Monday 18 March 2019

MMA child prodigy Nathan Kelly: I'm not the next Conor McGregor, I'm going to be better

Cormac Byrne

Ultra-confident nine-year-old MMA sensation Nathan Kelly isn't going to be the next Conor McGregor, he is going to be the best fighter the UFC has ever seen.

The young Dubliner shot to fame last night when he told UFC chief Dana White to sign him up in front of a packed audience at the final leg of the UFC 189 World Tour.

A video of the SBG fighter went viral overnight on Twitter and Kelly sees a big future ahead of him.

“It was amazing last night it was a great experience," he told

“I’m not going to be the next Conor, I’m going to be better than Conor.

"I work hard, I train hard and I'm going to be a champion.

“I’ve been doing kick-boxing since I was four and I’ve been doing jiu jitsu since I was seven.

“I’m going to stay up and watch the Conor McGregor-Jose Aldo fight. I think it’s going to be an interesting fight but I think Conor will knock him out in the first round.

“I told Aldo that yesterday, I met Aldo and said, ‘Aldo, I like you as a fighter but I think Conor is going to do ya.

"It’s amazing because it’s a real family atmosphere. John (Kavanagh) let’s me go down after training to I can train with the pro team. It’s not like any other gym, it’s like a big family."

Nathan is so advanced that he tutors younger kids in mixed martial arts.

"They look after me but then I carry it down to the younger children and I look after them. I coach as well," he added.

"I'd to like to see if someone can become better than me!."

Nathan admits that to hone his craft he watches all kinds of martial arts.

"I look at capoeria and jiu jitsu and I train taekwondo. I look at every type of martial arts because you are going to have to use all those different kinds of martial arts. It's not just the one sport, you have to learn wrestling and boxing too."

So what inspired him into the world of Mixed Martial Arts?

"When I was about three, I was watching kung fu movies with my granddad and running around pretending to do all the moves," he added.

"I was hyper-active. We seen this ad for kick-boxing and after my first class... it took over.

"I always watch the UFC and that's what has got me involved in jiu jitsu."

His mother Sarah was up half the night with her phone buzzing with messages from Twitter as fans from America discussed Ireland’s latest MMA star.

Nathan is allowed in the gym when the pro team, including Conor McGregor, go to work and is extremely advanced in Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing.

At yesterday’s packed, extremely lively face off between McGregor and Aldo in the Convention Centre, young Nathan stole the show when he grabbed the mic to address  the top table.

“Aldo, you better get ready to spit shine that belt and give it to Conor," he said to a roaring crowd.

"I have got a question for Dana, well it’s not a question, it is more of a proposition. Dana, I am going to be the new breed of the UFC.

“Dana, I am five-time national kickboxing champion, Irish and British champion at jiu jitsu, and I am a world medallist at kickboxing so I guarantee you are going to be strapping that belt around my waist.

"How about an advance on my first pay check to see Conor v Aldo in July," added Nathan as the crowd burst into a chorus of 'sign him up'.

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