McGregor, McGuigan, Taylor: Eoghan Chelmiah hoping to join Ireland's combat sports pantheon

Eoghan Chelmiah hopes he can one day be held in the same regard as his fellow fighters Conor McGregor and Katie Taylor to represent the green, white and orange flag of Ireland.

Eoghan Chelmiah hopes he can one day be held in the same regard as Conor McGregor, Barry McGuigan and Katie Taylor to represent the green, white and orange flag of Ireland.

The Irishman recently signed a multi-fight deal with Karate Combat earlier this year, a move that has seen him ditch the MMA gloves and don the karate gi. 

McGuigan and Taylor both made a name for themselves in the boxing ring, while McGregor is the UFC's biggest star by far, and the 24-year-old hopes he can live up to the achievements of some of the famous names who have gone before him. 

'I'm blessed to be the first to get my name out there and show the world what I can do'

"I think in terms of the karate side of it, Ireland has never been a massive name in karate," Chelmiah told GIVEMESPORT

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"We've probably always had the talent but I think I'm probably the first one you're going to be seeing from Ireland representing our schools out there.

"Like we have a renowned name in MMA, of course, with Conor McGregor, with boxing with the likes of Katie Taylor, Barry McGuigan, all these kind of names over the years.

"But I think with karate, I'm blessed to be the first to get my name out there and show the world what I can do and what our country can do produce in terms of martial artists."

Eoghan Chelmiah is drawing inspiration from Roberto Duran and Mike Tyson

'I've always been attracted to those fighters who have an aggressive style like Roberto Duran and Mike Tyson'

Chelmiah (2-0), 24, is also drawing inspiration from a few other familiar faces.

The lifelong martial artist has spent a lot of time over the years studying archive footage featuring old-school classics like Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.  

"A lot of fighters and mine in different disciplines have influenced me," he admitted.

"I've always been attracted to those fighters who have an aggressive style like Roberto Duran and Mike Tyson.

"For me, they had the most influence on me. When I see those fights, they're the fights I want to be in, I want to be in those exciting fights that people watch every single round of it.

"All my training is pretty much outdoors, just like theirs back in the day. Even when I have my home training, I live in the countryside, so it's just on the patio outside or in the field.

"I love training outside. It suits me far better. I think it just adds an extra element to training.

"It's nice having the equipment and all but I just think you can't beat old-school training. 

Eoghan Chelmiah will fight Ilies Mardhi in the Karate Combat Season 3 finale on September 16 for the inaugural bantamweight title.

'I've got nothing to lose'

Chelmiah, 24, will face Ilies Mardhi for the inaugural bantamweight title in the Season 3 finale on September 16. 

And the Irish prospect insists he has 'got nothing to lose' as he prepares for the biggest fight of his professional career to date.

"I don't study much about my opponents," he explained.

"I have seen Ilies fight a few times just when I was watching season one and two of Karate Combat.

"He's representing France and Morocco, but he doesn't have that typical Moroccan style that you'd see in K-1 and stuff like that, where the fighters are very aggressive, he's a very, I would just say selective fighter, he is very timid.

"He's the complete opposite to me, really, in terms of aggression. He likes to fight on the back foot and point fight.

"I'm just willing to take that fight to him like I don't think a few of the other guys have really managed to do that.

"I've got nothing to lose, I'm just going to go in there and completely take it to him, be on the front foot all night, outfight him in every scenario, and don't give him the chance to run.

"However, I do think it's going to be more of a cat and mouse fight, which doesn't always make for the best spectacle for fans, but I just have to get the job done."

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