Almighty Fighting Championship kick off the first of their twelve scheduled shows in 2022 in a matter of weeks.
The Rainton Arena in Houghton le Spring hosts Almighty Fighting Championship 22 on January 22nd, shaping up to be an incredibly entertaining fight card with eighteen bouts currently locked in.
The Almighty FC flyweight championship is on the line as the experienced Shajidul Haque meets Poland’s Igor Wojtas in the main event of the evening. The card is stacked with thrilling amateur and professional contests from top to bottom.
There is some hype circling regarding one man making his long-awaited professional debut in Liam McCracken, who cruised his way through the amateur circuit, constantly looking for the toughest challenges to prepare himself for this monumental chapter in his career.
I had the pleasure to speak with McCracken ahead of his professional debut against Matthieu Moya at Almighty FC 22.
Interview With Liam McCracken
We are closing in on your professional debut on Almighty FC 22. Talk to me about how you feel as you approach a monumental time in your MMA journey?
Liam McCracken – “I’m excited. My professional debut has been a long time coming. I’ve put myself through a lot in preparation for this, fighting some of the best amateur names out there since I was 15, so I know I’m ready, excited to show what I can do.”
You had a successful amateur career with convincing win after convincing win. What was the reasoning behind making your professional debut now? Did the time feel right, or was there any talk of getting one or two more amateur outings in before making the move due to the fact you’ve been out of action for some time?
Liam McCracken – “My coaches just felt the time was right. I’ve matured a lot in my time off, both physically and mentally. I’ve now got the discipline to match my skill was the main factor in turning pro. But I just listen to what they say. They agreed now is a good time, so now it’s happening.”
On the long haul of inactivity. What has been the reasoning behind that break? Have you been consistently training within that time away from competition?
Liam McCracken – “It’s been a tough two years off. I’ve had fights cancelled down to covid restrictions, and as well as that got very sick leading up to what was supposed to be my last amateur fight. I had a serious lung condition called empyema which put me in hospital and left me on the sidelines for a few months. Still, that time off made me realise how bad I want it, and I’ve been a lot more dedicated since coming back. It was a blessing in disguise.”
Some fighters relish the thought of making their professional debut. Some others are anxious, and rightly so due to the pro ranks’ implications on your career. Where do you sit on this? Do you feel any pressure leading into your debut against Matthieu Moya?
Liam McCracken – “There’s always nerves going into a fight, but I’m experienced enough to know how to deal with it now. It’s nice going in knowing I’ve had many real fights before this, which a lot of amateurs can’t say. I fought the best at every chance I could, and that’s going to pay off leading into this.”
Your opponent on the night is currently Matthieu Moya. Although, I believe this is your third opponent due to pull-outs. Has that affected your preparation in any way, or have you just been focused on yourself?
Liam McCracken – “The opponent change doesn’t change anything for me. I’m there to do a job regardless of who’s in there with me. It was more just stressful wondering if I was going to get an opponent after such a long time off.”
Matthieu Moya lost his professional debut at the back end of 2021. Have you had the opportunity to watch some tape on your opponent to get some incline on the style that he will bring to the Almighty Octagon on January 22?
Liam McCracken – “The only tape I’ve seen is from a few years ago. Which is useless really because if he’s going off tape of me from 2 years ago, he’s going to get a shock.”
What have been the key principles in camp you have focused on to ensure you leave Almighty FC 22 with the victory?
Liam McCracken – “I’ve covered all areas of the game, added a lot more strength which was maybe my biggest hole a few years when I was fighting as I was still a kid, but I’m not a kid anymore.”
Lastly, as previously mentioned, you have had a lengthy period of inactivity. Fast forward to the end of this year. What position do you hope to be in?
Liam McCracken – “Towards the back of the end year, I want to be a 4-0 professional, with four real wins under my belt against legit opposition who are there to win. I’m taking every fight as it forms, though, so for now, it’s full focus on Moya.”
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Featured image credits to Liam McCracken