“The Most Hated Man In That Arena” – Oban Elliott is relishing the chance to face James Sheehan in enemy territory

Oban Elliott

Surging Welsh prospect, Oban Elliott, is set to make his way over to the Emerald Isles, where he will face off against a hometown hero, in a fight that will likely determine who is next to compete for the Cage Warriors 170lb title.

Ever since turning pro, Oban Elliott has been looked upon as the next big thing out of Wales. Training out of Shore MMA, alongside the likes UFC featherweight Jack ‘Tank’ Shore and Bellator bantamweight Brett Johns, ‘The Welsh Gangster’ could not ask for a better stable to further hone his skills.

However, hype and expectation can be a double-edged sword. Very early on in his pro career, Elliott was matched up with some killers in the Cage Warriors roster, dropping a pair of early losses. But rather than rest on his laurels and fade away like so many hype trains before him have, Elliott bounced back with a vengeance.

Now riding a three-fight winning streak, Oban Elliott is now in sight of a Cage Warriors title shot, and past that, a call-up to the UFC. At Cage Warriors 153, Elliott will face off against James Sheehan, who has walked a remarkably similar road to Elliott in terms of his pro career.

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With both men in excellent form, combined with the fact that they currently appear set to compete in the co-main event of a card headlined by a welterweight title unification bout between Rhys McKee and Jimmy Wallhead, it would be logical to assume that their fight is an unofficial No.1 contender matchup.

In a recent interview with LowKickMMA’s Frank Bonada, Oban Elliott appeared to confirm that the winner would be guaranteed a shot at gold. He stated the following:

“It’s a massive fight. The winner gets a title shot. But I don’t give a f***. Like that makes a f***ing difference to me. But yeah, it’s a big fight. These are the big nights that I wanted… I stayed the course, and I’ve worked my way up to get to these nights. It’s gonna be a big one.”

When pressed on the matter of a potential title shot, ‘The Welsh Gangster’ made it abundantly clear that it wasn’t something on the forefront of his mind:

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“I literally don’t care anyway. Whether someone has got some f***ing belt to put on their shoulders to take Instagram photos with, and call themselves the champion, that’s fine. But I wake up every single day and look at myself in the mirror, and see the f***ing man. Regardless of whether I’ve got a f***ing belt or anything else. But it is a world title eliminator. It’s kinda obvious.”

‘The Most Hated Man In That Arena’

Irish crowds are known to be some of the best in the world when it comes to MMA, loyally backing their fighters from the early prelims all the way to the main card, regardless of the result.

When Oban Elliott walks into the 3Arena in Dublin, he is already anticipating a hostile environment, which he intends to fully embrace. He stated that:

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“I will probably be the most hated man in that arena. We’re already putting things in place for where I’m gonna be going afterward. Because I just don’t think that I’m gonna be able to help myself when you’ve got all them thousands of Irish people booing me.”

However, whilst he may plan to antagonize the Irish fans, there is a level of respect between him and Sheehan.

“He recognizes who the man is in this weight class. Edith (Labelle) asked him about a world title fight, and his response was all about me. So, respect there, to Sheehan. He knows what’s going on. He knows what the atmosphere’s like in the dressing rooms. He knows who the man is. Look, he’s a great fighter, and we’re gonna get it on.”

Oban Elliott and James Sheehan will face off in the co-main event of Cage Warriors 153 in Dublin, Ireland, on the 29th of April.

Check out the full interview with Oban Elliott right here: