MICHAEL Doyle is on target for a crack at a British title after lifting the Clan Wars MMA Lightweight belt in Belfast.
The Lurgan man, who took up the sport five years ago, recently defeated Dec Larkin in the Ulster Hall with a superb first round stoppage.
Michael trains under coach Davey Patterson and this latest success come after his EFR title win in May, now he has penned in his next fight in Glasgow on October 6 which is a British title eliminator.
“The ultimate aim is to get onto the bigger scene,” says Michael. “I can hopefully use this latest success as a stepping stone to greater things. The prize money is good but it costs a lot to compete in the sport so to get into the big league you have to reach the very top which would take you all over the world for top fights.”
To stay in peak shape Michael can sometimes put in a full week of training. “It’s all about power, strength, speed and stamina,” added Michael. “Training can take up seven days a week especially with a fight looming.”
A former boxer, Michael had taken a break from the sport before taking an interest in MMA. “I started off in combat sport when I was 12 years of age with boxing then moved on to kickboxing. I took up MMA about five years ago after watching my cousin fight on a local show, I thought there and then this sport is for me.”
Ciaran Nash is Michael’s strength and conditioning coach and he believes he is getting better and better.
“Michael has an incredible work ethic and work rate during training that sets him apart. I have been around and trained with a lot of teams and individuals before and no one has ever had the engine, commitment or attitude he shows every time he comes into the gym,” says Ciaran. “I think that’s the difference between your average sports person and the top athletes no matter what sport it is. It’s their willingness to go that extra mile and no matter how tough things get they never quit and Michael has that.”
“Our training camps will last around eight weeks. Michael will come in and training two late nights and an early Saturday morning. One session will focus on his strength and power, with the other two being fight specific functional training. What we mainly work on is basically old school strength training mixed with some of the best ideas for functional conditioning specific to fighting in the octagon.
“I am a big MMA fan and working as a fitness professional I have a great interest in the conditioning of MMA athletes. The facilities at Columbia Fitness Lurgan where we train it has to be said are ideal, areas designated for functional fitness, Olympic lifting platforms and outdoor area for caveman style training means we can get Michael in peak all round physical condition which is essential in MMA.
“This last year has really been the big one for Michael, things have taken off, now holding three MMA titles he has just got better and better. As far as his fitness is concerned he has no weaknesses so as long as he continues to take care of the other components he can only improve. The last fight in the Ulster Hall being a reasonably comfortable win, makes me believe he is now ready for UK level fights. I have no doubt that he is good enough to win this next fight in October and that will set him up for a UK level fight.”