This weekend on, October 16th, The UFC makes its return to the UK with its next live event. This card, headlined by Michael “The Count” Bisping in the main event and Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy in the co-main event, which is chalk full of talented UK fighters happy to perform in they’re home country. One of these fighters is James “The Hammer” McSweeney, who took some time out of his busy schedule preparing for England to answer a few questions for us here at

First off, James, why did you decide to drop to Lightweight?

I always wanted to be at Light Heavyweight, it’s my natural weight. I went on The Ultimate Fighter as heavyweight because the opportunity was there. I fight best at 210 lbs; I fought my whole career at that weight, in Thai boxing and K-1.

How did the cut from heavyweight to light heavyweight go for you?

The weight drop was really easy just, cut out my weight gainer protein shakes, and cut back on some carbs. I ate loads of veggies and fish!

What can fans expect to see differently from the light heavyweight version of James McSweeney?

A very fast, aggressive James McSweeney. I can go back to my old fighting style and sit on my strikes more!

Who have you been training with? Any special guys you’ve brought in to help with specific parts of your game?

 I used my whole gym: Brendan Schaub, Shane Carwin, Rashad Evans, GSP, and Nate Marquardt. I also bought some Thai boxers in from Holland.

Is there any noticeable difference between training in England and in Colorado?

Yes, huge difference in Colorado than the UK.  Great altitude training, plus wrestling here is amazing. I’ve been using Rhinos wrestling team also, great jujitsu guys!

Do you feel any added pressure fighting in front of a home crowd at the O2 Arena?

No, no added pressure fighting in the UK. I’m super excited about it, their my home town fans, and I can’t wait for them to see me and I hope I can give them a great knockout.

Was it difficult finding out your opponent changed just weeks before your fight and did you have to change anything in your camp?

It wasn’t difficult for the opponent change, just more annoying than anything. My opponent Fabio is a great boxer with a great record. I’m very thankful to him for taking the fight; it’s going to be a great fight!

What do you know of Fabio Maldonado?

 I know that Fabio comes from great camp. He has a good boxing background and a good record. He’s a good fighter but this isn’t boxing!

You took suggestions recently via twitter as to what your next walkout song should be; have you made a decision?

 I can’t say what music, it’s a surprise!

With the recent firings, do you feel any extra pressure to perform?

 No, no pressure at all. I love to fight.

Hypothetically, if everything goes according to plan, how do you see the fight ending?

My win by a knockout.

Feel free to wrap it up with any sponsors you’d like to thank or any shout outs you have.

I’d like to say thank you to Redline, thank you to Milifidel, Affliction, Jaco Clothing, and huge thank you to Rhinos Gym Wrestling Team. Also you can follow me on twitter @mcsweeneymma. And thanks to all my fans!

You can catch James McSweeney in his Light Heavyweight debut as he takes on UFC newcomer, Fabio Maldonado, this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, England.

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