An MMA fighter is preparing for his first bout in the promotion that launched the career of UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
Paull McBain has joined Cage Warriors and will fight Lloyd Manning at the 3Arena in Dublin on Saturday.
The undefeated Aberdonian hopes this could be his opportunity to gain international stardom.
McBain has called it the “biggest fight of his career” so far – and has warned his Irish opponent it will be the toughest bout of his life as well.
Training out of Aberdeen Fitness and Combat Centre in Berryden, his first fight with Cage Warriors is now mere days away.
The promotion has developed the likes of UFC champions McGregor – who is expected to be in attendance – and Michael Bisping, as well as Scots fighter Stevie Ray.
Having taken up the sport seven years ago with no previous fighting background of any kind, McBain practices “a bit of everything”.
He admits there are nerves but understandably cannot wait to get to Dublin for his first bout with Cage Warriors.
“You’ve got to have nerves for something like this, really,” he said. “But they will keep you sharp.
“I’m not looking past this opponent but it’s a great opportunity for me to show what I can do.
“This will be my hardest fight to date but it will be his as well.”
Fighting an Irishman in Dublin, McBain expects a hostile atmosphere – not that the prospect fazes him.
Manning has a Sambo and judo background and is also undefeated.
But whereas he transitioned into MMA from those disciplines, McBain started completely from scratch.
“I used to play football, lost a bit of interest and wanted to do something to keep fit,” said McBain.
“I realised I was getting good at it and just kept going from there.
“When you look at it, I’ve got to be a boxer, know judo, I do cage work, I have to be able to do everything.
“We factor all of that into the training scheme. I’m not the best at everything but I’m pretty good at it all.”
He trains at least twice a day as well as leading some coaching sessions. It marks a stark contrast to some of his previous fights where he had to find ways to train while offshore.
McBain is keen to take it one fight at a time and not get ahead of himself.
Now signed up with one of the biggest promoters in Europe, the 27-year-old sees a chance to make a name for himself.
And with his fight shown on UFC Fight Pass, he has grand ambitions for where it could ultimately lead.
“It started out as a hobby really but now I’m looking at it differently,” he said.
“If I do well, it could be a professional career leading to bigger things.
“I’ve got two kids, I’ve got a house, I’ve got a girlfriend, and training means giving up time. But it’s for a reason and I’m hoping to make it big.”
McBain is also hoping the opportunity will bring in more sponsorship to help him commit even further to his training regime.
He is one of the Spartan Fight Team based out of Berryden.
The group have a number of other promising fighters coming through.
“The whole group has real potential,” he said.