Interview: Alan Philpott Prepares For BAMMA Showdown With Nathaniel Wood

Lonsdale Bantamweight title challenger Alan Philpott has shown a very charitable side ahead of his BAMMA showdown with Nathaniel Wood.  Northern Ireland’s Philpott is currently preparing for the biggest fight of his life at BAMMA 24 in Dublin, Ireland on 27 February, but has still found time to make important strides within his community.

Making the announcement on his official Facebook page, Philpott stated that after his fight at the 3Arena is completed, he will donate £100 to local charities The Connor McDonough Treatment Fund and Turning Point Northern Ireland. Connor McDonough has severe epilepsy and cerebral palsy and  his family are trying to raise £20,000 to send Connor to California for his third stem cell treatment.

“Everybody’s standing behind me and I’ve always try do what I can, I always try to get involved,” stated Philpott. “When I do have something, I do like to help because a lot of people help me in different ways and Connor McDonough, this is his third treatment, and we’re trying to get him money to go over to San Diego.”

As well as raising money for young Connor, Next Generation N.I.’s Philpott is also an ambassador for Turning Point N.I., a community charity close to his heart. Philpott admitted growing up in Northern Ireland can be tough and Turning Point look to target and help community members who are feeling lost or suicidal.

“Turning Point, they actually asked me to be a representative but there’s no point doing that unless you can do something for them. They work a lot with kids and adult and teenagers who used to go through hard times and drugs.”

Representing the Ballymena area, “The Apprentice” also spoke about how MMA has helped transform his life for the better: “It’s close to me, from where I’m from, if you don’t try and do something with your life, you’re going to go down a tough road, in Northern Ireland you either go one way or the other.

“For me, MMA has took me down the right path. Roddy [Rodney Moore] and everybody in the gym has helped me see a different side, it’s true. I’ve made mistakes and I’m sure I’ll make more but it’s helped me see the direction that I want to go in life.”

The Northern Ireland native missed weight in his last bout at BAMMA 22, but still came away from the fight victorious. However, now armed with a new outlook on his career, Philpott has enlisted help from nutritionist Ben Crighton and admits he is more prepared than ever before.

“I’m only young and if I keep doing this to my body, I’m going to wreck my body before it even gets the chance to develop properly.”

“I brought it on myself, at the end of the day,  I’ve messed up a couple of times now and it’s not like I’ve done it on purpose, I left it too late, trying to do things that works for other people but not me, everybody’s different.”

“I was going through a bad spell and missing the weight, so it’s all good, it’s fallen back into place and I’m probably better now than I have ever been mentally. I’m just having fun, that’s basically what I’m doing and enjoying every minute of it.”

With a Lonsdale title potentially on the horizon, as well as his active charitable work, Philpott aspires to be a role model for children in Northern Ireland and expects a mountain of success this year in BAMMA.

“There’s kids in our gym, kids on the street that look up to me and they’re always talking about me, parents asking if their kids can have pictures. It’s just about doing it right and giving somebody else a platform to look up to and do things.”

“I just need to have fun and relax and enjoy it because that’s when I’m at my best, and when I’m at my best there’s not many that will be able to deal with it.”

Tickets for BAMMA 24 at 3Arena, Dublin are on sale now.


Credit: Andreas Georgiou