Dano O’Toole: Title defence with Lee Coakley last fight before turning to MMA
It’s a point that’s been repeatedly echoed by us at Fightstore Media since our inception into combat journalism well over a year ago. But it’s an important one.
The accessibility of Irish combatants, be it K1, Muay Thai, boxing or MMA, is admirable.
And Dano O’Toole, in what was our first time interviewing the SBG fighter, was just as willing to give us his time.
On Saturday night the amicable Dubliner fights notable challenger Lee Coakley in defence of his 66Kg ISKA Irish title at Thai Wars at the Good Counsel GAA hall.
O’Toole described his upcoming opponent as a “really good” fighter.
“I know his brother Craig. They’re both very recognised in the area. They’re both very good fighters and I respect him and know it’s going to be a good fight,” he added.
Interestingly O’Toole and Coakley were scheduled to compete last November at The Takeover 8 but the latter had to pull out.
“That was very disappointing because my coach didn’t inform me during the week, I didn’t get told, so I just turned up on the night, looked at the card, saw that I wasn’t fighting him and literally only found out then. It was a big disappointment.”
O’Toole has an enviable amateur record of 11-1, something he extracts great belief from.
He said: “The people I’ve beaten have all gone pro and are doing very well. I have the two ISKA belts in different weight classes (66Kg and 63Kg) so I’m very confident going into the pro scene and I have a great support behind me so I feel like I’m on the way up.”
Following his next bout on Saturday night, O’Toole is planning on switching his focus onto MMA.
“I really think this is going to be my last one unless I get offered a big pro fight,” he began.
“I’m after getting sponsored off three different companies now and I’m one of the biggest sellers in K1. I sell over 100 tickets for amateur K1. So I’m thinking this could be my last one before going to MMA.”
Training daily with rising MMA stars like James Gallagher and Kiefer Crosbie inspires O’Toole to one day reach that level.
“That’s amazing, to see James and Kiefer, guys I’ve been training in the gym with, to see them come up and do great things, they worked hard to get where they are.
“I’m 100% confident. If you’re not confident you’re not going to get there so you need to be.”
We concluded by discussing the emotions felt when the 21-year-old O’Toole became a two-weight ISKA champion.
“That was the goal for me since I was a little kid. I always wanted to be a champion. Even if I didn’t make it at the top level, I always wanted to be a champion, amateur, pro, anything. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life.”
O’Toole also acquired a third catchweight belt during his journey in K1.
All coverage of Dano O’Toole’s bout with Lee Coakley at Thai Wars this Saturday will be available from Fightstore Media.