Bellator Champions Series: Belfast – Media Day

Bellator Champions Series: Belfast – Media Day

We attended the media day for Bellator Champions Series: Belfast to interview the fighters with Combat Sports Today. The card will take place this Friday, March 22nd, and will stream on DAZN in most countries, but on HBO MAX in the USA. Here’s a collection of some of the best questions and answers:

Nate Kelly

Nate Kelly is a 19-year-old amateur MMA fighter, fighting out of SBG Ireland. Despite only being an amateur, PFL is treating Nate like a pro, and it’s causing him to become a star in the Irish MMA scene. He features on the same cards as the pros, fighting in arenas in front big crowds.

When I asked him about this unique experience, Nate expressed his gratitude to the PFL and Bellator for giving him these opportunities. I also asked if he has any plans to go pro any time soon, to which he replied, “I’m not 100% ready to go right now. The next one won’t be pro, but I think we’re getting closer every single fight.”

Ciarán Clarke

Ciarán Clarke is an undefeated MMA fighter (8-0), hailing out of Drogheda and training at SBG Ireland. He is one of the top prospects coming out of Ireland right now. Ciarán spoke to me about his weight cut down to Bantamweight, after previously fighting primarily at Featherweight, the support he receives from the people of his hometown, and how active he wants to be in 2024.

When I asked him how he felt about the support he receives from his hometown, Ciarán replied, “It’s unreal, I mean, I wouldn’t be around without them, that’s just a fact.” He then goes on to express his gratitude to the people of Drogheda. He acknowledged that he wouldn’t be where he is right now if they hadn’t bought tickets to his earlier fights.

James Gallagher

James Gallagher is a 12-2 MMA fighter from Tyrone, Ireland. He was near the top of the Bellator Featherweight division a few years ago, before an unfortunate string of injuries and fight cancellations left him with only three fights since 2020.

When I asked him how he worked through that struggle mentally, he gave credit to his discipline for helping him see through his career. He stated, “A shit training session is better than no training session.” He credited his incredible discipline to his pure love for fighting. James also spoke to me about his short-notice change of opponent, but told me it didn’t change much about his training camp, as he always prepares for all styles.

Jeremy Kennedy

Jeremy Kennedy is a 19-3 Canadian MMA fighter, a UFC vet and currently with Bellator. He was originally slated to fight James Gallagher, but on fairly short notice, the card was switched around. Now he has been promoted to a title fight, taking on current Bellator Featherweight champion and Bellator legend, Patricio Pitbull.

When I asked Jeremy about the change of opponent, he expressed a sense of relief. He told me he had been chasing this fight for years and when it was looking like it might never happen, all of a sudden it did. He told me, “That was the best phone call I got, that my opponent got switched.” When I asked him how he changed his fight camp to suit a now 5-round fight, he replied, “I’d say that’s probably the biggest part, was that three-to-five, but he’s in the same boat. You know his fight in Saudi was [meant to be] a three-round fight.”

This fight came together after Pitbull’s fight against PFL Featherweight champion, Jesus Pinedo, fell through back in February, giving Jeremy the huge opportunity to fight for the title.

Patricio Pitbull

Patricio Pitbull is a 35-7 MMA legend and long-reigning Bellator Featherweight champion. He holds the record for the most title fight wins in Bellator history.

He spoke to me about how he plans to bounce back from his two recent losses. Pitbull told me, “I’m a man, I made that decision, and I don’t regret it. Now I’m back and I feel great.” He seems to have put the losses behind him and is now purely focused on defending his title.

I also asked him about two potential future match-ups. The first, a rematch with Chihiro Suzuki, RIZIN’s Featherweight Champion and the last man to beat Pitbull. The second was Jesus Pinedo, PFL’s Featherweight Champion, who Pitbull was booked to fight in Saudi Arabia back in February until Pinedo pulled out due to injury. Pitbull said yes to both and seemed very enthusiastic about both match-ups.

Bellator Belfast Media Day – Overall

Every single fighter had something interesting to say at media day. This made me look forward to the fights even more. The Bellator and PFL merger has opened many interesting match-ups and many more opportunities for fighters in the organisation. You can find all my interviews with the Bellator Belfast fighters on @CSTodayNews Youtube channel. Tune in on Friday night to see all the action from Bellator Belfast!

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