This Sunday, April 23rd Daire Toman (5-1) will fight for the Akuma Amateur Bantamweight Title and his opponent with be BJJ Cork's Jack Maguire, another of Irish MMA top amateurs.
We spoke with the 26-year-old recently about the upcoming fight and his life around MMA. Check out our interview below:
How did you get into the sport and how long have you been training?
I've always been into combat sports and I use to box when I was younger before the usual teenage distractions got a hold of me. I got lazy but then I decided to get back into kickboxing just for fitness and ended up competing and it's just escalated from there. I remember watching Conor McGregor vs. Diego Brandao and thinking about trying MMA. Around that time I started scaffolding for Micheal Doyle who had recently opened his own MMA gym and he persuaded me to try it out. Once I did I fell in love with the sport and have dedicated a big part of my life to it.
Tell us a little bit about the gym you train at.
I train and fight out of New Era Lurgan under my head coach Micheal Doyle who is a seasoned professional fighter and multiple title holder. We have a good group of lads training with us including my training partner Peter Burke who is also fighting on Akuma this weekend. MMA has really taken off in Lurgan and it's great to see new faces drop into the club and try it out.
I also travel to EFR martial arts in Antrim to train under Michael's head coach David Paterson, who needs no introduction as he is probably the most decorated coach in the country and responsible for many champions. This is where I do most of my sparring with professional fighters like Paul Hughes and James McErlean to name just a few.
What is a typical week like for you in terms of training?
A typical week for me would be swimming or road work on Monday morning then striking at New Era in the evening, Tuesday morning bushido ju jitzu at EFR then strength training in the evening, Wednesday evening I do wrestling at New Era, Thursday morning strength and conditioning with Ciaran Nash, Friday morning boxing with Sean Montgomery then BJJ at New Era in the evening, rest on Saturday then on Sunday I do hill sprints and sparring at EFR.
How would you describe your fighting style?
I would describe my fighting style as aggressive and high paced. I like to mix up my striking, hit takedowns and strike from a dominant position. I always feel happy as long as I leave it all in the cage and have a good fight, the win is just a bonus.
Who are your inspiration(s)?
My biggest inspiration for doing what I do is my son Odin, who will be turning two soon. I want him to grow up with a positive role model and to show him that he is capable of anything that he wants with the right attitude and hard work. I've also had a couple of my friends who have sadly passed away in the last few years and this has really inspired me to chase my dreams as we never know what could happen from day to day and better to live with no regrets.
You're facing Jack Maguire this weekend. What are your thoughts on him and what are you expecting in this fight?
Jack McGuire is from BJJ Cork and is a very experienced fighter who is just back from the IMMAF European Championships. I expect he will try and take the fight to the ground just from watching his previous fight tapes but, like always, I'm prepared for anything.
Have you a prediction for the fight?
I don't really have any predictions for the fight just that I will be looking for the win by any means necessary. A finish for me inside the distance would be nice but as I said Jack is an experienced fighter and a dangerous opponent, so we will just see who's the better man on the night.
What would it mean to you to win the Akuma title? And have you a timeframe for when you'd like to turn pro?
It would mean the world to me to lift the Akuma title. I have a big following coming to support me and I'm truly grateful for all the support and the opportunity to fight for the belt and to have a strap for each shoulder would be amazing. Well worth all my hard work and sacrifice. I've a busy summer ahead of me competing and turning pro is definitely my goal but I'm in no rush just taking things one step at a time.
Just want to thank the following people Liam Mc Evoy @theleansupperclub, Shay Toman @subwaylurgan, Alan Campbell @thefitnessfactorygym, Dee McConville @armbarfightwear and Lee Morison @slmdesign.
Quick Fire Round:
Fav Submission - Guillotine
Fav Striking Technique- Flying knee
Fav Music- Rap and hip hop
Fav Movies- Gladiator, Goodfellas and Veronica Guerin
5 Fav Fighters- Dom Cruz, Mighty Mouse, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell & McGregor
Worst Part of Training- Ice baths
Cheat Meal- Pizza and ice cream
Goal in the sport- To hold a world title as a professional
Also check out our video interview with Hugh Gleeson who also fights at Akuma this weekend.