Shay Walsh believes his huge champion versus champion fight on Saturday night has taken him to another level.
Lancaster’s rising MMA star defends his BAMMA Bantamweight title against the company’s featherweight champion Tom Duquesnoy in the main event of BAMMA 25 at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.
The Frenchman is considered one of the hottest prospects in Europe but Walsh is confident he will take another step towards the top of his sport.
He said: “It’s massive.
“Some people are saying this is the biggest card Europe has ever seen.
“There’s a lot a big names and I’m in the headline fight.
“It’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for and I’m the most prepared I’ve ever been.
“Physically and mentally it’s taken me to the next level.”
The Lancaster and Morecambe MMA fighter, 14-3 as a pro, has once again been spending time out in Thailand at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket.
Top sparring and training means the 27-year-old feels in the best shape of his life.
Walsh, who will have brother Sergio in his corner, said: “My preparation has been better than even.
“It’s a big opportunity and one I want to grab with both hands.
“Thailand’s been fantastic, perfect for me. Everything has come together.
“There’s going to be a lot of attention on the fight and there’s a lot of eyes on this kid.
“It’s going to be a tough fight and everyone went our of their way for me.”
Walsh returned to Lancaster last Saturday for final preparations before heading down to Birmingham.
He said: “I’ve got a little bit of weight to lose this week but the hard work is done.
“I’ll just be going over things with my brother and visualising the fight.
“It’s more mental now, all the hard work is done and I don’t want to pick up any silly injuries.”
Walsh is expecting to have more than 100 fans supporting him at the Barclaycard Arena with the show to be streamed live on the BAMMA Facebook page and on MMA website www.sherdog.com.
It will also be broadcast on Freeview channel Spike TV on a date to be confirmed.