Connor Tierney is determined to become the next breakout star in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
Tierney is hoping to follow in the footsteps of such illustrious names as Brock Lesnar, Conor McGregor, Paddy Pimblett and Ronda Rousey who have all achieved iconic cult status thanks to their time spent competing on the world stage in the UFC.
Welterweight prospect Tierney, who defeated former MMA fighter Jeremiah Riggs on his BKFC debut in March, faces Joe Elmore later this month knowing that a shot at the 165lb belt is not far away.
And if he has it his way, he wants to be thrown in at the deep end sooner rather than later.
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The ‘Brum Town Bomber’ exclusively told GiveMeSport.com: “After this fight, they’ve got to give it to me.
“That little Palomino is going to be there because he’s friends with Tyler Goodjohn and he’s going to be in his corner. So I’m going to pick him up by his little cornrows and swing him about.
“Then of course fighting in Birmingham. That’s another big thing. You know what, I think one or two, maybe two or three big fights so I big my name up, then get something at like the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.
“That’ll be class that will. Four or five thousand fans, maybe more. I’ve just got to become the next ‘Paddy the Baddy’, the next Conor McGregor, I’ve just got to do that in bareknuckle.
“I grew up watching Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, you know, people like that. So if they can do it, why can’t I?
“I’ve got to become the next big thing in bareknuckle, and I’m not that far away now, I’ve just got to keep on plugging away at it.”
Tierney, who is a quantity surveyor by trade, admits that he still can’t believe that this is really happening.
“I still pinch myself like I look at that poster and I’m like this is ridiculous,” he said.
“If someone had said to me three years ago I’d be on the undercard with Paige VanZant, Mike Perry and Michael ‘Venom’ Page, I wouldn’t have believed you.
“But now I’m looking at it and I’m thinking they might be on my undercard next year. Do you know what I mean? It’s mad.
“I think as well I’m the most experienced bareknuckle fighter on the card. I’ve got the best bareknuckle record on the card as well. And also I’m the only Brit in the three main fights who’s actually established in bareknuckle.
“So ideally, from a BKFC point of view, I’m like the main event of the bareknuckle stars.
“Michael ‘Venom’ Page is only doing a one-off isn’t he, he’s coming across from MMA, he’s having one go at BKFC, whereas I’m staying in the sport.
“So I think I’m paving the way for a lot of people. I’m having a lot of fighters message me and say how well I’m doing and they want to be like me and they want to climb the ladder like I have. Obviously that’s going to take a lot for them to do because I’m just unique!
“But it’s all looking good, there’s a lot of pressure, but I’m enjoying it.”
Tierney of course has respect for all that Elmore has accomplished throughout his career, but says he’s going to take a proper hiding.
“It’s going to be hard because listen, I know this guy I’m fighting,” he added.
“He’s got a brain like a sieve, do you know what I mean? To be honest with you, I don’t think he’s anywhere near on the level that I am to be fair.
“He’s a bit of an ugly mush. He obviously likes taking a few digs. I don’t.
“So at the end of the day he needs to understand I’m the main man and he’s living off the back of what he’s done before.
“His last fight he lost and that was over fourteen months ago now and he’s 39 years of age.
“He’s a nice guy and that mate, but I don’t think he’s all there, and I’m going to have to smack him silly.”
Tickets for BKFC’s first-ever European event, headlined by a Transatlantic showdown between Michael ‘Venom’ Page and ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry, are on sale now via AXS.com.