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Liam McGeary’s bleak outlook on fighters’ rights: ‘I don’t think it’s ever going to change’

Bellator 220 fighter Liam McGeary says fighting is in his children’s blood, but he does not want them to pursue a career in MMA.

Liam McGeary Bellator 220 Phil Davis Rory MacDonald John Fitch Grand Prix Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Liam McGeary is happy to fuel his children’s athletic drive in sports such as wrestling, but he does not see a future for them in a sport with as little job-security as mixed martial arts.

The former Bellator light-heavyweight champion talked to Bloody Elbow ahead of his rematch with Phil Davis at Bellator 220. “My kids are always going to know how to fight, it’s bred in them,” he said. “To take it as a career, I don’t know. Unless things have changed seriously about the money and how fighters are treated — which I don’t think it’s ever going to change — the world is their oyster and there are plenty of other things they can do.” he added. “If they want to fight I’m not going to say no to them and lead them in another direction.”

“The pay scale is an issue. Some fighters don’t even have health insurance. It’s that expensive and it doesn’t get covered by your employer,” he continued. “We don’t get a lot of help. It would be nice to have your boss cover your health insurance every now and then.”

McGeary kicked off his career with 11 consecutive wins, defeating Emanuel Newton for the Bellator light-heavyweight title and successfully defending it against Tito Ortiz. His undefeated streak came to a halt when he lost the title to Davis in 2016. He subsequently lost two of his next three fights. “Everyone hits a little slump in their life one way or another. It just so happens I had mine on national TV,” he confessed. “I’ve evolved as a fighter and evolved as a person. There are things at stake here that I am ready to fight for.”

The English fighter is riding a wave of confidence following a third round TKO of Muhammed Lawal in December and does not intend for history repeat itself at Bellator 220. “I’m more prepared. I’m not coming off a year-and-a-half lay-off. It’s me who wanted this fight,” he said. “Last time he earned his shot for the title and I had to give it to him even though I was not fully one hundred percent recovered. Now I’m f—cking well recovered and I’m ready for a punch out.

“You heard how hard I hit ‘King Mo’. I don’t think he’s going to want to take too many of them,” he exclaimed. “Whatever he comes at me with I’m going to be ready for.”

Bellator 220 airs on DAZN and takes place at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on Saturday, April 27. Keep up with Bloody Elbow for live highlights, updates, and results.

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