On November 10, Richard Kiely gets the chance to claim gold when he takes on BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore.
It’s been an incredible twelve months for the Tallaght native, having only turned pro last year and contested just two fights prior to this championship bout.
It has been a swift rise for the powerful welterweight; a year ago he was 0-0 as a professional now he is 2-0 with two highlight-reel knockouts to his name and he stands on the cusp of a title being draped around his waist. Things may have unfolded quicker than Kiely imagined but he’s always had the title in his sights:
“While I didn’t envision getting a world title shot within the year, I definitely knew it was going to be quick. I have the skill and the ability, I knock people out. I fight with my hands down and chin up and BAMMA and ‘LaWhore’ know a star when they see one and they’re both looking to take it to the next level off of my name.”
Still relatively new to the MMA scene, Kiely isn’t concerned about people doubting his credentials;
“It makes no difference to me. They’ll all be in for a shock on November 10. ‘LaWhore’ doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for. I’m too fast and too powerful for him. Look at how I glide around on my toes; it looks like I’m on a ballroom dancefloor rather than a cage.”
A regular face down in SBG Tallaght, Kiely has certainly put the work in to get to this point but he couldn’t have done it without the team behind him who have ensured he is fully prepared for this fight:
“Support has been phenomenal, particularly in Tallaght. It makes me very proud to represent my area and my country. In terms of the preparation, everyone trots out the same old clichés of ‘best camp ever’. Let’s just say that the killers I train with day in and day out are all world class athletes and the training sessions will be harder than the actual fight”.
The one thing that is quite evident about Kiely is he certainly backs his own talents and doesn’t let an ounce of worry enter his mind once the cage door slams shut. On fight night his family and friends will be in attendance roaring him on and he acknowledges the stress they must feel watching him perform:
“I think it’s more difficult for my family than it is for me. However, they know my capabilities and I perform best under pressure. Despite only being a professional eleven months and having just two fights, I’ve had a successful and storied kickboxing career.
So this isn’t my first time to fight at the top level.”
His opponent, Alex Lohore claimed the belt when he stopped Nathan Jones at BAMMA 31 and he immediately called Kiely out. Lohore has a record of 13-1 and is undefeated in his last nine contests; seven of them have come by early stoppage.
But Lohore finishing abilities aren’t causing Kiely any sleepless nights:
“I never underestimate my opponents. I think ‘LaWhore’ is overrated but he has got a knack for nicking wins against better fighters than him, just look at his wins against Harry Maple and Nathan Jones.
I won’t make that mistake however, I’m fairly sure I know his game plan anyway and I will expose him for what he is; a soon to be former champion.”
With the fight nearing and his training camp dwindling down, thoughts have shifted to what way he sees this fight going and Kiely has given Pundit Arena this very bold prediction:
“Verbal submission 30 seconds into the first round. When he realises he’s outclassed, he will get knocked out.”
There are only a few tickets remaining for BAMMA 32 on November 10, so get them before they sell out and witness the new face of Irish MMA on his journey to stardom.
Ed Larkin, Pundit Arena