Nate 'The Great' Kelly has gone from Conor McGregor's press conference pal to his team-mate – and has now signed with a major promotion on a developmental contract.
Now 19, Kelly trains at SBG Ireland under John Kavanagh, having insisted before McGregor fought Jose Aldo that he would one day have UFC gold wrapped around his waist.
His journey in MMA has now taken a huge step after the flyweight agreed a deal with PFL Europe to fight on their bumper Dublin card – as he looks to find success of his own on the global stage.
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Nicknamed 'The Great', Kelly is a two-time amateur world champion and 11 time national kickboxing champion – and is regarded as one of the best prospects in Ireland and a future face of the sport.
Now 19, he will step into the SmartCage on Friday, December 8 in the 3Arena in Dublin in a showcase amateur bout, before the inaugural PFL Europe season ends with four championship winners.
It's been eight years since his viral speech captured the attention of the nation, with the kickboxing black belt asking Dana White back in 2015 for an advance on his eventual paycheck.
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Speaking of the signing, Kelly said: "What a moment 19 years of age competing in the 3Arena for one of the worlds leading MMA organisations in PFL Europe a dream come true! This has been a long time coming built off of years of hard work.
"I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and I’m ready to show the world how good I am thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey."
The rest of card has been billed as the Irish takeover, with John Mitchell, Frans Mlambo, Nate Kelly, Dylan Tuke, Andreeas Binder, Ben Davis and the similarly named Nathan Kelly among the stars in action.
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Dan Hardy, head of fighter operations for PFL Europe, said: "Supporting the two Irish representatives in the championship bouts, we have a stacked undercard of Irish stars ready to put on a show for the Dublin fans.
"From high level amateurs to the next generation of European and World champions, PFL Europe in Dublin will showcase the best of Irish talent that the Emerald Isle has to offer."
PFL Europe's first season comes to a close with four title bouts as Dakota Ditcheva and Simeon Powell bid to win £87,000 and a spot in the PFL regular season in 2024.
DAZN is the home of PFL in the UK. Watch PFL Europe Championship from the 3Arena on Friday, December 8.
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