Confidence, new trainer has Patrick Connors looking for finish at BTC 3
The far-reaching sport of mixed martial arts in Ontario may have yet to find its crescendo. It’s state - a stagnant one for several years - has only been energized by the men and women whose practice of the craft continued regardless of the lack of regional support.
Fighters like this are dedicated athletes like Patrick Connors - a featherweight who has only within the last year entered the professional scene. But for those who have been paying attention, his introduction has been a well-supported one by a constant deliverance of finish-based performances, a devoted fan base and opponents who have learned a lesson the hard way when they underestimate him.
In Connors’ professional debut a little over a year ago, he faced a long-standing veteran of the Ontario scene, Jo Petahtegoose, in a gritty undercard contest. He finished his pro debut in the second round after enduring a nasty armbar attempt in the first round. Despite his impressive statement to the professional scene, he expressed his unhappiness with the way the fight went.
Three professional appearances later - all with finishing touches - Connors is certainly in a position where he is less likely to doubt himself.
“Honestly, I feel like I've aged five years since then,” Connor’s said. “The self-belief I have now is much higher than when I made my pro debut…the biggest changes [I’ve made] have to be the mindset and the skill.”
For those who have seen Connors perform, his growing self-belief is not a surprise. Even before becoming professional mixed martial artist, Connors always seemed to have a fallible confidence to him. The featherweight declared wanting to “steal the show” in his professional debut at BTC 1: Genesis.
Since then he has not only continued to earn his posture on that statement but maintains the fact that he’s one of the most intriguing young professionals to watch. With two TKO’s and one submission on his record and a clear ascendance of growth in every appearance, Connors is certainly a daunting task ahead for any man he faces.
His next challenge is Fred Stonehouse at BTC 3: Prophecy. Stonehouse was Connors’ first amateur loss, a bout he reflects on with a lightness many fighters don’t show.
“It was a fun fight I encourage you to watch it,” declared Connors.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for Connors' rapid growth is his recent change of scenery. For his last professional appearance at KOTC: Prevail against Jeff Danz, he joined forces with one of the most talent driven MMA gyms in Ontario, Para Bellum MMA.
For many in the community, Para Bellum is the one stop shop for professional fighters not only looking for a highly competitive room but a high-level line-up of coaches dedicated to churning out exciting talent who make up the best part of the Ontario regional scene.
"I didn't really know where I wanted to start training full time, but once I met Rory (McDonnel) and Lyndon (Whitlock) I knew where I wanted to be,” said Connors. “These classes are not recreational. Anyone in there is devoted to martial arts. Being the hardest worker or bringing the most intensity in one of these rooms is no easy task.”
With a perfect professional record of 3-0, a new union with Ontario’s most talent stacked MMA gym and a true passion for living in the moment, Connors is a refreshing and dedicated athlete worth following.
“I know I'm an exciting fighter… I just want to make the fight mean something for my self and a boring fight doesn’t mean much to me,” Connors said. “I want to enjoy myself and I want to experience something that I can look back on and smile [about].”