If there is such a thing as a fighting life Barry Oglesby lives it. A former pro MMA fighter, Tae Kwon
Do black belt, BJJ purple belt, founder and head coach at Kyuzo MMA and BJJ gym, strength and
conditioning coach at 3 secondary schools and colour commentator for Cage Contender broadcast
on Setanta and Sky Sports are among the roles Barry fills during his day job. JOE caught up with Barry
to talk about MMA in Ireland and his upcoming grappling tournament Grapplepalooza.
Being so ingrained in the sport Barry is a good man to ask about the general health of Irish MMA.
“18 to 24 months ago I would have been concerned about the future for MMA in Ireland. There
were shows with high production levels getting good crowds with very average fighters headlining. I
reckoned this could only go on for so long before the crowd numbers would begin to fall off.”
Barry wasn’t the only one concerned with Irish MMA as Battlezone’s Andy Ryan and MMA League’s
Mark Leonard have also told JOE in the past they felt there were far too many shows for too few
fighters. However, Barry feels that the sport has evolved positively over the last 2 years to the point
now where there are quality promotions with quality cards occurring regularly round the country.
“I’m not just saying this because I’m involved with this promotion but Cage Contender really up the
stakes for Irish MMA. Its not perfect but its made a massive contribution to getting Irish MMA up to
where it is today. Cagre Contender isn’t the only good promotion though, Battlezone has really
developed into a great show and the first Man of War show had really high production value. There’s
lots of good shows nowe and there supported by a good network of clubs lead by the bigger clubs
like Straight Blast Gym, Team Ryano and Elite Fighting Revolution