LIVERPOOL, England – Daniel Kelly is hoping for the best possible outcome for his fight on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 130. However, he has also prepared for the possibility of the worst.
Kelly (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), who at 40 is sitting on a two-fight skid for the first time, feels he’s in a do-or-die situation ahead of his UFC Fight Night 130 matchup with Tom Breese (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) when it comes to both his UFC and MMA careers.
Not only does Kelly think he would be cut from the UFC roster with another loss, but he said he doesn’t have much of a desire to compete elsewhere if that should become reality. The Aussie has done everything in his power to assure that doesn’t happen, though, and that includes mixing up his usual preparation by training in Thailand and Ireland.
“If I lose another one, then I’m definitely done,” Kelly today told MMAjunkie. “I changed things a lot this preparation, I did a lot more than I normally do, and we did everything that we possibly can to try to create that (winning situation).”
UFC Fight Night 130 takes place at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Kelly’s bout against middleweight Breese airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Give his age, Kelly said he doesn’t intend to compete much longer anyway. The Olympian in judo has had a long athletic career, most of which has required a lot of physical strain. He said he can still train and fight at a high level, but he understands that time catches up with everyone.
Kelly said he doesn’t want to be forced out of the sport by a string of losses, though. Ideally he wants to leave the game under his own volition, and that means winning at UFC Fight Night 130 then potentially doing an official retirement bout the next time the UFC hosts an event in Australia.
“If I can fight the way I think I can and I know I can, I should win the fight, and then I can finish on my terms,” Kelly said. “I can finish my career on my terms. But you’ve got to be realistic. I am 40. I still feel good. I’m still training well. But at some point the story has to finish.”
Nearly 12 years after his MMA debut, Kelly said he’s got a firm understanding of the sport. Not every career ends under ideal circumstances, but Kelly said he has a good shot at his dream scenario; he just has to get through Breese first.
“I’ve made peace with it all,” Kelly said. “I want to fight, I’m excited to fight. … In reality I want to finish at home. I want to have my kids involved because they’re a little bit older now.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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