Saturday 16 December 2017

Ultimate fighter Nathan (9) has global ambitions

Cormac Byrne and Jason Kennedy

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is one of the biggest draws in world sport right now - and at the centre of it is a nine-year-old Dublin boy who is happy to let the fame fuel his ambitions.

Nathan Kelly (9) from Tallaght stole the show from Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo as their world tour arrived in the capital earlier this week.

He became a viral video sensation around the world after his on-stage antics in the Convention Centre but the Dublin schoolboy has told the Irish Independent that his moment in the spotlight is just the beginning.

A massive 67,000 people applied for tickets for the event on Tuesday but only 3,000 lucky MMA fans got to attend. Nathan managed to get on stage and announce to a roaring crowd that he would be "the new breed of the UFC".

Although he earned himself an army of fans around the world, Nathan admits he had it rehearsed to a fine art beforehand.

"Nobody really knew about it. I was just in my bedroom saying it to myself. I think everyone was a bit shocked when I got up and said it.

Nathan with UFC sensation Conor McGregor
Nathan with UFC sensation Conor McGregor

"I could see the pride on Conor's face. It was really cool when I was up there. Everyone was chanting," he said.


Nathan is a massive fan of fellow Dubliner Conor McGregor, who will fight Jose Aldo for the UFC 189 World Featherweight Championship in Las Vegas next July.

However, he says that in time he expects to be even bigger than McGregor.

"No doubt I'm going to be better. He started when he was 15 and I started when I was four, so I have 11 years of knowledge ahead of him.

"I believe I'm going to be better than Conor McGregor.

"I believe that I'm going to be better than anyone who steps into the octagon," he said.

Irish Independent

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