‘First or Second Round Submission’ – Nathan Kelly Eyes Victory in PFL Dublin Showdown Against Dimitry Solimeis
Nathan Kelly was in confident form after Wednesday’s PFL Dublin Press Conference. The Finglas native takes on Dimitry Solimeis in the 3Arena headliner which will be broadcast live on Virgin Media Two on Friday night.
Kelly is aiming for his fourth win under the PFL banner to extend his current win streak to nine.
His opponent Solimeis has an impressive four knockouts in his six career wins and definitely carries a threat to Kelly on the feet, while his height and reach on top of that make the matchup an interesting one.
Dan Hardy gave Pundit Arena his thoughts on the main event, ‘Nathan can’t really play at distance in that one and we know he is very good at getting inside and landing his strikes. He also knows he has that ground game that could potentially cause Solimeis some problems, he can close distance aggressively and maybe bank on getting the takedown.
‘If Nathan gets in top position, that’s where Solimeis’ size becomes problematic. Longer limbs, long neck, long legs, mean there is lots to clamp on to for submissions. So if I’m Nathan Kelly, I am confident that there are ways that I can win this fight, but I can’t disrespect the fact that he is a very tricky opponent, especially on the feet.’
I caught up with Nathan to ask him how he felt now that he has stood in front of his opponent and seen his size, ‘It’s always good to get eyes on your opponent. You’re sort of trying to understand where to aim the punches at almost!’
Kelly however dismissed the idea that Solimeis’ size advantage will cause him problems on the night, telling me ‘I’ve sparred taller guys all camp, I’m used to sparring taller guys just because I’m a shorter fighter, especially for featherweight so it’s nothing out of the ordinary for me.
‘I can’t wait to go in there and show on the night that regardless of your height, size, or skill, I’m coming in there and I’m gonna put you away, that’s what I’m here to do!’
“The Fighting Pride of the Northside” went on to dismiss any ideas that being in the main event slot at home will add any pressure on to his shoulders, ‘This is the career I wanted, I always wanted the spotlight and the attention on me and obviously it has doubled up now being the main event. I feel like I am in full flow now as an MMA fighter and this is all just part of the job. It’s just a fight. The arena, the fans, the opponent, it can all change in a heartbeat, it’s just a fight and there’s no point in overthinking it.’
I finally asked Kelly if he had a prediction for the fight and he confidently replied, ‘First or second round submission.’
If he was to finish this one in the early rounds, it would be a career highlight for the Dubliner and would round off what could potentially be a great night for Irish MMA in the capital.