(Michael Pastou is ready and in shape for his title fight with Heagney. Image courtesy of Sherdog)
Team Titan’s Michael Pastou returns to action on March 27th at Ultimate Challenge: Adrenaline Rush, where he faces the fighting Stockbroker Francis Heagney. Riding a six-fight win streak, with no losses since his professional debut back in 2006, Pastou most recently earned himself a decision victory over Liverpool’s Mark Glover in his lightweight debut and impressed in doing so. The win was enough to see promoter Dave O’Donnell thrust Pastou into the limelight and right into the title mix; the imminent contest will be for the UCUK 155lbs belt.
Pastou is confident that he has the skills and ability to move forward and his training with Team Titan will set him in good stead.
“It’s been really good,” he said of his preparation. “I’ve been working a lot of stuff with Micky at Titan, my weight is alright and I’m feeling the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been.”
Whilst this is the same rhetoric that many fighters subscribe to before big fights, Pastou can look upon his regime and training partners as confirmation of this:
“I roll around with some of the best guys in the UK,” he noted, stating he isn’t overly worried about Heagney’s submissions following his guillotine win over Tim Radcliffe. “Brad [Pickett], Ash [Grimshaw], Bola [Omoyele] and these guys, and I’m a good wrestler myself. I mean, I am bothered about his subs, but I’m aware and I’m gonna keep my head down and try and avoid his guillotine.”
Pastou has shown his skill set in the past, but believes that people underestimate his striking, and looks at this as an opportunity to show that he is competent in that area, although “a win is a win”, and, as he noted, “people see the wins on Sherdog and don’t care how you got there. You could be getting battered like in the Manhoef vs. Lawler fight [in Strikeforce] but then pull out a big right hand and win. People don’t remember how you got there.”
“I want to prove people wrong and stand and bang and see what happens, but I don’t really like to say much like ‘I’m gonna KO him’ and all that. I’ve had seven fights now and I know how it feels in the cage. I’ll go in there and get used to the fight and Francis and take it from there. I’m ready everywhere.”
Heagney is a very highly-regarded adversary for Pastou, and he recognises this. The championship in one of the UK’s most prestigious promotions is another highly-regarded accolade too. Michael takes every opponent seriously though, and it’s no different this time. “Every fight is different, so I can’t look at Jason [Young]’s win and say that’s how it’ll be for me. It’s MMA and a lot can happen on the day but I’m preparing hard because every single fight means a lot to me. I don’t take any fight lightly. If you put a six year old in the cage with me, I’d train my arse off as I don’t take anyone for granted.”
Heagney certainly isn’t a foe you want to look past; the London Shootfighter has usurped such fighters as Wesley Murch, Tim Radcliffe and Lee Doski. “I respect Heagney and London Shoot,” Pastou noted. “We’re all humble here at Team Titan. I just want a good fight and to go the rounds if it’s needed. I don’t like talking shit.”
With an impressive 6-1 record, compiled against tough competition, the future surely holds big things for the Londoner. He plans to progress and looks at America as a place he’d love to fight in the future, as most fighters aspire to. He isn’t in a rush to get out of the country though, as he has faith in Ultimate Challenge, a show he believes is “the best in Europe”.
“If I can get by Francis then I’d love to defend the title but I take every step as it comes. I love the show and I’m signed by Dave so, if I win, I want to defend my belt. Another big name like Tim [Radcliffe] or somebody like that would be nice.”
He isn’t taking anything for granted, however, and when the two durable London-based athletes meet on the 27th, you can expect an exciting battle. Pastou will plan his future from there, but right now he is focused on delivering a great fight and hopefully taking home the gold and establishing himself as one of the top domestic lightweights.
For more information on the fight card for the 27th, head to ultimatechallengeuk.com.