The FightPost Interviews: Liam McGeary

The FightPost Interviews: Liam McGeary

Last April the former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary went into his rematch with Phil Davis looking for revenge against the man who took his title away from him at Bellator 163 in November 2016.

Davis took McGeary down at will in their first meeting in 2016, and McGeary had spent much of the time since evolving his all-round game. The rematch, which ended in defeat for McGeary, left him with plenty of regrets:

“I gave him too much respect. The first two rounds I didn’t do what I trained to do. The third round when I went at him, that is what I trained to do. I should have done that at the start. But you saw what he did in the first fight, he had me down on my back for five rounds and I couldn’t stop him. I had to take his takedowns seriously, I was prepared for them, but I think I was lacking something inside. Having that doubt made me hesitate.”

McGeary was stopped in the third and final round, his jaw was injured in the round previous, before further damage in his mouth saw McGeary succumb to the agony he was in:

“The jaw was hurting early in the fight, around the second round, I was having trouble opening my jaw. Then my corner gave me a right talking to and lit a fire under me and then I just went at him in the third round. I started letting my punches go, but I must have had my mouth opened when he threw a jab and it hit my jaw and my wisdom teeth in the back popped up. I then couldn’t close my jaw at all, and then the pain, I’ve never felt anything like it in my life, the pain was instant, it was like an electric shot.”

The injury left McGeary needing to go under the knife, and nearly a year on McGeary still hasn’t fully recovered:

“I had to have two operations on my jaw, the first one didn’t take. After eight weeks the surgeon told me he had to go in again. I haven’t even been to the dentist yet to get my tooth sorted, I have to wait until the jaw is fully healed.”

Not having a fully functioning working jaw caused obvious problems for McGeary in the months after the fight:

“For 6 months I had my jaw wired shut, eating through a straw, everything either liquidised or a protein shake. There was this one shake I used to look forward to, I used to buy this chocolate cake, chopping it into quarters, add milk and a load of chocolate ice cream and protein powder. That was the only thing I used to look forward to.”

McGeary by his own admission has been difficult to live with at times during the past few months:

“Sometimes I have had to lock myself away because of how it makes me feel. I’ve not able to do a thing since the fight. But I have an amazing wife and she has been so supportive through all of this.”

Even nearly a year on McGeary is nowhere near ready for a return to MMA action:

“There is still a gap in the jaw, but it is a lot smaller than it was. So maybe in another month or two, they might be able to fuse it together. I will probably have to wait until August before I can contemplate a return to any sort of proper training. You wouldn’t believe how much I have missed it.”

Despite the recent setbacks, McGeary has no intention of retiring:

“I made all the changes I needed to make in terms of training and the camp. I didn’t show what I was capable of in the Davis fight and I am more frustrated about that than anything else. I’ve spoken to my coaches they know where I am at. I just need to get healthy, I’ve gone through the worse now. I want to win the belt back, I’m still young enough and fit enough.”

I always say fighters are a different breed to the rest of us, and McGeary highlights that perfectly. Despite what he has gone through over the past year or so, McGeary only has the one goal, to fight again.

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