In a country that is known for hurling and rugby, Cian McCormack from Kinvara chose a different path for himself despite being under pressure to play the “ideal” sport.
“I hated hurling and football growing up, I wasn’t very good at either. I fell in love with kickboxing when I realized I was pretty good at the sport,” says Cian McCormack, a 24-year-old Kickboxer.
Cian from a very young age was inclined towards playing video games. “I was kind of a nerd,” he says. But by playing video games which involved kickboxing, he became interested in trying the real thing and was able to find a different path for himself.
He started training at a young age of 14 at Pete Foley’s Black Dragon Kickboxing Gym.
“Fighting was always a passion; I hope it’ll be a passion until I can make a career and finish a career successfully in it,” he says.
Cian took his passion to new heights in 2022 when he claimed the IKF Pro-World Super Welterweight K-1 title. He fought against the Dutch fighter, Giano Zwaggman from the World renowned team Van Den Berg Gym outside Amsterdam.
With winning this fight at the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway, the 24-year-old joined the professional ranks. He was presented with an award at the prestigious sports event – Medtronic Galway Sports Stars at the Galway Bay Hotel on 20 January 2023.
It was a combination of all his achievements, which led to the biggest one: winning the prestigious award for going international and becoming a World Champion.
“It’s a part of who I am at this stage in my life, I found a large piece of myself when I found this sport, I found out a lot about myself,” he says.
He feels the commitment to being consistent in training is the most difficult part and considers himself fortunate enough to have a coach who is very well-connected throughout Europe.
“You can train as hard as you want; if you don’t put effort in your diet as you do in your body, you won’t see any work from it,” says the World Champion.
“I like to take inspiration from many different athletes and form it into my own style, so I don’t have a set role model but one person who sparked my interest in this field was a Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist, Anderson Silva.
“He has done a lot for striking and showcased what can really be done about people who don’t know much about it,” he says.
The best part about being a fighter for him is the competition and preparation leading up to the competition. “When your hands get raised in the ring, nothing else matters, you’re just really happy.
“I would like to be remembered for my display of skill, the respect I show my opponents, and my integrity as a Martial Artist,” he added.