Bellator MMA returns to Dublin Friday 27th September at the 3 Arena with James Gallagher headlining the show against late replacement Roman Salazer in a catchweight bout at 140 LBs. The card features some stand out bouts, including MVP vs. Richard Kiely, Benson Henderson vs. Myles Jury and Peter Queally v.s Ryan Scope. The action starts at 4.45pm on the Bellator app before moving to channel 5 at 9pm, SKY Sports show their portion of the card on tape delay at 2am.
Will Fleury, Ireland’s top middleweight prospect has been moved to the SKY Sports section of the card in a bout that seems to have gotten less attention than those previously mentioned. The Tipperary man is charged with the task of overcoming the very talented Norbert Novyeni Jr. whom Fleury trained with in the not so distant past. Novenyi is known to be an impressive wrestler with a bright future in the sport. I caught up with Will Fleury briefly to discuss the fight and the event.
BT: So Will your next opponent Norbert Novenyi Jr. came as a little bit of a surprise following the heat that built up between yourself and Fabian Edwards, most notably on our very own WHOACAST with Mike and Gina. Why Norbert and not Fabian?
WF: I wanted the fight with Fabian, I believe Fabian wanted the fight too but Bellator didn’t seem keen on it. I’m not sure whether they saw it as a potential loss for Fabian that would damage his credibility. I would have smashed him and taken that 0 off his record. Obviously with his brother Leon being a big name in the UFC you could understand why they don’t want him in the cage with someone like me who could knock off someone who is so marketable to them. I’ll be ready for Fabian when the time comes but I’ve Norvenyi first. I’m ready to smash!
BT: Hungarian Novenyi Jr. is unbeaten, albeit with only 3 fights to date. He is the son of an Olympic weightlifter and a talented wrestler. How big a test is this?
WF: Norbert is legit, I’ve trained with him at London Shootfighters a couple of years ago and I know how good a wrestler he is. It’s a difficult fight but that’s why I’m here, I’m not here to take part, I’m here to take over. My game has improved immensely over the past few years and I’m ready to show the fans and Bellator that I’m the guy to beat in the middleweight division. I’m ready to put on a performance and show the world.
BT: I saw on social media recently you’ve been training with Johnny Walker and Karl Moore a lot in the build up to this fight. How important is it having big lads of that calibre around you?
WF: Karl and Johnny are both beasts. I’ve trained a lot with Karl and when he touches you you feel it. The man is on his own road to the top of the game and I think we’ve both brought each other on a lot. Johnny is a crazy fucker, you can see his class in training, it’s great to be a part of a gym that attracts these kind of fighters. It’s a real melting pot for styles and ideas which raises the standards for everyone. One minute you’re rolling with a BJJ black belt, the next you’re in there tearing it up with a top European wrestler or a UFC light heavyweight title contender like Johnny.
BT: Outside of your own fight which one excites you the most on the card?
WF: The card is stacked,there is quality all the way through it. If I can’t chose my own I’m going to say Richard Kiely vs. MVP. People are writing Richard off but don’t sleep on that man, he has some serious knockout power. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him KO MVP. To the bookies and casual fans that might seem like an upset but the guys in the gym know Richard’s quality. It’s a great fight, probably the people’s main event.
Bellator Dublin: Channel 5 and Virgin Media Television live broadcast 10 p.m. BST
Bantamweight Main Event: James Gallagher (9-1) vs. Roman Salazar
Welterweight Co-Main Event: Michael “Venom” Page (14-1) vs. Richard Kiely (3-1)
Lightweight Bout: Ryan Scope (11-2) vs. Peter Queally (11-5-1)
Bellator 227: Sky Sports broadcast (9 p.m. BST)
Lightweight Main Event: Benson Henderson (27-8) vs. Myles Jury (17-4)
Catchweight 165lbs Bout: Kiefer Crosbie (6-1) vs. Hugo Pereira (4-2)
Middleweight Bout: Norbert Novenyi Jr. (3-0) vs. Will Fleury (6-1)
Women’s Featherweight Bout: Leah McCourt (2-1) vs. Kerry Hughes (3-4)
Bantamweight Bout: Frans Mlambo (7-4) vs. Dominique Wooding (6-2)
Updated Preliminary Card Live and free on the Bellator app from 4.45 p.m. BST:
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Camila Rivarola (2-1-1) vs. Danni Neilan (Pro Debut)
Featherweight Bout: George Courtney (1-0) vs. Ciaran Clarke (Pro Debut)
Featherweight Bout: Richie Smullen (4-1-1) vs. Sean Tobin (6-3)
Lightweight Bout: Ryan Roddy (7-1-1) vs. Patrik Pietila (11- 7)
Featherweight Bout: Ilias Bulaid (Pro Debut) vs. Vitalic Maiboroda (Pro Debut)