Peter Queally Looking To Secure A Title Shot In Dublin With Win At FNG 88
SBG Ireland’s Peter Queally will head to Rostov-on-Don, Russia on May 19 to face Armenian David Khachatryan in the main event of Fight Nights Global (FNG) 88.
Queally (10-4-1) has been mixing it with the best of the FNG 155-pounds division since making is debut for the organization back in 2017 and has gone 1-1-1 in his first three fights. On May 19, the Irishman will face another stiff challenge when he takes on Khachatryan, a man with a 24-3 record and who is running a three fight win streak since losing to the current FNG lightweight champion, Akhmet Aliev.
Speaking to MMANytt.com earlier today, Queally said he’s looking forward to squaring off the Armenian at the KSK Express Arena.
“This guys is a very popular fight over there and he’s 24-3 and never been stopped,” Queally said. “If you look at his ranking on fight matrix, he’s ranked very highly and ranked ahead of a lot of UFC guys. He’s a very tough fight, but I’m looking forward to it because in my last two fights, with all due respect to my opponents, they didn’t want to fight. They tried to wrestle and stall a lot and play that game. This guy, I don’t think he’s going to do that and I think he’s going to be in front of me for the entire fight which is what I want.
“This should be an exciting fight and he’s an exciting fighter. I think that says a lot about the last given Fight Nights have put me as the main event again. I think they know I won that fight so I think in their minds they’ve just chalked it up as a win and have let me move on to the next one. That’s the most important thing that they recognize that and they’re rewarding me with this fight.”
History with the champ
Both Queally and Khachatryan have history with the current FNG lightweight champion, Akhmet Aliev. Whichever way the fight goes, the winner should be next in line for a title shot and Queally is hoping that he’s going to get his second opportunity to fight the Russian after an unsuccessful first attempt to make the fight happen.
“Yeah I definitely think the winner of this fight gets the title shot,” Queally said. “If you just look at the landscape of the division it just makes sense that the winner of this would get it. Especially if I win because Khachatryan has already fought Aliev already and he lost a split decision.
“The first time I went to Russia I was supposed to fight Aliev when he wasn’t the champion and he ended up missing weight by a lot and the fight got cancelled. So there’s a bit of history there already. I was in Russia ready to fight him and he missed weight, so I think if I win, that will be my next one. That’s the one I want, I want that fight. If I can get him and take him out, that’s a huge win for me.”
Heading to Dublin
Late last year, FNG announced that they are intending to host their first ever show on Irish soil at the 3 Arena in Dublin on September 21. Queally is well aware that he’s leading the running to headline the event and he’s going to do everything he can to ensure that the FNG lightweight title will be on the line that evening.
“That’s what I see happening, I win this and beat David, then me and Aliev for the main event in Dublin,” Queally said. “I’m pushing for it and that’s the narrative I’ve been pushing for a while now.
“It’s not a done deal by any means, but I think that’s very possible that my next fight would be for the title in Dublin with Aliev.”
In the corner
Queally will make the trip across to Russia on May 14 and give himself plenty of opportunity to acclimatise to his surroundings. His last few trips abroad have seen him take the likes of Artem Lobov, Cian Cowley and Dylan Tuke to be in his corner, but this time around he’s taking Bellator featherweight James Gallagher to be by his side.
“I’m taking Sergi Pikulskiy our wrestling coach, he speaks Russian so that will be handy, and then I’m also bringing James Gallagher who will be a new cornerman for me, it will be the first time we’ve all worked together,” Queally said.
“I don’t mind though, James is a good friend of mine, a very talented fighter and a good cornerman.”
Khabib at the event a non issue
Back at SBG Ireland, Queally has been training and sparring with a whole host of his teammates to prepare him for his fight with the likes of Lobov, Conor McGregor and Ciaran Clarke helping him get in the rounds.
One storyline in the backdrop of fight week will no doubt be Khabib Nurmagomedov’s likely presence at the event. It’s unlikely that Queally’s affiliation to McGregor and SBG will go totally unnoticed, but the Irishman isn’t worried about it and believes that nothing major will go down.
“I didn’t bring Artem because all of the shenanigans that happened in Brooklyn, it was probably wise to just leave that alone. He will be more trouble than he’s worth over there,” Queally said jokingly and with a big laugh.
“But no, seriously, I’m sure someone will say something, but it will be fine, I don’t think anything is going to happen. Khabib will be at the event, he’s always there and he’s got a great relationship with the guy that owns FNG. I don’t know, but, to be honest, I’m not worried about it. I mean what have I done? I’m expecting some needle off someone, but overall it’s going to be fun.
“I think Khabib and all them over there, they’re all fighters and even if I think they did want to say something, I think they are man enough to know that I’ve got enough to worry about with a fight on Saturday. If I was in the same position with someone coming over to Dublin, I would be like, ‘well f*** it, he’s got enough to deal with’ and deal with it after. That’s just how I would deal with it. Seriously, I’m not worried about it though.”
Ready to go the distance
With all that at the back of his mind, Queally is now just focused on the task at hand and taking out Khachatryan. The Irishman has prepared himself with the mindset that the fight will be going the full five round and that he’s ready to push himself to breaking point to get his hand raised.
“You always want it to end as soon as possible,” Queally said. “Anyone that says differently is lying. I’m being realistic though and I know this is going 25 minutes, he’s not been finished in 27 fights.
“It’s going to be a rough fight for both of us and I’m going to do enough to get my hand raised. I’m going to have that little bit more than he is.”
FNG 88 goes down on May 19 with Queally vs Khachatryan serving as the main event. In the co-main event, the FNG light heavyweight title will be on the line when Nikita Krylov takes on Fabio Maldonado.