Sunday 19 January 2020

#MMA: At Home with Team Ryano

Fergus Ryan

If you roll back the clock three or four years the sport of Mixed Martial Arts was barely on the radar of Irish sports fans. Since the triumphant return of the Ultimate Fighting Championship of The O2 on the 19th of July everybody is not only aware of the sport, they are now massive fans of MMA and the UFC.

The main reason for MMA's meteoric rise in popularity are the deeds of Conor McGregor. He backs up his brash talk with clinic execution of opponents in the Octagon. In addition to Conor fighting and winning in The O2 a few weeks back, four other Irishmen also fought and won on a historic night for Irish MMA.

One of those fighters was Neil Seery. Neil is one of the veterans of the Irish MMA scene and began his MMA career long before the sport became popular. Neil is one of the most well respected fighters on the Irish and European circuit and many believed he would eventually fight in the UFC.

But at 34 years of age, Neil himself felt time was slipping away until he got the opportunity to step in for an injured fighter in March this year to make his UFC debut. Though he dropped a 3 round decision that night he returned to The O2 with the UFC and treated the fans, his family and friends in attendance to a three round destruction of his opponent Phil Harris.

Neil trains at Team Ryano in Finglas just down the road from his own house. Head coach Andy Ryan invited out to their gym to talk about the progress of his Team Ryano MMA team and, of course, to meet Neil and talk all things MMA.

Irish Independent

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