A regular feature on many of the top U.K.’s top events: Polaris, Grapplefest, Grappling Industries and Battlegrapple, he doesn’t go unnoticed with that cheeky grin of his, but don’t be fooled into thinking this young athlete doesn’t have a growing hunger for a quick submission.
He has fought some of the best athletes on the circuit and it is easy to forget that he is just 24 years old, so we definitely expect to see more! In fact, you can should be able to see him in action soon so keep an eye out on his instagram!
He has a catalogue of matches on YouTube, as well as some cool technique videos to show. One thing is evident and that is his quick advancement in his game and how he has caught the leg-lock/Nogi bug, after having started initially in Judo then transitioning into the Gi then, like most, Nogi …
… so without further or do, it is my great pleasure to introduce Eoghan O’Flanagan…
Firstly tell me your name, age and where you’re from, what part of town?
Eoghan O’Flanagan, I’m 24 and come from Harlesden in London.
Where do you currently train and under who?
I currently train and coach Nogi at New School BJJ, which is based in Clapham Junction, London.
Were you a good kid at school and home?Relative to others I think I was probably mid-tier good, never did anything terrible but avoided the squares like the plague and tried to avoid enormous arguments at all cost as they were just boring!
What’s an interesting fact to know about you that no one else would know?Started training judo around the age of 4 – everyone is surprised i “do” stand up because most of my matches I pull guard but it’s only because it’s just less tiring haha
When did you first start training BJJ?I started training under Professor Felipe de Souza in Willesden Sports Centre about 8 and a half years ago, and started full-time training at university (instead of the lectures) …
Did you and if so what did you train before BJJ?Ahh like my previous reply, Judo was the first thing I did, arguably with some success at a young age but eventually dreaded going (too many competitions and hard to balance school with it).
What is your most memorable moment so far since you began training BJJ?
Probably my most memorable moment to date was winning roll models competition late 2017 – something clicked in the finals and I felt fully unstoppable that day for literally no reason.
What’s one of the things you find most frustrating to do with BJJ, can be anything?
Probably the most frustrating things is the constant wave of injuries and little niggles. It’s never-ending and as soon as you clear one another completely unimaginable one pops up.
Who would you say are your top 3 idols past and present? And why?
Top 3 idols (from the BJJ world) would be Garry T. for focussing 100% on being exciting, Gordon R. for the same but also simply winning everything at a young age and J. Danaher just for making loads of money speaking in a monotone and marketing himself well, despite him seeming like a not so nice fella he makes money.
Choose one of them and explain what aspects of their game in particular you like, if you haven’t already answered that?Gordon seems to pull it out of the bag every time and he’s big enough now to deal with and often submit all these huge Brazilian names despite being just a gringo.
What is your favourite submission and why?
My favourite submission is still probably a RNC because it’s got the highest percentage of finishing once you connect your grips arguably and sheer satisfaction. Also, some people have short/weird legs aka Miyaos but everyone’s got a face and neck.
What would you say was your most notable performance and was the most significant in your journey?
Against Ross Nicholls final of role models, he’s the highest-profile person I ever beat or submitted and moments after I got offered sponsorship and it was my first ever prize money win in competition also my flatmate aka “coach Max” and I didn’t have enough to get home in the car petrol wise without the prize money haha.
Polaris must’ve been your up there with one of your biggest achievements, to get onto that stage, how did you end up there?Polaris I ended up there I’m sure because of Gareth Dummer knowing me already (as well as Craig Ewers my coach in Cardiff doing a lot to get me Sponsorships and shows) and because of the popularity of leg locks at the time, it made sense to have me on the prelims.
How do you prepare for a fight on a big stage?
For sub-only matches the preparation will be switching the rounds to fit the time of the match, not much else more you can do with regards to that other than try to stay calm (impossible without experience in one way or another)
I try not to overtrain before competitions. It’s tempting to bang out as much training as you can leading right up to it for your confidence etc but that tends to backfire, just train as you are, take a day or two off before. If its ADCC its a different story because of the wrestling ruleset etc but I’m to this day still figuring out the best way to go about it (rest a day or two before? Don’t rest? Rest a week?) etc.
What’s the worse injury you’ve had? Probably my 4 worst injuries were the ones that stopped me training/competing
-AC joint separation
-my knees going ( both )
And most recently my QL which arguably was the very worst because I couldn’t train around it or barely teach I had to try everything eventually a deep tissue massage was the thing which sorted it (somewhat) but to this day I still can’t bridge to my RHS without acute pain.
How did you overcome that? Overcome with CBD and boredom/I haven’t.
What other adversities in your life have you had to overcome and how did you? Other adversities in life are far and few between, I smoked far far too much and have cut that out completely recently. I can’t say I feel that much better for it and I feel more injury-prone now but my bank loves it.
Do you do any conditioning training?
My conditioning at the moment is almost non-existent. My first conditioning session in ages was with one of my private lessons who kindly offered me PT sessions for free (@recosfitness on IG) and then I had an injury that night so I haven’t been able to continue. I tend to find this always happens when I start doing s and c; the number of injuries in training increases because I’ too tired to muscle out of the very few situations where I’m really in danger of getting injured. I’m aware this is TOTAL bs but from personal experience, this happens all the time. I think Lachlan Giles released a video saying something like if you increased your workload for one week the risk of injury was increased for the next 6 or so weeks due to degeneration in tendons and ligaments etc which I agreed with (i haven’t got a PhD though so my opinion slightly irrelevant).
What does a normal week for you look like to someone that doesn’t know you?
Normal week for me is open-mat Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the London open mat gang, wrestling on a Tuesday at Legion and the rest of it is teaching lessons/privates/training in Clapham Junction. I try to stay busy to stave off boredom but Sunday tends to be a rest day and Monday night I give myself a bit of leeway for laziness. (I realize those last two were in wrong order)
How is your diet?
My diet is pretty good, 7/10. Put simply ill never eat something ridiculously bad instead of a meal but I still have the occasional cornetto…
What food do you like most and why? I like curries when I’m cooking at home, other than that it’s gotta be chicken and rice dishes of all sorts, the combo is unparalleled.
What food do you hate and why?
Don’t hate any particular food but one type of food I can’t stand is overly greasy shit it just ruins any meal with its soggy heaviness and feels dirty as you eat it and the whole way through…
What’s your next plans for BJJ?
Next plans in BJJ are to win an ADCC trials, release a DVD and retire at 25.
Any shout-outs to sponsors or friends/family?
Shout out my sponsors ‘Raine Clothing’ and anyone that made it this far reading this.
What a cool guy! We really appreciate Professor Eoghan for allowing us to gain some insight into his life and the way in which such a lethal athlete can be such a calm and collected guy at the same time and we forget that at just 24 years old, he has so much ahead of him! Really!
We hope you have some takeaways from that interview and we hope you keep a watchful eye for our next piece, which could be from anyone.
Any thoughts are welcome below …