Brian Kelleher: “I was just feeling amazing after that.”

Initially Brian Kelleher (20-10) was preparing himself for a for a battle with the ‘Jamaican Sensation’ Ode Osbourne on the Fight Pass prelims section for the UFC 246. A fight which would have taken place early Saturday evening but things worked out a lot different for the New York native fighter. 

A fight between Claudia Gadelha and Alexa Grasso which was pencilled to go down on the PPV section but unfortunately Grasso weighed in over the desired limit for the 115 bout and the fight was scrapped by the NSAC. A spot on PPV opened and the UFC decided to move the Kelleher/Osbourne fight up and onto the Main Card. 

Kelleher spoke with Ariel Helwani on the Helwani Show about how he found out about the switch. 

“It was amazing[to find out]. I tried all week to keep myself unfazed, they told me the night of the weigh-ins. They came up to me last minute, told me I was bumped up to the main card. I was ready to just wake up and get in there and fight. It couldn’t have worked out any better. To be bumped up to the main card, you know, there’s a lot more exposure, there were a lot more eyes on me.”

Kelleher relished his opportunity and took full advantage of all the extra eyes on him. The fight didn’t get passed the first round and Kelleher took the victory via Guillotine choke after 2:49. 

“To get a quick finish and to come out of it unscathed, fight out my contract with a finish like this and to get a bonus, someone was watching over me. The timing was perfect all week, Dana came in the back afterwards and said I was looking good for that bonus. I was just feeling amazing after that.” 

With the fight being moved it added extra pressure onto Kelleher. On top of that ‘Boom’ was fighting his last fight on his current contract and also riding a two fight losing streak going into this bout. He opened up to Helwani about it. 

“I had a crazy amount of pressure [coming into the fight]. Honestly I don’t know anything but fighting. I don’t have a trade, I’m not a handyman. I don’t know what other job I would do and would be happy doing it. I’m terrified to not be able to continue this career and keep making the most money that I can through fighting. That’s why I try to do media and try stay in the sport because I’m passionate about this sport and this sport only. I’m so proud that I didn’t feel it[the pressure] going in there. I smiled through the whole process, I kept good energy.”

“Honestly if I had of lost on Saturday, I might have contemplated whether I want to fight ever again. My dream is to be the best in the world and that was my vision. That’s why is was so difficult to deal with the loss to Lineker. It was devastating and my heart didn’t come back together and be full again for some time.”

Luckily for all of us and for Brian Kellaher he will not need to contemplate those thoughts. He can now go to his team ‘Team Bombsquad’ and plot his route to the top of the bantamweight division. 

You can catch the full interview below (interview starts at 1:26:00) with Ariel Helwani below where he talks more about his fight with Osbourne. He also talks about reigniting his flame for MMA, his weight cut, future plans in the UFC and have a battle rap with ‘T-Wood’, Tyron Woodley.

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.