Darragh Kelly 1-0-0 is an Irish Professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the lightweight division of Bellator MMA. He made his professional debut at Bellator 275 on February 25th. He also holds an undefeated amateur record of 9-0-0. Throughout his amateur career, he competed for Chaos FC, Clan Wars, Akuma MMA and German MMA Championship.
I would like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me, Darragh. And also to congratulate you on your phenomenal win on your highly anticipated return to Dublin.
Rocking the 3arena to its very foundations when Bellator 275 returned to Dublin on February 25th. taking your long-awaited 1st step onto the professional circuit, after your pro debut was put on hold back in November 2021 due to the unfortunate injury sustained to your opponent for Bellator 270, Junior Morgan. It must have been an amazing feeling, not just to be able to compete but also to make that statement on your pro debut Submitting your previously scheduled opponent Junior Morgan in your own Backyard?
“It was brilliant to finally get to show the Irish crowd what I’m about. As you said, my first fight got cancelled in November, it was taken away from me and I thought I’d be making my debut on some other show. Thankfully it all came back and I was going to make the most of it. I was happy to go in and put on a dominant performance and get home out of there early.”
Combining your freshly made pro record along with an undefeated record from your time in the amateur division will make for interesting matchmaking for future events for Scott Coker and his team at Bellator MMA. Coming off that resounding W, what’s next for you?
“I need to talk things over with my coach, but I’m fairly sure Bellator is going to be my home for a while. I’m looking forward to just showing the division what I’m about. Remaining undefeated and putting people away in dominant fashion, hopefully, it won’t be too long. I’d like to get another run out in May, hopefully, if all goes to plan it will be the Paris card or London, it would be ideal.”
As previously stated, your walk to the cage at the 3arena was put on hold with Morgan back at Bellator 270. Having that little extra time to not just put finishing touches to your fight plan, but possibly do a little more research on your opponent for your rescheduled meeting. Have you done anything in the way of research on Junior with the added time placed before you?
“I did very little research on Morgan, I think I watched maybe half of a fight one time of his. He was orthodox, he was tall, long-range so it was a simple game plan. I Was going to kick his legs, throw a heavy overhand and take him down. It went exactly how I thought it would. I just focus more on my skills than looking too deep into my opponent.”
Bellator’s return to Ireland brought with it a star-studded array of explosive practitioners from your home country to the card. Danni McCormack, Sinead Kavanagh and Ceiran Clark just to name a few hometown heroes who went to war. Were there any matchups in particular that you enjoyed witnessing?
“The fight that I really enjoyed the most, obviously all of my teammates’ fights were great, I really enjoyed Nathan Kelly‘s matchup against Scott Pedersen. He was dominant from start to finish, I like his style. It’s exciting. I also really enjoyed Daniele Scatizzi, one of our teammates at SBG Ireland. Although he was on the wrong side of the decision, it was just an exciting fight, he always brings it every time he gets in there, you know you’re going to be entertained. Back and forth in a very close fight with the Russian. Lee Hammond was very, very, impressive. as I knew it would be, getting in there and dispatching of his opponent effortlessly really. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that were in attendance at the 3arena?
“My message for the fans is I’m looking forward to my next bout. I can’t wait to fight in front of them again. Since Scott Coker says he’s coming back in autumn, I think it’s going to be October. I can’t wait to fight in front of you all again in Dublin.”