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 Interview with "The Irish Assassin"

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Age : 45
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PostSubject: Interview with "The Irish Assassin"   Tue May 12, 2009 11:53 am

If you look at Brian O'Sullivan in a normal setting, like his regular seat at the local public house, you would assume he works in a physical setting, perhaps on the docks in Galway, or in a wearhouse. He is a big man, but not in a body builder way. He doesn't have huge biceps, and a neck is decernable between his shoulders and his head.

Interacting with him, you would expect that he was a farmer perhaps, soft spoken, but honest and direct. A gentile giant.

But see him at his place of business, a cage of chain link fencing, and you get a different impression entirely, as you watch him drive his large fists into the face of another man, until finally, the referee puts a stop to the mauling. As soon as the fight is over, the animal subsides, and is replaced again by the mild mannered giant you saw at the pub.

On the verge of the UFC Heavyweight title tournement set to begin in two weeks, we sat down with Ireland's title hopeful, to get his thoughts on competition, fighting, and his entry into "the big leagues".

FantasyFights: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. To start, how did you get into professional fighting.

Brian O'Sullivan: Growing up, I was always the biggest kid on the block. You would think that would have made me less likely to be a target, but the local toughs, they thought they could make a name for themselves by beating me up. I never really wanted to fight anyone, I was scared to.

FF: Scared of being hurt?

BO: No, the opposite, scared of hurting other people, scared of getting in trouble. I knew I was strong, and on the Rugby or Hurling pitch I was agile, so I thought I might put someone in the trauma unit.

So, anyway, this one kid, Mickey Kelly decided he had an issue with me. He walks up to me, and with no warning, punches me in the face! I try to punch him back, and miss, and he hits me again. It goes like this for a couple of minutes, before he turns and walks away. I'm a mess, and he barely broke a sweat.

That night I begged me mum to let me go to the boxing gym, but she wasn't very keen on it, as it had a shadey reputation. I begged for weeks, and then she saw an ad in the newspaper for a Karate dojo that was opening up, and agreed that I could study there.

FF: How old were you?

BO: Twelve I think. So I started there, and moved through the child and adult ranks. I achieved my black belt 4 years ago.

FF: Did you compete during this time?

BO: Point fighting mostly, kind of the stuff at the end of the Karate Kid.

FF: How did you move into MMA?

BO: Well, in addition to Kempo, my school taught an eclectic mix of skills, including Judo. Now, I don't think I could compete as a world class Judoka, but I enjoy the grappling aspect of fighting and working it into my kumate.

So one Saturday my sensei and I were demonstrating the value of this eclectic kempo in self defense, when Ian Freeman walks up and asks if I've done any full contact competitions. He kind of had to talk me into trying my hand at a small show in Blackpool England.

FF: How did that turn out.

BO: I was so nervous that I though I was going to break down and cry on the way to the cage. About 2 minutes later I was getting my hand raised, and I have to tell you, that is just about the best feeling there is.

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Posts : 17
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PostSubject: Re: Interview with "The Irish Assassin"   Tue May 12, 2009 1:29 pm


FF: So how long have you been fighting?

BO: A little over four years now.

FF: What has been your toughest fight?

BO: It's always hard answering that. I live by the idea that your next fight is always your toughtest.

FF: I understand you've worked out with Ricky Hatton a bit.

BO: <Laughs>, I'm not sure you can call it that, and I certainly don't want to take the blame for Pacquio laying him out like that.

FF: OK< so you've got a tournament coming up.

BO: Yes. The preeminant heavyweight Grand Prix.

FF: Who will you be fighting?

BO: Well they haven't announced all the names yet. Right now I know that I'm in it, as is Shooter Graham of Graham fighting systems. Teddy Roosevelt and Ken Killhouse Kaniff. I don't know much abotu Roosevelt or Kaniff, but I would expect that a fight between Graham and I would be very entertaining.

FF: What is your strategy.

BO: A lot of people like to gameplan off their opponents weakness; they wrestle strikers and strike with wrestlers. To me, I like to play to my strengths and take the fight as it comes. If my opponent wants to grapple with me, I'll throw him and ground and pound. If he wants to stand and bang, he'll have to watch out for my fists and feet.

FF: In stand up, some have compared you to Lyoto Machida.

BO: I'm flattered by that, but I'm not sure it's that accurate. We both come from Karate as our striking base, Machida as a Shotokan practioner, me from Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo, so our objectives aren't dissimiliar, but I don't know that I'm as much a counter puncher as he is. But yes, both forms do work on controling angles and distance to maximize strikes and minimize damage taken.

FF: Currently you train alone...

BO: No, I don't. I've got a group of black belts I train with.

FF: But not MMA fighters.

BO: That's correct, but I've visited different camps for instruction, including Greg Jackson's camp, and was working with Rampage at Wolfslair last week.

FF: Are you interested in joining a full time camp?

BO: I would look at it seriously. The problem is that there's no camps at home, so it would mean moving to England, Japan, Brazil or the States for huge chunks of time. And I'm not sure I'd be happy living outside of Ireland.

FF: Thank you for your time.

BO: It's my pleasure.
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