Ahead of his fight for an ISKA title on March 3 Gary Larkin talks about his family involvement in mixed martial arts, his opponent and the Clan Wars promotion.
“My brother Declan has been involved in MMA training and fighting for a number of years now and after watching him compete in several shows I took a keen interest in the sport. I decided to take up training initially and not long after was offered my debut fight at the Ramble Inn. Following this I became dedicated to MMA and have continued to train and compete ever since.”
Gary and his brother have both fought on the same Clan Wars card before and both picked up wins on that card. Dec beating Vittorio Grant and Gary defeating an IFS team mate of his next opponent Geoff “The Hummer” Hall.
“I feel privileged to be fighting on the same show as my brother Declan as I’ve always looked up him and respect him as a fighter. At the same time, it brings with it a heightened level of excitement. We share various moves and techniques in the run up to fights so there is little sibling rivalry.
“I’ve known Geoff for a while now and am aware that he is a well-respected fighter through Clan Wars and have a lot of respect for him. I have seen Geoff compete on a number of occasions and like me, he brings a certain entertainment value to shows, evident in his entrances to the cage. I have no doubt either of us will fail to entertain and engage the audience through our skills in combat at Clan Wars fourteen.”
Gary trains from the MMA gym EFR in Magherafelt, a gym which has produced a host of talent on the local MMA scene and a lot of fighters who have competed under the Clan Wars banner in the past.
“Training has been intense; with a very tight schedule being adhered to given that this is a title fight. EFR MMA Gym Magherafelt has a fantastic energy and atmosphere about it and my coach, Mark Palmer is no stranger to the cage, sharing his knowledge and skills in order to develop my game as a fighter. I have continued to train since my last fight in Sense in June last year and my weight has been well maintained for this so I will have no problem making weight.”
Larkin is anticipating his next fight and has his eyes firmly set on becoming the new ISKA Northern Ireland 77kg champion and fighting in front of an expectant Clan Wars crowd.
“I am grateful to Clan Wars for giving me this opportunity. It’s not like any other fight, it’s much more of an honour. I’ve had my eye on this belt for quite a while and hope it will come home with me and take pride of place in my trophy cabinet after March 3.
“Clan Wars shows are always trying to improve and develop any way they can, from the excellent choice of venues, to the talented local fighters and clubs which are represented in their shows. They always ensure their fighters are well looked after, prior to and after the show and there’s always a friendly atmosphere in the lead up to shows. The demand for tickets and roof raising reaction which fans always provide is a testament to the success and popularity of Clan Wars shows.”
Gary also took the time to thank all those who have helped him in the build up to one of the most crucial fights of his MMA career to date.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Clan Wars for giving me the chance to go head to head in this title fight. Also, Mark Palmer and all at EFR MMA Gym Magherafelt for all the help and support in preparing me for war. To my wife Claire and two kids for putting up with my hectic training schedule and encouragement to take this on, particularly as we just found out prior to me taking the fight that our little family will be expanding. To my sponsors, M & M Graphic Designs and Sportsworld Magherafelt, and finally my family and friends for coming to the show to support me. Big thanks. Don’t Stop Till You Drop!”