For some time now, Brendan Loughnane (11-2) has been one of the sole standouts of professional MMA in Manchester and for the majority of 2016, Loughnane has found himself being spammed with several verbal onslaughts from a fellow Mancunian in Eden Newton (6-4).
Since Eden began to attract attention with his callouts of The Ultimate Fighter alumni, Brendan has openly voiced that he’s donated very little time towards the smack talk. Claims on Newton’s part have varied from branding Loughnane a ‘coward’ all the way to downright being afraid. In Brendan’s mind, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I think he’s looking for a quick way to get to the top,” Brendan retorted. “He can’t be arsed putting the work in like I have done for the last few years. Little does he know it’s the worst mistake he’s ever going to make. Initially, I didn’t want this fight. I couldn’t be bothered wasting my time with him. He’s an unknown and I think he’s sh*t.
“Along the way, somebody threw a lot of money in the way so I thought, ‘why not?’. He tries to say that I kept saying no, but he came with a list of demands the size of an A4 sheet of paper. He wanted big productions, different dates and different weights. I was wondering just ‘who the f*ck are you?’ He should know better than to dare coming at me with these demands.
“He’s a waste of space. The main reason this whole thing got held up for so long is because he wanted, like, ten years to train for this fight. I wanted it as soon as possible. I kept telling him it doesn’t matter how long he has to train for it. The result is going to remain the same.
“We’ve finally agreed on the 13th August, but I wanted it in July. I wanted it over and done with. Myself and the whole world know what’s going to happen to him. What’s the point in prolonging it? He better not pull out because I’ve got stuff I have to do this year, I’m a busy guy.
“He’s got the date he wanted now. I hope he’s happy because he’s just prolonging his own death.”
A look at the statistics and they suggest Brendan is the heavy favourite entering this long-awaited bout. However, the betting odds are not on the mind of Loughnane. The constant digs have only made this personal and through doing so, the BAMMA veteran feels Newton has created more animosity than he could have hoped for.
“Being the favourite doesn’t matter to me,” stated Loughnane. “I’ve been doing this a long time now. The numbers that were getting thrown at me to do this fight, I’d have been stupid to turn it down, especially when he’s such an idiot and a sh*t fighter. Some of the numbers I had offered to me would make your jaw drop and that’s the only reason I’m fighting this guy. I have to shut him up.
“He’s talked himself into a position where he’s going to get a severe reality check. I actually think he’s a bit mentally ill to be talking this way. I’ve heard it for too long now. I’m quite happy to take a big payday and send him to bed early.”
In what was listed as an apparent demand of Newton’s, this bout will take place on Loughnane’s own show at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on August 13th. Having to put his own show on in order to finalise a deal, Brendan also sees this as a prospective business opportunity and a stellar chance for his own All Powers academy to make their mark.
“We’re still ironing out details and should have a name sorted very soon,” informed the former Moss Side Ground & Pound man. “This will be the first of many at Victoria Warehouse, though. We’re looking at four shows per year at that location and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than headlining your own promotion.
“It will be featuring a lot of my gym’s younger talents as we’re building something special at All Powers. A lot of the lads are starting to shine and being able to fight on a comfortable platform will be good for them. Plus, I want to get a strong Manchester based show going again. The buzz is back up here and I want us to capitalise on it.”
Despite reports of the lightweight signing with Bellator, nothing is official as of yet. Until August 13th, everything in Brendan’s life is on hold. As Loughnane sets his eyes on taking out Eden Newton, he aims for the biggest and best matches he can get his hands on – whether or not that’s stands being close to home.
“Just to confirm nothing is signed with Bellator right now,” Loughnane divulged. “But that’s another reason I want to get Eden out of the way as soon as possible. That way I can purely focus on upcoming offers because I have had big fight offers be laid out on the table from several organisations. This is probably going to be my last fight in Manchester for a while before I move on to bigger and better things.
“I’ve heard that Michael Bisping wants a homecoming in October and I want to be on that card. I’m not signed to anybody so I can speak clearly about this. I have offers on the table, but if the UFC are coming back to Manchester, who else are they going to get who has a domestic following the size of mine?
“I earned my chance at The Ultimate Fighter several years ago. I’ve gone back on the scene and I’ve earned this opportunity should it happen. It would only bring so much hype and if Eden Newton is the name I have to go through to get there, I’m not fazed whatsoever.
“If they come to Manchester and they sniff around, they’re going to end up coming across me constantly. That’s the same for Bellator. I’m more than happy to fight for anyone who can offer me next-level international competition now because that’s what I need.
“I’ve cleared up the domestic scene. I’ve done my part for the local scene and UK MMA as a whole. It’s time I start taking trips abroad to fight the biggest and best names I can get my hands on. I lost a lot of potential offers after the Tom Duquesnoy fight. I’m fighting Eden Newton because I’m not signed to a big promotion, so it shows.
“That was in the past and I’m focusing on now. Things took a slip but it’s part of the journey. I need to make up for that and I’ll do so by taking care of Eden before moving on to much better prospects.”