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'Seery is just another guy between me and the belt' - Chris Beal

The US flyweight believes he and his Irish opponent could be in line for a Fight of the Night bonus.

CHRIS BEAL WILL compete at flyweight for the first time this weekend, and it’s an Irishman who’ll welcome him to the 125lbs division.

Beal locks horns with Dublin’s Neil Seery in the opening bout at UFC Stockholm tomorrow night. Taking place at the 30,000-seat Tele2 Arena, the event is being billed as the UFC’s biggest ever in Europe.

He’ll be fighting outside of his native USA for the first time, and despite swapping the Californian sunshine for the Swedish snow, Beal says he’s been relishing the experience.

“This fight camp has been great. I’m in really good shape and I’m looking forward to joining a new weight class. I’ve been enjoying the weather in California but I’m really excited about Sweden,” Beal told The42.

Having been a contestant on the eighteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Beal made quite an impression on his UFC debut last April, stopping Patrick Williams with a spectacular second-round flying knee.

Source: Ricardo Vasquez/YouTube

Like Seery, Beal has a reputation as an entertaining fighter who doesn’t hold back. The 29-year-old American says fans can expect fireworks when he takes on the veteran Dubliner.

“Seery looks pretty good, I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen of him. I think we both have good striking and strong chins, so there’s a possibility you’ll see a war and we might get ourselves some bonus money at the end of the night.

“I’ve pictured this fight playing out so many ways, but each time the end result is the same, and that’s me getting my hand raised. He’s counting on me having a bad weight-cut and then getting tired as the fight goes on, but that’s not going to happen.”

After a 2-0 run in the UFC at bantamweight, Beal now has designs on making his way to the summit of the flyweight rankings. Keeping his unblemished intact this weekend will be vital if he’s to achieve that aim.

Beal said: “I want to make a run for that belt and he’s just the next guy in my way. I’m too big, I’m too strong, I’m too fast and I’m younger. He’s a very experienced guy so I’m probably not going to show him anything he hasn’t seen before. I respect him, but I don’t see him stopping me from having my hand raised.”

Neil Seery vs. Chris Beal will kick off the action at UFC Stockholm tomorrow night at 9pm (Irish time). The fight is exclusively live on UFC Fight Pass.

– First published 06.30

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Paul Dollery

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