MMAnarchy managed to catch up with Martin ‘Mr Pink’ McDonough prior to this weekends Cage Warriors 54 show in which he takes on Mark Platts on the main card of the show. We chatted about fighting on home soil, his current four fight win streak and how he got the nickname of Mr Pink.
Martin you are set to face Mark Platts at Cage Warriors 54 this coming weekend in your home country of Wales . How excited are you about this fight and how has your camp been for this one?
I’m really excited about this one, now that I’ve signed with Cage Warriors there are only going to be limited chances to fight in Wales . My camp has been brilliant, no problems all straight forward. I only had a week off after my last fight and then straight back into fight training, so my cardio is probably the best it’s ever been.
Do you feel an added pressure to deliver a victory in front of your home crowd?
No I don’t think its added pressure; it’s like having another person in there helping me to tell the truth because people will be cheering me instead of giving me stick haha.
And thanks for your time answering questions during what must be a horrible week for you in terms of cutting weight etc. What does a normal fight week look like for you?
No problem. Haha weight cut isn’t too bad for me because I stick close to my fight weight. I jus train Monday and Tuesday to get a sweat on, then Wednesday I will get my hair coloured. Then a little sauna on Thursday. The hardest part is that I still work full time! So no carbs and working in a window factory carrying windows about for a week is not easy! But it keeps my mind off the cut and makes time go faster.
You have won your last four on the bounce all via submission with two wins under the Cage Warriors banner. It’s probably fair to say that this is the best streak of your career to date, have you made any material changes to your game recently?
Yeah it’s been going pretty well for me lately. Well Gavin Rees is my boxing coach now, so he has given me a lot more confidence in my stand up so I don’t have to rush to get it to the ground. A few years ago I lost love for MMA; the desire just wasn’t there anymore. Too much drinking, partying and not looking after myself. I was just taking fights for the money. I had a bit of time off, I was going to quit. Then I found out I was going be a dad and I just wanted to do whatever I could to try and make his and the rest of my family’s life as easy as possible. Having my son has been the biggest incentive for me to succeed.
Your opponent for Saturday (Mark Platts) has lost his last two fights and has a record of 10-9. How much do you know about him and how do you think your style matches up with his?
I really don’t know much about him, I know he has fought at flyweight as well. I know he has fought a few decent boys and got a few good wins. But the way I feel, how well my camp has gone, I just don’t see me losing. I’m hoping he will come to stand with me. He will want to take it to the floor, but as my last 4 fights have showed, I can hold my own on the ground too. I’m not arrogant or cocky; I am feeling very positive and confident about this fight. Make no mistake, I’m not looking past him I know it will be a very tough fight.
And not jumping the gun or writing off Platts but a win here must edge you ever closer to a potential title shot? Will you be looking to press for a shot at the gold if you pick up a win on Saturday?
I’m not looking past Saturday, for me there is nothing past Mark Platts on Saturday. Either way I am contracted to Cage Warriors and I do what they want me to. A few years ago I couldn’t have dreamed about being where I am now, in the biggest promotion in Europe . Take it 1 fight at a time.
How are spirits back at Tillery Combat ahead of this weekend?
Spirits are high, we are all at the top of our game and the boy’s weight is exactly where it should be. I see us coming away with a clean sweep.
Cage Warriors are consistently pumping out great show after great show. What do you put this down to and what sets them aside from other UK based promotions?
They have a brilliant roster of fighters; they are constantly bringing in class fighters that put on class fights and that’s all people want to see. They are so well run; they take brilliant care of you when you fight away. I’m really happy where I am and when this contract is up hopefully I will get another one.
Now forgive me for a possible stupid question but how did you pick up the nickname Mr Pink? I assume you have had the trademark Pink Mohawk for quite a while now?
I wish it was a brilliant story. But it’s not haha. When I started training I wasn’t working so I had no money. Shaky entered me into a grappling competition and he told me I needed to buy shorts. He said this on a Saturday training session after I had been out on the Friday, so I had a hangover. I asked for the cheapest ones and as a joke I said do they do them in pink. Next thing I know, pink shorts arrive! It just escalated from there. I actually love the colour now haha.
Finally is there anyone you would like to thank or mention?
I would like to thank Shaky for all the hours of jujitsu he puts in with me and the club and all the work he does as my manager as well. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. I would also like to thank my boxing coach Gavin Rees who is always bringing my hands on every session. All the boys I train with, Jack “The River” Shore, Jack Marshman, Joe Orrey, Owain Parry, Kris Edwards, Josh Reed and everyone else. My sponsors, Fight Shop, Gladiator and Aphrodite nutrition, The Mouthgaurd Shop and B&B Garage Abertillery. My girlfriend for putting up with all the hours I spend in the gym and weight cut mood swings. And my mother because she always complains I never thank her haha.
Thanks to Martin and we would like to wish him all the best for this weekend. Be sure to give him a follow on twitter @Mr_Pink_MMA
Photo: Cage Warriors | Dolly Clew