An Aberdeen mixed martial artist is to fight for a world title once held by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor.
Kincorth’s Paull McBain, 29, who now lives in Portlethen, is one of four men fighting for the Cage Warriors Featherweight title.
The offshore worker, who trains at Aberdeen Combat Centre and only took up MMA aged 20, is set for a semi-final bout with Aidan Lee at Birmingham’s 16,000 capacity Genting Arena, with BT Sport also due to beam the October 20 fight live.
Professional McBain said: “I’m 3-0 in the promotion now, so I got called up for a title shot with three other boys.
“The guy who held the belt went to the UFC and I’ve worked my way up into contention.
“Aidan Lee is a really awkward fighter, with an awkward style, everything about him is awkward.
“It’ll be my toughest fight to date, but it’ll also be his.
“I’m undefeated as an amateur and as a pro. My style is more all-rounded – my jujitsu is not better than my boxing, my boxing’s not better than my muay tai etcetera.
“I was late coming into it so I never had one discipline.
“Where a lot of guys come in with a judo background or a boxing background, I didn’t have nothing when I started, so I had to learn everything as good as the next.”
McBain won all eight of his amateur fights before turning professional, and has since won all six.
He still does three-week stints on the rigs, and has to train and diet relentlessly to keep himself at featherweight – about two stone under his natural weight, as well as coaching other members of Aberdeen Combat Centre’s fight team. He thinks he’d be one of the smaller fighters at lightweight if he moved up.
Getting through his semi-final and winning the final, mooted for Cardiff in December, could change McBain’s life by giving him a route to the America-based UFC.
The “Notorious” McGregor has become a household name and made millions as part of the company.
However, McBain isn’t too concerned with winning the belt because McGregor won it. He has grander ambitions.
He said: “I don’t think of it like that. I’m not here to make up numbers. I’m here for my own future.
“I don’t want to live someone else’s life. It’s nothing to do with that. It’s my legacy.
“It doesn’t matter whose won the belt, it’s what I can do to get there (the top of the sport).
“The last four or five people who’ve won this belt went straight to the UFC.
“So it’s pretty cool that it’s not that far away.
“I’ve got two kids and one on the way.
“It’s pretty hard because I work offshore as well. I’ve got to try juggling training and family, but I must be doing something right.
“The guys I’m fighting don’t have jobs. They’re doing it full-time, but I’ve got to pay the bills and work.”
He added: “Imagine supporting your family through your hobby, something I love doing.
“Everyone’s dream is to get paid for doing what you love.”
McBain’s third child is due on Hogmanay, with he and fiancee Natasha set to get married next April.
He’s just returned from his stag do in Ibiza – where he took time to relax before the biggest match-up of his career to date.
McBain said: “I train all year. It doesn’t matter if I go out or don’t go out, I’m always ready.
“I can get fit in two weeks, never mind five weeks.
“It’s good to get the break.
“When I’m offshore as well, people say I come back better, fresher.
“I’m more eager to do it.”