Anthony O’Connor 4-4-0 is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight Division. A professional competitor since 2016, he has competed for Shinobi War, UK Fighting Championship and Cagewarriors.
I would like to start this off by thanking you for taking the time to talk to me today. How is training? I bet It’s an amazing feeling to be back in the gym now restrictions have been lifted and returning back to Team Kaobon, Liverpool.
“No problem mate. Yeah, it feels good to be back training in all aspects of MMA. I kept myself as busy and fit as possible during the lockdown. My last fight camp consisted of running and strength & conditioning in my bedroom with kettlebells and a rowing machine next to my bed, which wasn’t ideal. Going back to Kaobon in December has been the best decision I’ve made. My training is on another level because I’m training with a full team of champions and a world-class coach, Colin Heron. My wrestling is getting back to the level it was in the past because I’m training under UFC fighter Mike Grundy, who’s the best wrestler I’ve ever come across.”
I’ve heard amazing things, very tempted to visit one day in the not so distant future.
“Yeah, Kaobon is the toughest gym about mate. You’ll enjoy it, if ever you’re in the area, you’re always welcome down at Team Kaobon.”
I’ll have to take you up on that soon, always great to watch some of the best at work.
Your amazing amateur career stands out as one of only a few I have ever seen, stacking up 12 and 2 before turning professional. Where some rush in, you chose to hone your skills, a great choice in my opinion. Which one of these wars stands out for you the most?
“Thank you! Well first of all I took my time because my coach at the time (Colin Heron) knew what was right for me. He didn’t want to rush me into the pro ranks because I started quite late into the sport at 24, with no background whatsoever in Mixed Martial Arts. It was the right thing to do. The fight that stands out for me as an amateur was fighting Beau Gavin on BAMMA. It was like a derby. Two rival gyms from Liverpool and Gavin was unbeaten at the time. It was a great fight while it lasted and I got the finish in the 2nd round.”
Your professional career has spanned over three organisations, but it seems you have made a home at Cage Warriors. In your last bout, we saw you take on Michal Figlack 5-0-0, back in December 2020 at CW 117. It was definitely one for the highlight reel, no one could have guessed how it was going to go. Unfortunately, the night was not yours, what did you take away from this war at York Hall? Given more time nearing the end of the first, it could have quite easily been yours.
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight and I knew nobody wanted to take the fight with Figlack. But I’ve always looked at it the same, big risks = big rewards. I’ve always fought the toughest and the best lads in Europe. By the end of the first round, I was really enjoying the fight and felt it was starting to go my way. But credit to Figlack, he showed determination and the willingness not to give up which is the exact same mentality as mine. I’ll always try to get the win, but if it doesn’t go my way, I will always go out on my shield fighting.”
With so many cards on the horizon for Cage Warriors, here and a new addition over the stateside, our wait to see Anthony back in action could be reaching an end. Whoever the opposition, you can rest assured it will be one for the highlight reel.
Last but not least, do you have a message for the fans and anybody you’d like to give a shout out to?
“I just want to thank everyone who has come to support me over the years. I’ve always had a good crowd at every fight, which is an amazing feeling. My biggest thanks go to Colin Heron. He’s been a father figure to me over the years. He’s given me a second chance and still believes I’ve got what it takes to be in his gym.”