After talking to Dylan Tuke for about 5 minutes the thought popped into my head that this fucker should have his own podcast. He is both highly entertaining and knowledgeable about all aspects of the fight game. With some fighters when they hit you with a soundbite you can tell it’s one they’ve been working on awhile and very often is out of context with their overall demeanour. Not so with Tuke. He offers opinions freely and in good humour without really stepping over the mark.

On Khalsa for instance he talks knowledgeably and has obviously had a look at his last fight.

” He was good for about 2 minutes of that fight, But to be honest he was gasping for air for a lot of the rest of it. At the end of the day he’s gonna be just another JAV”

I was just about to ask what in the hell is a JAV (maybe some crazy BJJ move or something) when Tuke helpfully supplied the definition.

” JAV – Just Another Victim”

It goes without saying that Tuke is very confident in his abilities and he gets this from the 9 years he has been studying and training in MMA. He started out as a 12 year old in a city centre gym. The only reason for this was that he had a cousin who was into it that would appear at his house with all these moves and Dylan was suitably impressed or bruised by the leg kicks that he was eager to give it a try.

Love at first sight or first roll as they say.  Much to the chagrin of his grandfather the talented Gaelic Footballer soon gave up all other sports to concentrated on MMA.

” At the end of the day nothing gives me the same buzz as being in a fight”

The 21 year old describes himself as an old school MMA a guy and is not a fan of some of the new people entering the sport on the back of the Conor McGregor frenzy.

“You see a lot of these guys coming in and once they have a few low level classes Grappling or in BJJ think they are fighters. They have Facebook Like pages and all the rest of it like their world beaters. I didn’t create a like page till i turned pro”

The Irish Featherweight is 4 fights into his pro career with 3 wins and a single loss. That loss coming in his most recent fight on the Bellator 169 card.

” I took the fight on late notice and just got caught cold. I’ve learned from the experience it won’t happen again”

In fairness everything had been going rather sweetly up to that point his wins a good mix of TKO and submissions. His amateur career in Ireland was stellar with 7 or 8 finishes and a couple of decisions. I didn’t get the impression he was trying to gloss over this defeat but following the Kavanagh motto of Win or Learn. The fact this kid is 9 years purely in MMA means he has a hell of a lot of experience for a 21 year old. So i don’t think a defeat will rock his confidence to the same extent as someone who maybe is only in this game a few years.

” After my last amateur fight i said to John (Kavanagh) what do you think? maybe one more amateur fight before i turn pro. John just said ” Your ready now now Dylan”

And that as they say was that. Bye Bye amateurs.

In an interesting aside Dylan’s mother was heavily into Martial Arts, in her case Karate and when i say into it, i mean the black belt variety of into it. So the apple in this case doesn’t fall very far from the tree.

” My family and friends are such a massive support. My mother keeps telling me I’m going to be a world champion. I don’t mind if that’s a BAMMA world champion, Bellator or UFC. But it will happen”

I was curious to see what he thought of  Darren Till’s upset of Cowboy Cerrone in the recent UFC Gdansk. Partly i must admit because he seemed to me to have a similiar down to earth personality.

” Yeah I thought he was good. I was impressed , he’s not a Hype job”

Tuke fights out of SBG and so comes under the guidance of John Kavanagh and the wealth of experience the comes with being associated with that Gym. I offer the opinion that it seems from the outside that it almost seems like having another family to which he responds

Well it’s a bit like a family of Big Brothers, there are plenty of ego’s and there can be an edge in training. but it lifts everyone’s performance when it’s like that. But there is massive respect there”

Dylan fights at Featherweight and to my mind this seems to be a division that there is a lot of competition in

” Yeah I don’t know what it is but there are a glut of featherweights in Ireland and the UK. I started out as Bantamweight but obviously I’m 6’1″ so as i grew i moved up to featherweight. I’m comfortable making that weight”

When Dylan said earlier in the conversation that he was old school i can well believe it. As he talks consistently and competently about moves he’s learned, technique and training. When asked what kind of contract he had with BAMMA he said he didn’t have a clue!!

JK and the gym handles all that stuff for him, at the moment he just want to concentrate on training and fighting. Basically tell him when to show up and he’ll be there.

This is the first time I’ve been in a situation where I’ve interviewed both fighters involved in a fight. and liked them both.

Khalsa has impressed me for the pure fact that he has fought guys where he was expected to lose and still managed to come out on top. He is older, has a young family and is in a different situation outside of the ring to Dylan Tuke. Tuke on the other-hand is young, confident and talented and obviously in love with sport from a very young age. Again i would imagine that Tuke is the favorite to take this one based on his talent but also his greater experience.

As i wrote that last paragraph it occurred to me that i didn’t ask Dylan about whether he did have children while we were talking so i messaged him. His answer was this

” I’ve no Kids just family. The difference between us both is this – he will live for this but i will die for this”

As i said this fucker should have a podcast.

Good Luck to both Fighters.


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