Neil Seery: “Once I put a bit of power on his chin he’s going to get a fright”


There is no doubt that Team Ryano duo Neil Seery and Paul Redmond have a calming effect on each other. The day before he weighs in for the first time as a UFC fighter, Redmond handed over the phone to Seery in the UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Johnson media room and there was an immediate fit of giggling between the pair.

For the first time Seery is joined by a fellow stable mate on a UFC card. Judging by the Dubliner’s tongue-in-cheek response to how it is to have Redmond on the roster with him, the Ryano boys are in a good place heading in to Saturday night’s historic event at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm.

“I never really liked Paul from the start to be honest with you,” Seery calmly asserted, without a chink in his farcical front. “He came in to the gym and ever since then he’s been trying to steal my limelight. He’s trying to push the old fighter out the door. I don’t think he’ll make it to the fight – the minute he sleeps he’s getting choked out.

“But seriously, on the flight over me and Paul had a chat and I’ve told him – all the pressure is on him now. I’ve passed the buck, it’s all on him. We also decided that if he wins a bonus, I immediately get half – he’s a nice guy like that. We did a pinky promise on that so I don’t think he’ll break it.”

Usually a fixture in Seery’s corner, as Redmond is in action himself on the night the former Cage Warriors flyweight champion will have to find someone else to be Andy Ryan’s second in the Swedish capital.

Although such a shift in personnel might unsettle some people, Seery couldn’t miss an opportunity to crack a joke at his long time training partner and close friend’s expense.

“Paul not being in my corner is a bonus. He talks nothing but garbage. I’m winning on the feet and he tells me to take him down, we’re standing up and he’s telling me to go for toeholds – I don’t want to listen to a word he says.

“Who’s going to take his place? I don’t know, what are you doing tomorrow? I don’t really care to be honest,” laughed the Finglas man.

Set to open the card in 30,000-seat stadium, Seery claimed the venue and event are ‘what dreams are made of’ for professional fighters.

“It’s brilliant, I’m loving every bit of it to tell you the truth. We arrived down on Tuesday and the build-up with the stadium has been unbelievable. I can’t wait to get in there and fight. To be honest, when I first saw the stadium I got a little bit of a fright. Just the magnitude of it, it’s huge, it actually reminds me a bit of the Aviva.

“It’s only when I looked at it that it really hit home with me. Usually in the build up to a fight I couldn’t give a rats arse where I’m fighting. There’s a buzz in the city and when I got down to see the stadium I got excited, it really is what dreams are made of,” said the Ryano stalwart.

One of the most common things that come to mind when considering the career of Seery is the fact that he keeps a fulltime job as well as actively competing in MMA. Given the level of skill that the Dubliner boasts, people often ponder how much he would improve if he could dedicate all of his time to the fight game.

His meeting with Chris Beal will mark the third outing of his four fight deal, and Seery commented on whether he would give up his day job if a good enough offer was put in front of him in the future.

“I actually feel like jacking me job in now I hate it that much,” he chuckled, “but unfortunately I’ve got bills to pay. You never know if I could pack it in, I really don’t know at this stage.

“It does play on my mind a bit, but I just think it might be a little bit too late to fully focus on it and change things now. If I were a bit younger I would’ve done what Paul did – rang the job, quit straight away and ran out the door.

“I’ve got four kids and everything that comes with it. You have to be a little bit wise when you’re at this stage of the game. I’d have to wait and see, I take one fight at a time.

“Every time I get out there I fight like it’s my last fight, I don’t look past anything – I just don’t look at shit like that. I look at it like every fight is my last and that’s what keeps me going. It keeps me sharp, you now?”


Although Seery has five submission wins out of 14 victories, his real talent lies in his grasp of the sweet science. As we have seen throughout his UFC career, fighters are quite confident they can stand with Seery, right up until they feel the power of a solid connection from him.

With the unbeaten Beal adamant that he will trade leather with Seery, the Irish flyweight isn’t so sure he’ll stick to his word.

Seery said: “I hope he stands with me, but everyone of the lads I’ve fought said they’d stand with me and as soon as I hit them it’s ‘hold on a minute’, and they’re trying to take me down.

“In my world title fight for Cage Warriors against Silander I caught him with a few and he was diving at my legs. I went out there with Pickett, I cracked him with a few and then he was trying to take me down. Phil Harris tried to take me down straight away. I’ve got power and it doesn’t take them a long time in there to find that out.

“I think it will play out exactly the same way on Saturday night, once I put a bit of power on his chin he’s going to get a fright.”

As far as studying tape for his opponent, Seery just watched a miniscule amount of footage of Beal, insisting that he only worries about what he is going to do on Saturday night.

“All I’ve seen of him is his flying knee,” he revealed. “I saw a little bit of his last fight, his opponent took the fight on ten days’ notice. He threw some nice straight punches and he controlled the centre of the Octagon.

“I watched the season of The Ultimate Fighter that he was on as well, but I don’t really remember it because I watch that many fights. Either way, it doesn’t matter what he’s going to do, I’m going to do what I always do.

“I’m going to go in there and test his chin, I’m gonna throw some hands at his face and see how he reacts. I will constantly push forward. I’ll tell you this now, he will not push me back – that’s a promise. I will keep moving forward.

“This guy’s is 10-0, he’s unbeaten, he’s 2-0 in UFC – it’s one of them that if I want to make a statement I’ve got to out there and finish him. That’s what I plan on doing. I’ve got some really good spars in, I’ve got a really good gas tank and I’ve got that never say die attitude. I just keep going.”

It seems strange that Seery will open the card given his acclaimed performance in his last outing in Dublin. However, while others might get bothered by their placement on the bill, Seery doesn’t seem to mind at all:

“No, I don’t care about where my fight is on the card. Once I get to fight, I don’t care. I just want to get in there, get my job done and then I can enjoy Paul’s fight and the rest of the show.”

Finally, ‘2 Tap’ highlighted his strategy of ‘mentally breaking’ Beal.

“If you go in thinking you’re not right, you’ve lost already,” he explained. “My mentality going into the fight is always the same – I’m going in there to break someone. I really am going in to break them, mentally and physically. That’s what I plan on doing.

“It doesn’t matter what way it happens. Whether it be submission, ground and pound or knockout, I plan on mentally breaking people. That’s what I’ll be trying to do on Saturday night.”


Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.