McSweeney Looks to Extend Five Fight Win Streak
English MMA standout and TUF alumni James Mcsweeney sat down to talk about his upcoming bout this weekend in Australia ,his home life, and what his stint on The Ultimate fighter on Spike TV has done for his career as well as why he owes martial arts so much.
Interview by Matt Homeyer
You started training kickboxing at just six years old, what drew you to the sport at such a young age? I had a lot of energy as a kid I was a bit hyperactive, I was always playing video games. It was a reason for me to get out of the house and something I wanted to try, So after going a few times I stuck with it.
Do you remember how you felt the first time you stepped into the cage? And can you give any advice to fighters about being in there? I had my first fight when I was seventeen but the first time I actually stepped in the cage I was 19 or something like that. I would say just enjoy the experience one of the things that someone told me before was control your emotions, don’t get too amped up, just relax feel what you feel in the moment and have fun if you can.
How was your experience on TUF as part of team Rashad? What did your stint on TUF do for your career? It was a great experience; it was a great kind of experience at the time. I was very lucky to be with Team Rashad. Rashad was a close friend of mine and a training partner so I was very fortunate at the time to have someone close that you know thru the whole experience. It was good for my career at the time it put me close to the UFC, it brought me into a limelight a little bit closer, and gave American fans a better idea of who I was other than just a European fighter. On my side now looking back it was a little bit soon for me to go to the UFC because I really didn’t have much of a ground game at the time I had really only been doing Jiu JItsu for two or three months. But it was a good experience.
Who has been the most influential on your MMA career? My family; my mom, my dad, my wife, all the people in my family were very supportive they all supported me and I wouldn’t been able to do it without them.
It was kind of hard to find any information about your upcoming fight… Can you shine some light on who you are fighting? For what organization? And how fans can see your fight? I’m fighting Jeff King, at Kings of Combat seven in Australia, on June 23rd. It will be broadcast on FOX sports in Australia and it I think it gets replayed in America in about two months’ time. It will air in Australia first but I’m pretty sure it will get played in the U.S. in about five or six weeks.
Who have you been training with to help you get ready for this upcoming fight? I just moved to Las Vegas so I’m training with Robert Drysdale, I’m doing all my wrestling and Jiu Jitsu with him. I’m doing Thai boxing with Kit Cope and my strength and conditioning guy is Corey Summers, he’s from over in Florida. I’ve had some great training partners here Forrest Griffin, Frank Mir, a lot of good big guys.
Assuming you pick up a win on the 23rd, what do you have your sights set on as far as your MMA career? Well, I’m on a five fight win streak right now hopefully this will be number six. It would be nice to get in the UFC or another big organization right now I have a few things in the works that I can’t say exactly what they are just yet as soon as I do know though I’ll let you guys know. I just want to keep being successful, and keep going out there and keep doing the things I’m working on and keep winning.
Is there any music that you listen to either in the gym or back stage that gets you hyped for a fight? Backstage I just stay very relaxed, I’ve had so many fights now between Thai boxing, K1, and MMA I’ve had over 200 fights, I just try and stay relaxed and focused. Most of the time to be honest I watch cartoons, I watch “Family Guy”. I’ll put on my Ipod and warm up hitting pads and stuff but mostly I try and focus on the fight and conserve energy.
What has being a professional fighter done for your life? Had you not turned pro what do you think you would have done other than fight? It’s tough to say where I’d be right now had I not turned pro, fighting has been such a major part of my life and I’ve been very fortunate that it has taken me all over the world and met so many people. I met my wife through my fighting career. It’s done so much for me so without my fighting career I have no idea where I would be probably in London working for a security company which is not where I want to be. I’ve been very blessed and pretty much everything in my life I owe to Martial Arts or fighting.
What sports do you enjoy other than MMA? Do you have any favorite teams? I’m not really into team sports; I do watch Basketball on TV or watch baseball live but I don’t really have any teams. I train so much that when I come home I just like to watch stuff like “Real Housewives” and “Jersey Shore” I’m a reality show freak. I’m in the gym so much so when I get home I like to just chill out watch funny shows and watch reality TV.
When you’re not in camp or just after a fight, is there any place you go to relax? Or anything that you do for fun and unwind? After a fight I go straight to a candy shop and I’ll buy as much candy as I can. McDonalds is the second place I go, after a fight I just kind of like to pig out a bit. I just try to get home and see my family as soon as possible. I got two dogs so spending time with them and spending time with my wife when I’m in camp I’m training three or four times a day so I don’t really get to see any of them. It’s basically gym, home, and sleep. It’s that way five or six days a week so I really just want to get home and spend quality time with them and do things that I couldn’t normally do. I go to nice restaurants, I eat the food that I can’t eat during camp, and just enjoy time with them.