Dan Kelly Says He Will Retire After His Next Fight As He Targets Showdown With Zak Cummings
Australian middleweight Dan Kelly looks set to call time on his career after his next fight.
The 40-year-old is currently riding a three fight losing streak following his loss to Tom Breese at UFC Liverpool in May. With his best years probably now behind him, Kelly now thinks the end is nigh and speaking to Submission Radio this week, he revealed his next fight will be his last.
“It’s been coming for a while. I’m 41 in October, obviously I’m on the biggest skid of my career by far in terms of results,” Kelly said.
“The last fight really annoyed me because I did everything properly in terms of preparation and it was an injury more than anything else. I mean, the knuckle of his thumb went into my eye – not his finger, it was a fair punch, but it’s taken two months for the eye to get right.
“I’ve just started back training and yeah, I don’t want to finish over the other side of the world. If I get the opportunity I wanna finish at home and then go onto the next phase of my life.”
After countless years of being involved in combat sports, Kelly now says his body is beginning to feel the weight of both his judo and MMA careers. With plenty of young up and coming Australian fighters ready to take his place, Kelly doesn’t feel like he will be leaving a void in the sport.
“Look, I’d do anything to be able to roll back the clock and keep going, but the body is struggling,” Kelly said. “At some point you do have to stop. I’ve got guys who I coach, not only in Judo, in MMA as well. I mean, Big Ben Sosoli’s in the Ultimate Fighter house at the moment. I coach him.
“We’ve got another group of MMA guys who are coming up. So, it’s a good time, it’s just now that we’re starting to get some of the Melbourne guys in, apart from it just being me and Jake (Matthews), it’s be nice to cross over that way as well and have a show where Jimmy will definitely be on this one and probably the next one, Ben will be floating around by that time to I hope. And it’d be good just to have that transition out.”
One who stand opposite Kelly for his last UFC outing is Zak Cummings. The American took to social media earlier this week to call Kelly out and it appears that there is interest both sides of the table to make the fight happen.
Man, just read this article! I really just want a fight.I respect @DanKellyJudo & thought it would be a fun matchup. My Dad had a Kidney Disease that forced him on dialysis for almost 2 years til he got a transplant. I fight to win but let’s do this for a better cause. #ForErik https://t.co/V5jwH3QRXi
— Zak Cummings (@ZakCummings) August 9, 2018
“I was just sitting there minding my own business and yeah, it popped up and I was very excited by it,” Kelly said. “I mean, obviously I’m coming towards the end of my career and that’s a match-up that makes a lot of sense and is also very suitable for me. He’s got a good record, he’s a little bit older, he’s 34 and he’s a grappler.
“it’s always fun to go against grapplers, I have good records against grapplers and yeah, I jumped on it and said, ‘oh, okay, that would be interesting’. And plus, if I can get it, it would be my last fight. This would be the swan song and the farewell.”
Watch the full interview: