Brian Kelleher after UFC 212 win: “I want to fight the best guys right now”

Brian Kelleher made the most of his octagon debut by submitting Iuri Alcantara with a first-round guillotine choke at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The former Ring of Combat bantamweight champion took the fight on three weeks notice. As Kelleher (17-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) continued to come forward in the opening round, Alcantara (34-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) shot for a takedown.

Kelleher wasted no time as he scrambled, eventually sinking his left arm around the head of Alcantara and squeezed for the choke. Alcantara tapped shortly after and secured Kelleher’s first UFC victory.

In the post-fight press conference, Kelleher said he is done losing.

“I believe in myself, I believe I belonged here awhile ago, but I took a few losses earlier in my career and I bounced back and I hit a mental switch. I said that’s it, no more losing, I have to take this to the top,” Kelleher said. “When I came here I was motivated by the fact that Iuri is No. 13 in the world and I want to put myself in a spot to fight a top 10 guy in the world right away. I am 30 years old, I want to fight the best guys right now.”

The bout marked Kelleher’s first bout in 15 months as he waited and continued to troll the UFC via Twitter for a chance to compete. He is riding a seven fight win streak, including a unanimous decision win against fellow UFC fighter Andre Soukhamthath at Classic Entertainment Sports 28 on May 13, 2o15.

As far as his future plans in the UFC, Kelleher wants a spot on the UFC on FOX 25 card at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on July 22.

After taking the fight in Brazil on short notice, Keller hopes the UFC rewards him with a fight in his home state of New York.

“I want to be the Donald Cerrone of the bantamweight division, you know, I want to keep getting fights, fights fights, make as much money as I can,” Kelleher said. “I think I should fight at home. I came to Brazil and did them (Brazil) a favor, I fought their hometown guy. He is No. 13, give me someone in my hometown.”

By NJ MMA News Staff

Writing for NJ MMA New since 2011, Connor is passionate about covering local mixed martial arts. He graduated from Temple University’s School of Media and Communications with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. His love for MMA stems from his past as a high school wrestler and jiu-jitsu blue belt. Former UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino coached Connor in his senior year of high school. He worked as a Rally Sports Desk report for The Philadelphia Inquirer and interned as a sports reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News.