Kiely confident ahead of big fight

By Sean Heffernan

A NEW chapter in the career of former kickbox-ing world champion Richard Kiely commences tomorrow night (Friday) at the BAMMA/Belator show in the 3 Arena, when he takes on Keith McCabe of Team Ryano in his MMA debut.

“The training is going brilliant, all the hard work is done, it is just a case of keeping the energy and stamina levels,” said a confident Kiely.

Black Panthers Richie Kiely cropped

“Having John Kavanagh and Noel Roche by my side has been invaluable. They have a wealth of experience and have been in the biggest shows.”

Regarding his opponent on the night, Keith McCabe, (one win and one loss to date) Kiely feels his opponent may under-estimate him, given he has only recently moved into MMA from the world of kickboxing. 

“While he is aggressive and fast on his feet, I don’t think he is someone who can match my skillset and style, and I am confident I can take him down,” insisted the Tallaght man.

As for the transition from being a kickboxer into MMA, it was not as difficult as he thought it might be.

“I was going from the top level of one martial arts discipline into the lower levels of another, I had to leave my ego at the door, and be prepared to put the hard work in, which I have.

“I would like to thank all my sponsors for all the help they’ve given me, I really appreciate it.”

The SBG club has been a great help to Kiely, and his sparring partners have enabled him to up his game considerably in quick time, boosting his confidence no end.

Not many fighters can say they will be making their professional debut at the 3Arena. You might think he’d be daunted at the prospect, but not so.

“I can’t wait to step into the ring in the 3 Arena. I feed off the pressure and I really enjoy the buzz, and I hope to give the 9,500 spectators plenty to cheer about on the night”.

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