“Nobody is giving me a chance which is great”

By Stephen Leonard

RICHIE Kiely is never one short on confidence and the Tallaght MMA fighter remains his expectant self ahead of, what is sure to be, his biggest test when he takes on Michael ‘Venom’ Page at the 3 Arena on September 27.

The rising SBG welterweight has fought just four times in MMA, three under the BAMMA banner and once under Bellator while British MMA star, Page has 15 fights under his belt, suffering just one reversal.

Richie Kiely qq 1

Richie Kiely

Still Kiely is adamant he has more than enough in his kit to produce a massive shock in what is the co-main event on this much-anticipated bill.

“He [Page] is one of the biggest names in MMA. He’s an MMA Superstar” admitted Kiely.

“He’s regarded as one of the best strikers in the world and the face of Bellator, but he’s never fought anyone like me.

“He’s had some high-level knockouts, but he’s never faced someone who’s equally as fast as him and he’s coming into this off the back of a knockout.

“Nobody is giving me a chance which is great. Nobody thought I could beat Keith McCabe and look what happened there, the same with Daniel Olejniczak. That was my coming out fight as the face of BAMMA.

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“This is a huge platform and it’s going to put me in the spotlight. For the neutral, it’s going to be a brilliant fight to watch” he stressed.

Certainly Page does boast a most impressive record, winning all but one of his 15 MMA contests, although he did ship his first loss in his most recent outing against Douglas Lima back in May.

While Kiely does not boast as much MMA experience, he was quick to point out that his years as a top kickboxer will serve him well when he faces off against the highly-acclaimed Londoner.

“What people are seeing is that I’ve only had four fights and he’s had 15, but what they don’t know about is all my years as a kickboxer. I’m a world-class kickboxer.

“He’s won his fights in MMA, but I’ve not had that level of visibility.

“He fights very similar to me. He’s tall, long and rangy. He blitzes very fast and escapes quickly too so he covers distances very quickly, but I’ve fought these types of fighters before and I know what I have to do.

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“He’s very one dimensional. I can cover those distances and then I can stay in close which makes me very dangerous. He’s dramatically underestimating me. I’m going to shock the world when I beat him” he assured.

This will mark Kiely’s first outing since February when he stopped Mickael Bucher in the opening round of their clash on Bellator 217.

He was due to fight Galore Bofando on Bellator 223, but was forced to pull out with an untimely muscle injury.

While disappointed at having to withdraw from that show, Kiely was not willing to suffer a repeat of the setback he suffered in 2017 when he opted to fight Alex Lohore when contending with a bad knee injury and consequently suffered his first loss.

“I learned from the Alex Lohore fight which I took because I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity even though I was carrying a very bad injury.

“With Bofando, I didn’t want to go into that fight and sell myself short. That type of fight I knew could come around again, but I was disappointed I could not take it” he added.

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