Credit: BAMMA

Glenn Irvine: Learning from debut mistakes to write his wrongs at BAMMA 28 against McCabe

It turned out to be a baptism of fire for Glenn “The Beast” Irvine (0-1) in his professional debut at BAMMA 26 last September.

Like teammate and sparring partner, Rhys McKee, he faced Irish MMA veteran John “Johnny Jitzu” Redmond (7-12) as his entrance to the professional ranks but unfortunately succumbed to the punching power of his opponent in round-two.

Irvine opted to take Redmond down and use his wrestling in the opening round which was effective but when they opened the second-round trading heavy shots he was caught and knocked out by a big right hook.

“I was disappointed with the loss because I made stupid mistakes. I was coming forward, over-committing. I hit him and caught him then heard the crowd shouting so that made me look for the kill. I ended up getting caught but it was against a veteran. If I can hold my own on my debut against a veteran, then I’m happy,” said Irvine speaking to Fighstore Media.

At such an early stage in his development mistakes can happen. Irvine is confident in his own abilities and promises to entertain the crowd at BAMMA 28.

“I look at every fight as being a test. I’m excited to get the fight with Keith because we were both in the same amateur scene together. We were meant to fight back then but now we’ll do it as pros. I feel it’s a good match-up and I’ll be able to show off my skills.”

Keith “The Butcher” McCabe (2-3) only made his pro debut in April 2016 but remained busy, even accepting late-notice fights, as he looked to gain experience.

In his last outing to the cage, he lost via first-round TKO to Richard Kiely at BAMMA 27 in December but should present a stern test of character for Irvine.

“I can stand and trade or I can shoot in and take him down. People are telling me that he’s a good wrestler but I’ll show them that I’m a good wrestler too and I’ll take anyone down.

“I showed that against John Redmond who was a high-level grappler. I shot in and took him down to prove a point. It wasn’t because I wanted to, it was because I knew I could. We’ll see where the fight with Keith goes,” said Irvine.

The Next Gen N.I fighter is known for possessing knockout power and has a proven record of entertaining his fans.

“I always have an eye for the knockout but not only that, I always look for the finish. That’s why my fights have always been exciting to watch. I got knocked out on my pro debut so I can’t turn around and say that he has a weak chin. Everyone gets clipped or knocked out, it’s the way it goes.”

His fight in the SSE Arena, Belfast will be considered as a hometown show and offers an opportunity to impress in another huge arena.

“It feels amazing to be honest. The last show was in the 3 Arena and this one is in the SSE Arena. I was coming up the road with Rhys McKee and I turned around and said to him, “It wasn’t that long ago that we were fighting in small arenas with 120/150 people.” Now we’re fighting in big stadiums like this and it’s just surreal.”

His teammate Norman Parke headlines the BAMMA card in a lightweight world title fight against Paul Redmond. Irvine never envisaged that he’d have an opportunity to fight on the same card as the veteran once he went to the UFC a few years-ago.

“Norman said that his last fight on Irish soil was back in 2011. I remember going to watch that show and I thought to myself that he’d be going off to the UFC and I’d never get a chance to fight alongside him again. I was only starting my amateur career and he was heading to the UFC at that stage.

“But now I’m sharing a show with him and it feels great. Rhys and myself have been training partners for the last couple of years so we always help each other out. Then we’ve Andy on the card too. It’s great,” he said.

And it will be an exciting night for the Ballymena-based gym with three of their fighters involved in title fights.

“We could have three belts at the end of the night. And even now a small town in Northern Ireland has two BAMMA Lonsdale champions and we’re on course for a world title,” said Irvine proudly.

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Recent Journalism graduate with a passion for covering martial arts. Giving amateur and professional fighters in Ireland the coverage they deserve.

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