Liam Gallagher, Patrick Arseneau excited for first amateur title opportunity at MFL 17

Someone’s 0 has to go on Saturday night.

Hamilton’s Liam Gallagher (4-0) and Gatineau’s Patrick Arseneau (3-0) will square off at MFL 17 in Montreal, QC to determine the new owner of the vacant MFL bantamweight title.

After kicking off his amateur career in June 2019, Gallagher, 23, has racked up four wins in just over one year, three of which were inside the MFL cage.

Now that the time has come to compete for a title, Gallagher said he’s excited for the opportunity, and is looking forward to defending it down the line.

Liam Gallagher
Liam Gallagher goes to work on Kelvin Krause with ground and pound at MFL 16. (Photo by Montreal Fight League)

“It’s definitely nice, and it’s something I’ve been working for since I started my MMA career. It was on my radar to eventually start knocking off as many amateur titles as I can, so I’m glad to finally get my first opportunity at it,” said Gallagher in an interview with MMA Empire.

“All things considered in the world right now, I hope Montreal Fight League is able to keep rolling out the shows. I hope to stay active and keep fighting as many times as I can this year, and hopefully keep defending that belt.”

Much like his adversary, Arseneau, 30, has yet to taste to defeat in his amateur career, with his most recent win coming in his MFL debut in October.

Arseneau said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to compete for a belt, and said it could be a perfect way to close out his amateur career.

“It’s a good opportunity to me, and it might close out my amateur career. I really want to go pro after this one, or maybe one more fight,” said Arseneau in an interview with MMA Empire.

“That belt and this fight is going to be the key to the door for the pros.”

Gallagher is ready for 15 minutes

With this being a championship fight, there’s the potential for five rounds, compared to the standard three rounds both Gallagher and Arseneau are accustomed to.

Gallagher said he has no issue with potentially fighting five rounds, and believes it will actually benefit him to do so.

“In my training camps and sparring, I’m doing five five-minute rounds. Cardio-wise and conditioning-wise I’ll have no problem,” said Gallagher

“If anything, I feel like it’s going to give me more time to set things up and change different aspects of the fight as I feel is needed.”

While still training primarily out of Vision Quest MMA and Para Bellum MMA, Gallagher spent the first three weeks of his training camp in Sacramento, CA, training with the crew at Team Alpha Male.

He said this is the second time he’s had the pleasure of working with Team Alpha Male, and said it’s been a huge benefit to his overall game.

“The level of training and competition in that room on a daily basis is insane. Just getting to see those looks and train with that high-level of guys on a daily basis, twice a day, six days a week is great.”

Although he comes from a kickboxing background, Gallagher has embraced all aspects of MMA so far in his young career.

Gallagher said while Arseneau also comes from a similar background, he believes he will have the upper hand wherever the fight goes.

“I feel like I’m just more well-rounded,” said Gallagher.

“We’re both strikers, but I feel like I have the advantage in the striking standpoint. But I’m also confident in my wrestling and jiu-jitsu. If I feel like I need to take the fight somewhere else, I have that ability to switch things up and kind of roll with the punches in that sense.”

Arseneau respects Gallagher’s game

After seeing Gallagher fight on multiple occasions, Arseneau said he has a lot of respect for his game and the challenge he poses.

He said he’s excited to challenge himself against an opponent of Gallagher’s calibre, and said it’s fitting the fight is for a title.

Patrick Arseneau
Patrick Arseneau locks in the winning rear-naked choke on Blake Loxton at MFL 14. (Photo by Sebastian Furtado/MFL)

“Liam’s a really good fighter; he’s very well-rounded standing up and on the ground,” said Arseneau.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, and that’s what I’m excited for, and even more so the fact it’s for a title. For a title fight, this is exactly the fight I want to have.”

With it being his first title fight, this will be Arseneau’s first look at a five-round fight.

He said the extra two rounds is a scenario he’s physically prepared for, and is excited at the chance to test himself in the championship rounds.

“I feel good; I worked a lot on cardio and everything, so my cardio’s good. I’m kind of happy because, for me, three rounds is never enough. I’m the kind of guy that starts slow and goes up fast,” said Arseneau.

“I think five rounds is just perfect.”

With the multitude of restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be taking place without fans in attendance.

Arseneau said it’ll be a new experience for he and the majority of other competitors on the card, and said it will have a different feeling to it.

“It’s going to be awkward; it’s going to be weird. During the fight, the only thing we’ll hear is our footsteps, the kicks, blocking everything, and our breathing,” said Arseneau.

“I love having the crowd around because it gives me a boost right before, so we’ll have to work with what we have. But I feel super lucky with just being able to fight with everything happening.”

Gallagher’s Shoutouts

“I’d like to thank my coaches (Josh Hill, Scott Macovi, Lyndon Whitlock, Rory McDonell), and all my training partners at Para Bellum, Vision Quest, and Niagara Top Team.” Follow Gallagher on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM

Arseneau’s Shoutouts

“I’d like to thank coach Tag Atkinson, Noah Khalil, and coach Steve Loiselle from Flowater Martial Arts in Hawksbury.” Follow Arseneau on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM