‘I’m gonna make him wish he never took the fight’ – Nathan Kelly pumped for Dublin date
Nathan Kelly Talks About Headlining at Home at the 3Arena
In what has been a major week for PFL on the global stage with the news of their acquisition of Bellator, Pundit Arena begins to look ahead to PFL Europe 4 which takes place on our shores on December 8th.
The finale of the promotions inaugural European Championship tournament takes place at the 3Arena as four European Championships are up for grabs, along with a $100,000 cheque for the four title winners.
Despite these four exciting title fights, SBG Ireland’s Nathan Kelly tops the bill when he faces Frenchman Dimitry Solimeis. Kelly has been on a tear since debuting in the PFL, earning three straight wins, including two first round submission finishes.
The 26-year-old is highly thought of within the promotion, and the faith they have in his star power is clear to see as he takes centre stage in the 3Arena in two weeks’ time.
PFL Senior Vice-President James Frewin spoke to Pundit Arena about Kelly’s potential earlier in the week: ‘He is the future of Irish mixed martial arts. He’s at the top of the card based on his performances, the run that he’s on, and how exciting he is as a fighter to watch.’
Nathan Kelly with a DOMINANT 1st round victory by submission 🇮🇪
— DAZN MMA (@daznmma) March 4, 2023
Surreal moment for Nathan Kelly.
Nathan explained to me how surreal it is to headline at the 3Arena, and how fast it’s all happened for him: “When I fought on Bellator I had a little bit of a feeling that one day this could be me, and I’ll be able to top the bill and I can bring the crowd, but I was second on the card that night (February 2022).
“Now just over a year and a half later and here I am headlining a card, it’s a bit surreal!”
“Ultimately, I’ve just been flat out working, fighting, and improving while really showing my skillset in each fight, and obviously I have a have a good fan base who are very supportive.
“So, you mix them together and you’re gonna get opportunities, and you can best believe when I’m given an opportunity, I take it head on and I run with it.”
I asked Nathan how he feels about this matchup against Dimitry Solimeis, and how he sees the fight going: ‘I’m just preparing for a taller, longer, lankier, more awkward type of fighter to the best of my ability.
“I don’t think he’ll want to grapple, he will want to work his kicks and knees. But I don’t care if he’s longer, I think my skill set is too strong for him.
“I’m coming to fight, I’m coming to finish every single time, and I’m looking to take this lads’ head clean off and take a chin or a limb home.”
— PFL (@PFLMMA) August 13, 2022
Nathan explained the important role he expects his home crowd to play in the fight:
“He’s gonna have a hostile crowd cheering me on, and he’s gonna feel the pressure and ultimately when I’m in these high-pressure situations, I always feel like I flourish and thrive in them.”
Kelly oozes self-belief and has absolute confidence in his abilities, and with the form he is in you cannot blame him.
He is on an eight fight win streak, fighting in his fourth PFL fight in the space of fourteen months, and he is looking to put an exclamation point on this performance to cap off what promises to be a memorable night in the capital.
“I’m gonna go in, hit him extremely hard, make him wish he never took the fight, and then obviously get the finish, whether that be a KO or if it’s me taking him down, smashing him on the ground, and choking him out.”
With a win in the main event of this one, Irish fans will realise that they have another special talent on their hands, and one who is destined to go all the way to the top.