Ireland’s Paul Hughes is one of the top prospects in the Cage Warriors featherweight division, with the star in the making bolstering a 7-1 record, with his only defeat coming to a split decision at the hands of the current champion, Jordan Vucenic.
In his five appearances on Cage Warriors, Hughes has built a reputation around his fan-friendly style of fighting and his personality outside of the cage has endeared him to the Cage Warriors faithful.
Hughes hasn’t fought since March but is excited about his next fight which he is currently in camp for, and the time off has seen big changes in his career, including signing a new deal with Cage Warriors and partnering with a new management team.
“I feel fantastic,” smiles Hughes; “It’s been six months since my last fight and I’m so excited to get back in there.
“This is the most time off I’ve had since signing with Cage Warriors and I’m feeling refreshed and I’m ready to go.”
Hughes revealed that some of his time off was due to an injury, but insisted that that issue was now behind him, saying: “I would’ve liked to have fought on the last Trilogy but I had a pretty serious shoulder injury.
“It was probably one of the worst injuries I’ve had in my career so far.
“It is what it is, anytime I’ve had adversity in my career I’ve come out of it ten times the fighter I was before!”
The Fight Academy Ireland fighter has a special bond with his teammates, even going as far as to corner his teammate, Joe McColgan, in the Northern Irishman’s lightweight title fight, before having an emotional celebration with him backstage.
When reminiscing about that weekend, Hughes can’t stop beaming: “It was absolutely amazing to be there when Joe (McColgan) won his world title, it was one of the most amazing weekends of my life!”
“The joy that I felt for him and for my team was just incredible.
“I was on such a high for weeks after.
“It was quite a trying time in my own career with my injury but to share that moment with them was so special.”
Hughes’ relationship with his team is well documented through his social media, where Hughes is very open about his relationship with teammates, sending them messages of support and recalling anecdotes of times they’ve had together.
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When asked about the relationship with his teammates, Hughes begins to grin: “It’s fantastic, I’m sure a lot of people saw the homecoming video of Joe McColgan coming back to the gym.
“That was a really special moment, he fought on the Saturday and was back on the Monday night in class with 50 or 60 guys just going insane with party hats and party poppers.
“We’ve got such a good environment at the gym, everyone looks after each other and we’ve got so many good guys coming through.
“We’re making big moves over here in Belfast!”
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Hughes makes his return at Cage Warriors’ fifth Trilogy series, which will be hosted at London’s iconic York Hall.
Tickets for Cage Warriors’ fifth Trilogy series are available here.