Nick Laney Ireland

By Luke Henderson
Nick Laney is a decorated fighter based out of Infinite MMA in Loveland, Colorado. He holds wins over major names, titles, records. But a year ago the fighter decided the thing his career needed most was a bit more green, and relocated to Ireland. “I had heard about an opportunity to take over as the head of an MMA program in Cork and after thinking it over and consulting with my family and mentors, I decided to pursue it. I was there for a little over 11 months,” Laney said.
One of the standout fighters in Colorado, he made the unheard of move of not just changing states, but whole countries. Confusion was immediate from fans who wondered if perhaps he wasn’t going back to reconnect with some Irish roots that none knew about. “Yeah, with a name like Laney right? Well, my dad was adopted by a Laney, so no, not Irish by heritage. But you say I look Irish? Not sure, after being around those guys, that this is as much of a compliment as you think it is,” Laney said, with a good natured jab at his new found family in Ireland.
He speaks highly, nearly poetically, about his time on the Emerald Isle. “The best part was being able to experience a different culture and see another part of the world on someone else’s dime. I had a lot of fun meeting and getting to know my new team and helping them progress as martial artists. The team I ran is called The MMA Clinic, and there are a lot of talented, really hardworking guys there,” he said.
The big question, of course, was what did he do to fit in with the indigenous people of Ireland and did a certain popular drink help him acclimate? “The more I drank, the more Irish I felt. But what, Guinness? No sir. We drink Murphy’s in the real capitol of Ireland!” Laney said with a shout.
Imbibing of the drink is one thing, but food in another. Ireland has been long stereotyped by American consumers as being a land of lush fields and awful food, an ugly rumor Laney wants to put to rest right away. “Oh, the food! The food was great actually. A lot of people bad mouth it, but honestly if you know where to look they have some of the best meat and produce in the world,” he said.
But for fans of the sport, a big question is if MMA looks the same the world over. “They tap like you do, they get knocked out, they win. It’s all the same. A fight is a fight, everywhere you go,” Laney said.
Though he was a world away, Laney made headlines all the way back in the states in April with a Superman-punch, a leaping closed fist, that knocked out his opponent. “That was one thing I had been showing the guys in the gym. I said you could have fun and be effective in the ring. I had a great first round and started feeling really comfortable, so I tried a show-time kick in the second by the timing was a little off. My opponent gave me a high five for attempting it. Then he pressured forward and the range and timing was just too perfect and it hit and it dropped him,” Laney said.
Worldwide acclaim aside, Laney’s time in Ireland was not always perfect. The father of a young daughter, he spent a great deal of the time wondering about the moments he was missing back home.
“It was extremely difficult, definitely the hardest part of the whole experience. I missed thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, my daughter’s birthday, those are things you can’t get back. But I’m doing my best to make up for it now by spending as much time as I can with her,” Laney said.

Some of that time though, is now dedicated to preparing for his first fight since returning to the US. No sooner had the man known as ‘The Natural’ returned, than promoters were knocking on his door to get him back in the cage. He’ll be fighting for Sparta Combat League on November 16 at their ‘Lords of the Legion’ show at the Grizzly Rose. “I’m excited to be fighting for Sparta again. I look forward to any time I can punch someone in the face and not go to jail,” Laney said with a laugh.
Laney is 5-1 as a professional and 13-2 lifetime. Out of all of those fights, stretching back to 2008, only one has gone to a decision. So he has reason to be confident. “My opponent is supposed to be a pretty good wrestler but I’m confident in my skills wherever the fight goes. If I don’t KO him before we hit the ground then you’ll get to see him tap out instead,” Laney promised.
Laney returns to Colorado from Cork to an adoring family, an improved level of competition, and a renewed interest in the sport locally. While new fans may not know him, those that remember are ready to embrace his winning style once more and welcome him back from the land of the fairy folk, to the Rocky Mountains.

Photo Credits:
Fight Poster: Photo Provided by Sparta Combat League
Picture0002-Nick Laney prepares to engage an opponent. Photo provided by Nick Laney
Picture0003-Nick Laney enjoys the Irish countryside. Photo provided by Nick Laney

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