Inspired by Ricky Hatton, Brendan Loughnane wants to bring PFL title back to Manchester

  • Tom Ward
brendan-loughnane-ricky-hatton-boxing-mma-pfl-manchester

Brendan Loughnane grew up watching Ricky Hatton headline boxing shows at the Manchester Arena.

Loughnane, 32, is a British MMA fighter who competes in the PFL, currently in the featherweight division.

The PFL, or Professional Fighters League, announced on Tuesday that they will hold playoff events in the UK with shows in London and Cardiff scheduled for August.

And he hopes it will see him follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero Hatton, 43.

Speaking to GiveMeSport.com, the 32-year-old spoke of his respect for the pride of Hyde and the success he had for 15 years.

He said: “Ricky was what I grew up on, all the flights to Las Vegas with all the lads.

“Manchester born and bred, supporting our own. It’s just a part of who we are. It’s part of our DNA.

“I’ve always said, even Anthony Crolla, he’s another one, selling out the Manchester Arena and having them nights, them iconic Manchester fight nights, is an absolute dream of mine.

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Ricky Hatton is a former two-weight world champion

“It’s just a shame that I’m 32 now and on the other side. I would’ve loved to have been 21 in the Ricky Hatton era.

“But, you know, now we’ve got Channel 4, now we’ve got the PFL in the UK, there’s no better time.

“We’re in the golden age of UK MMA, and the amount of talent these guys are going to be signing, they’re going to be making major moves.

“Get my world title in Manchester, why not? Who knows. Put on some dramatic performances, and then say, ‘Pete, come on mate, do the AO Arena for the final, why not?’

“Million dollar Brendan at the Manchester Arena. You just put that idea in my head, I’d never even though of that before that, it’s got me excited.”

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Brendan Loughnane in action against Tyler Diamond

Loughnane is expected to compete in the playoffs this summer having picked up all three points against Ryoji Kudo.

An opponent for the Manchester fighter has yet to be confirmed.

He added: “It’s something I’ve had to get used to. What do you mean I’ve got to count points? Who am I going to fight?

“It’s its own entity, and it took a season to get used to it, it took a season to get used to weight cutting so much, to get used to fighting every six weeks instead of fighting every four months.

“It’s so different to anything I’ve been used to in my whole career.

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“But it’s a breath of fresh air, I love being active.

“If you’ve got me on socials, you’ll know I’m flat out, all year round, and it could not be a better format for me.”

A veteran of 26 fights, Loughnane has been in the game for a long time, as he himself would be the first to admit.

So he’s keen to pass on his knowledge to the next generation as much as he possibly can – starting with PFL light-heavyweight standout, Simeon Powell.

Loughnane, who made it all the way to the final last season, has taken the 23-year-old under his wing and given him some words of advice.

He continued: “That’s why I always bring him on stage because I’ve been in Simeon’s shoes.

“I know how hard it is in the beginning.

“When I first started MMA, there was no opportunities like this, you were fighting for 200 quid in the local sports centre.

“And that’s what he alluded to, it’s still actually happening.

“So from where he’s come from to where he is now, two fights in a month on a major stage in ESPN, I’m so happy for him.

“He’s such a great kid, he’s going to be a big star, and I wish him all the best for his career.”

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