Bellator and SBG Light Heavyweight Karl Moore(8-2) returns to the cage for the first time since March 2018 following an injury lay off to make his Bellator MMA debut in front of a packed 3 Arena next month in Dublin at Bellator 227. Karl spoke about training, his opponent and many other issues in a candid forthcoming manner.
How has training been for your upcoming fight with Lee Chadwick on the Bellator Dublin card. Have you identified any areas specifically to work on?
I’ve been covering all the bases really; Lee is a very experienced fighter but no disrespect he’s been doing the same things for a long time, he’s a bit of a one trick pony. I’ve just been making sure my boxing, striking, wrestling, fitness and all the key areas are covered. Nothing out of the ordinary but I’ve been training hard, grafting.
Do you think the Light Heavyweight Lee Chadwick that beat James Mulheron is a more dangerous prospect though? Will the extra weight and power be a problem?
I dunno Barry, he’s a strong guy, a well put together man but I don’t see there being a big difference him coming up from middleweight. He’s coming up yes but I’m walking around at 102-105kg. I’m the bigger man no doubt. He’s what 5’11”? I’m 6’3”. Size isn’t the be all and end all but if you have an advantage, you’re naturally going to use it. He did look good in his last fight, but we’ll soon find out in Dublin.
Lee has obviously struggled with his weight in the past, you seem comfortable at Light Heavyweight, 102kg doesn’t seem a lot for a guy of your size?
People have said that before, they’d expect me to be a lot heavier than what I am. I’ve been fighting now professionally for about 7 odd years now. 105 for me before a cut is the sweet spot for optimum fitness and power, it’s the right balance. I’ve been ready to cut from 98kg and also from 110kg, both bring their own problems. 102-105kg is where I want to be and can perform best.
Speaking to Will Fleury a while ago he mentioned the power you have in your hands, how important is it to have other big guys at such a high level like Will to train with?
Coming from a guy like Will that’s a massive compliment, the man is a beast himself. Will can match me for power, when I go with Will it feels like we’re at the same weight. The man is a fucking beast, the longer the spar goes, the better Will gets. Training with Johnny Walker recently has also been an incredible experience.
The Pitbull Vs. Scope fight showed to a lot of people that there is a platform from Bellator Europe events to move into the tentpole events and contention. Scope was extremely unlucky to lose that decision. What trajectory do you see yourself on?
I know it’s a bit of a cliché to say this but I’m not here to make up the numbers, I’m here to take over. I was a World Champion in Cage Warriors and I intend to push for title contention in Bellator. I know that obviously I have to work my way up but my end goal is to be the Bellator Light Heavyweight champion. People laughed it off when I said I was going to be Cage Warriors champion and people may well do the same when I say I aim to be Bellator champion. I’m here to make a statement.
What do you make of Alan Philpott’s recent comments about John Kavanagh and Bellator being a bit too close?
To be honest I don’t know much about that side of things. I turn up and train, John is my coach and my manager and he’s been nothing but a positive influence on my career. For the first time in my professional career I’m going to make good money that I can live on and John has been a big part of that.
The discussion around fighter pay and how organisations treat fighters has become much more prevalent at domestic level and international level, particularly after Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson were so vocal on their UFC exit. How hard was it coming up in the domestic scene?
I was fighting to be a 2 weight world champion in a very well respected organisation and a week later I was back working on doors scrapping by. I’ll earn more money in this one fight for Bellator than I have in all my previous 10 fights combined. So that gives you an idea of the difference this is making to my life and that’s all down to John Kavanagh and Bellator. I never came into this for money, I do it because I love it but there comes a time when a man has to decide what is best not only for him but his family. Thankfully this opportunity made that decision easy. I’m extremely lucky with my sponsors D.C Services, ImpactNI, Jordan Heating and Killane security services having my back through my camp too. The support from them and John Kavanagh has been unreal.
The card is stacked and it promises to be probably the biggest night of Irish MMA history to date with so many Irish fighters on the card. What’s the stand out fight for you?
Kiely vs. MVP is gonna be fireworks, that’s the fight of the night for me. Obviously Michael ‘Venom’ Page is ridiculously talented but I think Richard Kiely has weapons that will negate a lot of MVP’s strengths. I think he will surprise MVP by the way he moves. MVP should not underestimate that man because Richard has that one punch knockout power, he’s also very unorthodox and explosive.
Any final thoughts on Lee Chadwick and the fight?
He’s a crafty veteran, very difficult to finish, he’s fit, he’s durable and he’s there for the 15 minutes if it goes that long. He’ll come out swinging, he’ll try and grind me against the cage with those big looping shots but I’ve been training for guys like that my whole life. I’m more than ready, its time to show the improvements in my game from training at SBG, the frustration of injury is behind me. I’m mentally stronger and I want this so much. I think Lee’s style will bring out the best in me.