Anthony O’Connor is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight Division. A professional competitor since 2016, representing Team Kaobon Liverpool. He has competed for Shinobi MMA Fighting Championship, UKFC, Cage Warriors and is about to make his debut for Almighty Fighting Championship.
It’s a pleasure to speak to you again Anthony, I was hoping to be able to catch up with you when your long-awaited return to the cage was announced.
Congratulations on your recently scheduled bout for Almighty Fighting Championship 24 Liverpool. it must be an amazing feeling to be able to get back in the cage, hope training has been going well?
“Hi mate, training has been going great. I’m excelling in all areas of my game. It’s exciting to think that I’m still learning so much this many years into my career.”
It’s been just over a year since fight fans got to witness you in action, but the wait is finally over. As previously stated you have been added to one of the UK’s biggest organisations cards with Almighty Fighting Championship 24 Liverpool. As well as a highly anticipated return, you also get to go to war in your very own backyard of Liverpool. How did it feel when hearing the news you’d be stepping back in the cage?
“I was over the moon when I got the news I would be fighting for AFC Liverpool. I’ve been training so hard and dedicating myself to my career more than ever, so I knew it was only a matter of time. I’m looking forward to fighting with a home crowd behind me. I always get a massive turnout so I’m buzzing for the atmosphere.”
Being absent from the cage doesn’t mean you’ve not been sharpening those skills, I’m lucky enough to have seen all the amazing work you’ve been doing at Team Kaobon Liverpool and knew it would only be a matter of time before we saw your return. But for those that don’t know, would you care to share with the readers what you’ve been doing since they last saw you in December 2020 at CW117.
“Since I’ve been back at Kaobon I feel like I’ve found the love again for MMA and because of that I’m learning more and taking everything on board from my coach and teammates. I’ve been working on every aspect of my training and sharpening my tools.”
Training the young amateur Generation of fighters and passing down professional knowledge is a highlight to any seasoned professional such as yourself. And with Team Kaobon’s amateurs getting booked left right and centre at the moment, it must be a great feeling watching them take their training to different organisations across the UK. Are there any standouts you’ve been training of late that have caught your eye recently?
“I’m now one of the wrestling coaches at Kaobon, teaching the Monday and Wednesday night classes. It’s great to be teaching the new generation of up and coming MMA fighters. It’s also good for me as it keeps everything fresh in my mind.
“There’s so much talent at the minute on the mat at Kaobon, but Jack Grundy stands out for me. His discipline and commitment at such a young age astonish me. I know he is going to go far in this sport! Not to mention his love of liver!! Haha.”
Going back to your scheduled bout on April 2nd at The Olympia. You face off against Ole-Jørgen Mandt Johnsen 3-1-0. The Norwegian takes his first step into the Almighty cage as well as yourself. Have you had the opportunity to do some research on your opponent leading up to your return?
“I’ve left that to my coach and over the next few weeks, we’ll be working on my game plan without me even knowing it. Colin knows what he’s doing and I put all my trust in him. I’m so good all around that I’ll be ready wherever this fight goes.”
Without giving too much away what steps have you been taking to make sure you walk out with your arm raised by the end of the night?
“I’m well prepared for this fight and there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m walking away with the win.”
I look forward to your return mate, and I hope you enjoy it out there.
“Thanks, mate. Looking forward to it.”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to shout out to?
“I just want to say thanks to all the fans that are coming and to everyone who’s supported me over the years! DON’T BLINK!”
Images by Adam Niker