Cagefighting's not as scary as A&E...

MAEVE and Paul McVeigh are much like any other married couple – except she's a doctor and he's a cagefighter.

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Maeve says cage fighting is nothing compared with a hospital emergency room
Maeve says cage fighting is nothing compared with a hospital emergency room

The Glasgow pair are the subject of an hour-long Channel 5 documentary called Fighters' Wives, to be screened next Thursday.

In the programme, a camera crew follows the couple, who live in the West End, to fight shows as Paul – one of the top bantamweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in Europe – battles in the cage.

MMA is a mix of fighting styles including Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling and boxing, and bouts take place in a cage to prevent fighters falling out of the ring when grappling.

While most partners of MMA stars watch the action anxiously, Maeve is usually working as a cageside doctor and using her years of experience as a locum GP at a variety of Glasgow surgeries and former A&E doctor to tend to injured fighters.

The 31-year-old said: "I've seen it all in my daily work so nothing really shocks me when I'm working cageside.

"And the worst injury you see tends to be a broken nose, which can look bad because of all the blood, but it's really nothing compared to the things you see in A&E.

"I get nervous when Paul fights, of course, but it's a mix of nerves and excitement.

"I know how hard he prepares and I understand the sport, so I don't have any fear at all."

Paul, 30, is also the head coach at Glasgow's famous Griphouse Gym – widely regarded as one of the best MMA gyms in the UK and home to a string of champions.

Maeve is a regular at the gym too, where she takes part in Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes.

The couple have been together since they were teenagers and got married in 2011. Maeve graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 2005 and soon got involved in providing cageside medical care.

Paul said: "She's pretty unflappable. When someone gets injured in training, the fighters are usually freaking out, but Maeve isn't bothered in the slightest.

"I hope Fighters' Wives shows MMA in a true light. We didn't mind being filmed, and the crew were great guys."

l Fighters' Wives, January 24, 10pm.


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