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'An internet campaign got me into this bleedin’ mess!' - Ireland's Seery on making his UFC debut at 34

The highly-respected Dubliner takes on Brad Pickett in London on Saturday.

Dublin MMA fighter Seery.
Dublin MMA fighter Seery.
Image: Youtube

ON SATURDAY NIGHT, Irish MMA fans will be given an unexpected treat as they will get to cheer on one of their own in the UFC’s latest event in London.

With Ian McCall pulling out of his scheduled flyweight fight against Brad Pickett, the Londoner was in need of a replacement opponent and after receiving considerable online, Dublin native Neil ’2 Tap’ Seery was offered the chance to make his debut with MMA’s elite organisation.

The 34-year-old, whose record is 13-9, may have ten years experience under his belt but the fight will represent a remarkable step in his career.

“An internet campaign got me into this bleedin’ mess!” joked Seery during an interview with TheScore.ie.

“It was a bit of a shock. It took two or three days to sink in and I’ve had a few sleepless nights thinking was it really happening.

“A lot of people seemed to jump ship and not want to fight Brad Pickett. There weren’t many horses in the race.

“When everybody got onto it I didn’t really take much notice because I thought that a top ten guy would jump at the chance to earn a few quid. Fighters are always complaining that they’re not earning enough money.

“I’m sure a lot of those guys could’ve negotiated a lot more money but it just didn’t seem like anybody wanted to.”

Ireland’s Conor McGregor realised his dream by making his bow in the Octagon last year but Finglas native Seery explains that it was never in his plans.

“If I said yeah (that it has always been an ambition to fight in the UFC) I’d be lying. There are a lot of people out there who are dodging fights to build records because everyone wants to be 10-0 when the UFC comes calling.

“When you look at my record, over a ten year career, it’s a bad record. But I fought anybody that was put in front of me.

I’ve never turned anything down and I wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity like that. I really don’t give a fuck. I’ve fought the best in Europe over the years.

“I’ll hold my hand up and say a lot of good fighters have beaten me but they’ve bet me at weights where I was out of my comfort zone.”

With just 16 days notice, Seery, who trains out of Team Ryano’s gym in Baldoyle, is up against it to be ready for this Saturday but the father of three is managing to balance work and family life with two training sessions a day — just like he has been doing his whole career.

“I’d would have liked another two or three weeks to prepare but if it was another two or three weeks out I don’t think I would’ve got the fight,” he says.

“I’m just trying to get in as much as I can at the moment. I can’t get eight weeks training into two-and-a-half weeks. I’m just putting my foot on the gas for this last push.”

A four-fight contract means Seery is odds on to be on the card when the UFC returns to Dublin later this year and, while he isn’t looking beyond Pickett, getting the chance to compete in his hometown would undoubtedly be special.

“Dublin will be the one I’m diving onto. People say if I could’ve got it years ago, but I don’t care about years ago… I care about now.

“I’ve got Brad Pickett in front of me and everyone knows how good he is. Maybe that’s why people have been ducking the fight.

“I’m going out to give 110% and try best him at everything. Then I’m going to concentrate getting onto another card. I’m doing it 10 years but you’ve only got a short career.”

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Ben Blake

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