Steven Moore was due to fight on On Top next month against Chris Duncan in what would have been his pro debut.
Duncan has since had to pull out injured and as things stand Moore doesn’t know if he will still be on the show.
We chatted with him about the fight being cancelled, appearing at IMMAF’s and running his own promotion.
MMA UK: You last fought at the end of 2016, when you defeated Kenny Mokhonoana at CHAOS 16 to win the lightweight belt to add to your welterweight strap with First Fighting Championship.
Has there been a reason for the layoff?
SM: Yes my last fight was on Chaos on November 16. Winning my third title, as I won the Battlezone Lightweight title a few months previous and then the FFC Welterweight Title, it was quite a successful 8 months for me.
I sustained quite a serious injury early 2017 at a competition which put me out for most of the year and most importantly I also got married in August, haha.
MMA UK: How did it feel to become a two-weight champion?
SM: It did feel great becoming a 2 weight champion and even better winning my 3rd title in November. What I enjoyed more tho rather than titles was the active competition I had that year gaining valuable experience and seeing improvements every fight.
MMA UK: You were scheduled to meet Chris Duncan at On Top next month however it appears Chris has injured himself, how disappointed are you to not be taking him on?
SM: I was scheduled to fight Chris Duncan last year for the Headhunters title but unfortunately it was myself who had to pull out with my injury so I know these things happen.
I am slightly disappointed that the matchup isn’t taking place at On Top because I have been feeling good recently for this fight, we were both making our pro debuts and held multiple amateur titles
I’m glad to hear and believe Chris has made a good recovery and is still looking for the matchup to happen at a later date but he’ll have to make Lightweight for the bout to happen.
MMA UK: Have you got a new opponent?
SM: I haven’t heard of any replacement for On Top which isn’t looking promising now. Hopefully, I get to compete on it in the future as they are a top promotion to fight on.
MMA UK: You were turning pro for this fight, what made you decide to turn pro?
SM: I’ve been wanting to turn pro for a long time as I believe it suits my game a lot. But my coach David Patterson has always been honest with me and wanted a bit more consistency and experience before my move.
MMA UK: You represented N.I at the IMMAF work championships in 2015, can you tell us about that experience? Would you recommend more amateurs try and compete at IMMAF tournaments?
SM: During my experience with the IMMAF world championships, it wasn’t as well organised as they have it now but was the biggest learning experience of my career. It was all a bit rushed and less organised than the IMMAF have it now – a teething problem of course. I was still getting my hands wrapped when they called my fight.
My coach then had me well prepared physically, but I believe I couldn’t handle the pressure which is what beat me. I had so many opportunities to finish my fight but didn’t keep my composure.
I started working on my mentality from that which is what changed my game from that tournament and obviously the results.
I would recommend any young amateur if you have the opportunity to get to the IMMAF championships to jump at it. I didn’t win a medal but the experience alone made me a much better fighter after.
MMA UK: You also run your own promotion Akuma Fighting Championship, how did you become involved in running a promotion?
SM: I’ve always been a person who has always been involved in helping or organising events. Back when Akuma first started there just wasn’t enough events locally for the number of amateur fighters available, no stepping stone events as such.
My coach then, Steven McCombe convinced me I could run a show, and being a fighter myself, knew what it took to make fighters happy and enjoy their experience on my show and helped me with the matchmaking at the first few events, from then Akuma grew from strength to strength and has become quite popular and a show that focuses a lot on fighters safety and experiences.
MMA UK: Akuma has an event on 4th March, what and who can we look forward to on the show?
SM: Yes, Akuma F.C. returns on Sunday 4th of March. We have a fully stacked fight card with 6 title fights. This is probably one of my best cards I’ve ever had.
The main event between Decky McAleenan from Team Torres Versus Niall Smith from Heat MMA for the Professional Featherweight Title is probably the one to look out for.
Niall has fought on all the top shows and recently claimed the On Top Lightweight Title with a lovely spinning back fist ko. While Decky is coming off a vicious flying knee KO on Cage legacy and has also fought on Cage warriors himself.