeping my emotions under control. I don’t tend to overthink things. I put hours upon hours into my craft and trust myself to get the job done.
You made your amateur debut at the start of the year, and could it have gone any better? Briefly sum up how the whole experience of making your debut was, what it meant to you, and was it everything you expected?
Could it have gone any better? To be honest, not really. Maybe getting the stoppage in the first round instead of the 3rd. Regardless of what round it was, the referee had to intervene and stop the fight. I was over the moon with it. You don’t want to let these decisions go to the judges. As they say, you don’t get paid for the overtime in there. The experience was probably one of the best days of my life. You go through this evolution of emotions before, during and after the fight. It’s crazy, to be honest. One minute you are high, one minute you’re low, then you’re high again. I love it.
I boxed for roughly 8/9 years previous to MMA and winning titles etc. That didn’t compare to this. It’s like a drug. The feeling of succeeding is so euphoric, and all those hours you put into the gym and outside the gym day in and day out are so worth that few seconds of getting your hand raised. What an amazing feeling, and I can’t wait to feel it again come Saturday.
Josh Hoey Talks Debut
Did anything surprise you or catch you off guard in your first meeting with Matthew Mulligan?
Nothing really caught me off guard. It was everything I expected it to be and more. He was a good fighter. As I said in the last question, when you’re in these fights, you’re on this rollercoaster of emotions. You’re constantly talking to yourself in your head one minute, your up one minute. You’re down, then back up again. Sometimes I see it more as it’s a fight against yourself, your own mind, rather than another person standing in front of you. That’s the real fight, in my opinion. It’s winning these battles in your mind to go further and keep pushing. Also, just getting used to the cage and that feeling of such a big crowd watching you, getting a feel of handling such a hard task under pressure, and I did it well.
I like to ask those I hadn’t spoken with before about their journey into the sport, essentially, why they chose to step foot in a gym and begin training? Do you have any interesting stories in that aspect?
I boxed the majority of my life, and I joined boxing when I was eight and have done it for roughly 8/9 years. I ended up leaving the sport as the passion just wasn’t there, and I didn’t have any interest anymore. Something more challenging is what I needed. I’ve always loved watching MMA, but funny enough, I always said to myself, Jesus, I don’t know how the guys do it. I used to think UFC fighters were just madmen, hahaha, complete animals.
I actually never pictured myself doing something like that back then. For someone that was ‘scared’ but loved the sport, I told myself to grow up and give it a try sometime. I never had the guts to join a club. I kept telling myself to go but ended up putting it off. I followed this club for a while (Fight Academy Ireland) and noticed they were doing a Saturday beginner course for an hour a week. I thought this opportunity was too good to miss as at least I knew people there would be on the same level as me. I ended up paying for the beginner course membership that ran for eight weeks or something like that. The rest is history.
I ended up joining the proper classes, there are still beginner/advanced split classes, but I’ve been able to progress from beginners up to the intermediate/advanced classes, which it’s something I’m dead proud of. I even get to train around a lot of professionals in my place, and it’s amazing. I honestly think MMA and fight academy has changed my life for the good. At the time I joined, I wasn’t really doing anything with my life, let myself go a bit, was drinking at the weekends and needed to stop and start making something of myself. It is an unreal journey so far, and I haven’t really started yet.
Keys to Victory
Where do you feel the keys to victory are in Saturday’s contest with Charlie Flannigan?
I have a bulletproof mind, and I’m a very skilled fighter. Charlie will see this come Saturday. Nothing will beat me. Nothing.
It will be your first time competing on UKFC, a solid show which is really well run with a ton of eyes on it. Does the show at this stage make a difference to you, or are you just looking for fights regardless of the promotion?
I understand how big this promotion is and I’m so thankful for them having me on it and my coaches selecting me to represent the gym. Travelling over to England to represent my gym under a massive promotion like ukfc is a dream come true, it’s massive for me and my career, this is the first of many believe me on that. Once I win Saturday, get me back onto the next one I just want to keep fighting. You will hear and see big things from me. I’m going to embrace every minute of it.
For those who haven’t seen your first outing. What can we expect when Josh Hoey steps inside the cage?
Charlie Flannigan As an Opponent
Charlie has a couple of fights that you can go back and watch. I assume you’ve done that, if so, what are your thoughts on his style and what he brings to the cage?
Yeah, I’ve watched a couple so far, seems like a perfect matchup for someone like myself. I want these hard fights, I want to test myself but make no mistake I’m not one of these bums he’s fought before and lastly don’t forget I’m northern Irish we are made different.
Lastly, can we get an official fight prediction? How does Josh Hoey get it done?
Featured image credits to Stephen Towers