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A post shared by Brian “BOOM” Kelleher (@brianboom135) on Oct 12, 2018 at 6:53am PDT
In season one of “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight,” Kelleher’s spinning backfist knockout of Josh Robinson was enough to impress the UFC President.
Although White’s back was to the action when the blow landed, the combination of Matt Serra’s excitement over the KO along with Kelleher’s post-fight intensity was enough to fast track Kelleher to the UFC.
“He jumped out of the cage, ran over and got in my face and said, ‘I want to fight in the UFC!’ I love it,” White said on the show. “I love guys who have that energy and that enthusiasm and they want to f**kin’ be in the UFC so bad that he jumps in my face, runs out of the cage. I love that s**t.”
Eighteen months after running out of the cage and screaming, “I want my chance! Please!” in White’s face, Kelleher was making his Octagon debut at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro against the then-13th ranked Iuri Alcantara.
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With a submission win over the hometown favorite in less than two minutes, Kelleher’s post-fight antics made just as big of a splash with the Brazilian crowd that all but drowned out his interview in the Octagon after he let them know he took out their hometown boy.
Over the wave of boos, Kelleher had another message for White.
“Dana! That’s number 13 in the world!” Kelleher shouted. “I just took number 13 out! I want a top ten guy! I don’t want the slow pace! Feed me to the sharks! I’m ready!”
Kelleher left the arena with a Performance of the Night bonus, and while he didn’t get that top 10 opponent he asked for, it was only eight months and two fights until he was suiting up to fight former bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
Papa boom ! Without him I wouldn’t be where I am @MatthewKellehe1 pic.twitter.com/RYBgAr6GOI
— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) October 30, 2018
After his unanimous decision victory over Barao, Kelleher called for the top 10 again in John Lineker and was given his shot.
Although Kelleher fell short against John Lineker, after the longest layoff of his UFC career (just under six months), Kelleher is stepping back in the Octagon.
Knowing that the wins come before the demands, the 19-9 Kelleher is poised to show the same fighter that turned White’s head to get a contract on Lookin’ for a Fight and earned Performance and Fight of the Night honors in subsequent bouts.
Kelleher’s opponent, the 6-1 Montel Jackson, comes in not only eager to earn his first UFC win but also with power that has led to five knockout finishes.
Considering Jackson’s success with the standup game and Kelleher’s unconditional love for uppercuts and the spinning backfist that put him on the map to begin with, missing this FIGHT PASS Early Prelim puts fans at risk of missing a Performance of the Night or Fight of the Night effort.
The Early Prelims begin at 6:15pm ET, only on UFC FIGHT PASS.
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