Moore believes he can succeed in MMA
Published 29/12/2015 | 00:00
While a decent percentage of the country scraped themselves out of bed to watch Conor McGregor perform for thirteen seconds, for proud training buddy Brian 'The Pikeman' Moore it all about what might be.
In the blink of an eye Jose Aldo's impressive record was blemished in the unforgiving Las Vegas lights but for Wexford man Moore the dream is all about sweating under the neon bulbs and to be the man that produces those Olé's.
It's not beyond the realms of possibility for the only Mixed Martial Arts professional in the Model County. It's been a short enough journey to get to be big stage in the United Kingdom and Europe, the next step is the biggest one.
'My short term goal is to win my next fight, my medium and long term goal is to sign a contract with the UFC', says Moore, pointing to his phone where he keeps a list of goals. Not that he's likely to forget but seeing is strength and reinforcement after all.
Moore had his first fight, a win over Alan Duffy as an amateur back in February 2010, a year after taking up Muay Thai while studying in WIT. Soon he turned professional in a sport that is gathering new fans all the time.
'Maybe the best description of Mixed Martial Arts is a combination of Martial Arts such as your Olympic sports; Taekwondo, Boxing, Judo, Wrestling. Combine these together and add-in, Kick-Boxing, Muay Thai.' explains Moore, of his chosen sport.
It's no surprise that an activity that combines an array of sports pulled in the Carrig-on-Bannow based fighter. Moore was a highly efficient sports teen, excelling in soccer and golf, as well as playing underage Gaelic Games at county level.
None of those were exactly what Moore needed, there was something else out there for him and, by chance, he stumbled upon MMA while channel surfing, he was instantly hooked and the rest, as they say, is history.
'I actually saw the UFC on TV,' remembers Moore. 'I thought it was absolutely unbelievable and had never seen anything like it. I had always been a small guy, I saw this guy called Matt Serra beat Geroges St-Pierre in a huge title fight.
'I was looking at him, he was only about five foot six, I couldn't believe that he was able to do this. I was like 'I think I could do this', because he looked wild, so I though 'I'd like to do this',' beams Moore excitedly, who himself measures up just an inch taller than American Serra.
Three wins as an amateur was the start for 'The Pikeman' before three victories followed as a Pro. As the class of opponent stepped up, a few defeats slipped into Moore's record, which stood at seven wins, four losses in the spring of 2014.
With a baby arriving with wife Noreen and a new business, Moore Fitness, in its early days, the Pikeman took a self-imposed 18-month break away from competing as work, life, and home life worked in perfect harmony.
That balance is helped by the fact that Moore Fitness, situated in the village of Carrig, is going so well. 'We run a strength and conditioning facility, we do personal training, nutritional consolations, we do weight loss clinics and we do fitness classes,' explained Moore, before continuing.
'It's really after taking off, we've four coaches now at the facility, which is excellent. The people that come in are so hard working and I have to say the people in this area in Carrig really got behind me and supported it from day one. It's grown every week so we are really, really happy.'
Moore came back with victory over Tommy McCafferty in the middle of November and is working hard to keep improving, with the dream to mix it with the big boys alive and kicking. His training regime is comprehensive and involves three tips to the capital each week, as well as work in his own gym.
In Dublin, Moore trains under the legendary coach John Kavanagh and with fighters that are on the verge of the big time. It's an experience that is invaluable to the development of the Pikeman and his dreams.
'We spar and train very smart so we don't get hurt' says Moore. 'We are in an environment where you can make mistakes and learn rather than make mistakes and be punished for it. When you go in there, step on the mats and do good against these world class athletes and Mixed Martial Artists you know you can transfer that and bring it to your next fight.
'Every fight that I've ever had seems easier than the training I put in before it. That's not a lie, that's genuinely how I feel. So when I drive up there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you know you get these little butterflies and nerves for these training sessions because you are against these guys that you look up to as such, guys that are flying the flag for Ireland in MMA.
It's after bringing me on hugely, I think that's why I stepped up so quickly to Pro, because I made such big jumps and it's because of those guys.'
It's those influences that Moore hopes can push him on to the next level, to the big time.
'I really believe I can get there, what route, I don't know, whether it's the Ultimate Fighter or whether its just to keep winning on the European circuit. I definitely believe I have the skills to get there. My record is good at the moment but it will get better.'
The next opportunity to improve that record comes on February 27 in the 3 Arena at BAMMA 24.
Moore fights Mick 'Basher' Brennan looking to rack up his ninth professional win in thirteen outings. He's expecting a big Wexford support.
'It's going to be live on TV, It's a five thousand seater capacity. There are probably 60 people after booking tickets now and I'm only after telling people, there should be a huge Wexford crowd. I'm really excited about that and I'm looking forward to showcasing another good performance' says Moore.
Another win for The Pikeman will be another step on the ladder to the ultimate goal. If his determination and drive are anything to go Moore could yet be waving the Purple and Gold around a Vegas octogon in the not too distant future.