Sunday 25 September 2016

Ireland's Neil Seery to retire after UFC Belfast

Published 20/09/2016 | 08:58

Neil Seery. Picture credit: Esther Lin / SPORTSFILE
Neil Seery. Picture credit: Esther Lin / SPORTSFILE

Dubliner Neil Seery has confirmed he will retire from the UFC after the Belfast show in November.

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As exclusively revealed on Independent.ie yesterday, Seery will fight Ian McCall in Belfast in November and in an interview with Newstalk published today, Seery says that will be his final bout in the UFC.

“I’m going to get to walk away while I’m still in the UFC and not a lot of people get to do that. A lot of people get cut from the UFC and then try to put a run back together to get back in," Seery told Newstalk.

“I’ve made this decision. My final fight will be against a man whose style I have admired for a long time. The fact that I get to have my final fight in Belfast is just a really nice bonus.”

The Finglas native will take on the American fighter Ian ‘Uncle Creepy’ McCall. McCall will be the second top five ranked opponent Seery will have faced in as many fights. 

The pair will meet at UFC Fight Night: Kim vs. Nelson, which takes place inside The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday, November 19th. Given that both men are ‘go forward’ fighters you can probably expect to see this one on the main card.

Speaking about the match, Seery was delighted to accept such a challenge – “I know there’s a lot of fighters who would not fancy a fight with Ian McCall but I can’t wait. After my last win in Dublin I said that all I wanted was big fights against good exciting opponents. I got that against (Kyogi) Horiguchi and I’ve got it again now against McCall.” 

Following a series of injuries, McCall (13-5-1, fighting out of Irvine, California) was forced to sit out on the side-lines and await his return to action. A string of bad luck then saw two back to back bouts cancelled for the California-born fighter, as scheduled fights with Justin Scoggins and Ray Borg at UFC 201 and UFC 203 respectively were cancelled. 

After the most recent bout was nixed, McCall took to Instagram to explain his plight and suggested: “How about I come back to Ireland and put on a show with Neil Seery?” 

Needless to say the Irish MMA veteran replied: “I game as f*** and I come to fight.”

Seery (16-12-0), is fighting out of Team Ryano on Dublin’s Northside. He will be looking to rally the support of Irish and Northern Irish fans inside The SSE Arena on the night, as he prepares to face his third top five contender in the UFC’s 125lbs division. 

His coach, Andy Ryan is confident Neil will put on a good performance and dismisses the thought that he can’t compete in the upper echelons of the division.

“Neil is up there with the best of the flyweights in the UFC. He’s got great striking, great cardio and what people don’t know about him is that he’s got great jiu-Jitsu as well. The only difference for Neil is that MMA is not his full time occupation.

"He has a full time job, four kids, a wife and lots of other things going on in his life. Unfortunately he doesn’t get to train in the morning, go home have a rest and come back in the evening train again like most top flight pro’s. But that doesn’t mean he can’t compete with the best of them. Imagine how good he’d be if he’d been training full time” explained Ryan.

“He doesn’t even have time on his side but it tells you how well he’s thought of by the UFC as a 37 year old to still be getting big fights. I’m delighted he’s getting this fight and Ian (McCall) is a great opponent for him. You can guarantee it’ll be a cracker.”

The event will be headlined by a five round welterweight bout between “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim, (21-3-1; fighting out of Busan, South Korea) one of South Korea’s most decorated athletes, and adopted Irishman, Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (15-2-1; fighting out of Reykjavik, Iceland) who trains out of Dublin’s Straight Blast Gym. 

Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: KIM vs. NELSON will go on general sale on Friday, September 23.

Also announced on the card is a women’s strawweight bout between Denmark’s Anna “Panda” Elmose, who faces  the finalist of most recent The Ultimate Fighter®, Amanda “ABC” Cooper.  

Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: KIM vs. NELSON will be available to the general public on Friday, September 23 from 10:00 a.m. BST available via the SSE Arena box office and Ticketmaster. UFC Fight Club members will be able to secure their ticket early on Wednesday, September 21 and UFC newsletter subscribers will gain access on Thursday, September 22 at 10:00 a.m. BST. 

Fans are advised to follow @UFCEurope on Twitter for all the latest #UFCBelfast news. 

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