An absolutely stacked fight card awaits MMA fans at GTFP21 which features three EMMAA athletes including Kean Kelly, a rising talent from Birmingham.
Interview by Aaron East.
Golden Ticket Fight Promotion 21 kicks off this Saturday with an impressive line-up for their 21st card to date.
Amongst the card of pure unadulterated organised violence will be Martial Arts Concepts Team England representative Kean Kelly, taking on Arte Surve’s Oskar Lang in a Lightweight Bout nobody in attendance will want to miss.
Kean Kelly (3-1-0) is an English amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight division, representing Martial Arts Concepts. He has competed for Meltdown, Battle Arena, TMA Fight Series and has represented England at the IMMAF European Championships. Kean is now due to make his debut for Golden Ticket Fight Promotion on December 3rd.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Kean, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 21.
“Thank you very much.”
A lot can be taken from each individual training camp, this being your 5tth walk to the cage since starting out on your amateur journey back at the tail end of 2021.
What have you taken from your preparations for war on December 3rd, as well as your 1st year competing on the amateur circuit?
“Like you said, I learn something new from every outing and camp. My first 3 fights I got all 3 wins, became 3-0 and became very confident in myself. I came out to Italy for the European Championships a few months back, where I took my first loss and it really took me back to basics. I took a lot away from it, but the biggest thing I learned was to be composed under pressure. The pressure of the fight camp, the eating, making weight and the actual fight itself. Being composed and having that self-confidence and belief in myself is definitely the biggest thing I’ve taken from this year.”
A very admirable statement mate. Competing on the big stage on the IMMAF’s with Team England in Italy must have been quite the experience?
“Man, it was amazing. It was 1 of the best experiences I’ve ever had, to go out there with my coaches and Team England. I’ve been asking for a 3 round war and I got one, just probably at the wrong time. It was amazing, I really enjoyed it, I can’t wait to try and get back out there for the worlds. Hopefully, when I get this finish on Saturday, I’ll go out to the world’s and really show what I’m made of this time.”
I bet, it’s not long recently been confirmed for Serbia, it will be one hell of a show of talent.
“Yeah, Serbia in Belgrade. If I’m honest, I’m not looking forward to the weather, it’s gonna be a bit cold out there hahaha. But I’m not going out there for a holiday, I’m going out there to prove myself against the best in the world.”
Being English, we’re used to that cold weather haha.
“Hahaha yeah, definitely.”
As well as putting in the work with your team at Martial arts concepts, you also persevere on your amateur career training with Team England.
With a vast amount of knowledge from both, it must be a great confidence boost as you look to make a name for yourself in the cage?
“Yeah, 100 percent. I’m actually in quite a weird position, because at the gym that I train at Team Mac, I really am the only fighter there besides one other guy. We have other guys coming through, but I’m the only one that has been regularly fighting. We have one other guy who’s 1-0, but besides him, I’m the only other fighter out of our gym. So, I have a bit of a weird circumstance, whereas some of the other guys get to train with some of the best in the fighters all the time, I have to travel all across the country. I’m super lucky due to the connections my old man has, I’m able to travel down to gyms like Team Crossface, and get to get sole training in with the likes of Sam Patterson, who’s just got signed to the UFC. Guys like Charlie Leary, a Bellator veteran, they give me so much Knowledge and they help me out a lot. I’m also lucky that I’m from Birmingham, because I get to get sessions with the guys at Fearless MMA, who have helped me a lot with my wrestling. I also get to go to Team Renegade, for some wrestling as well as sparring.”
Well worth the travel I bet, they are some great gyms. I was lucky to have travelled to Team Crossface not too long ago, I have to agree with you, Dave Lee and his team really are a great squad.
“I take a lot of inspiration from Sam, he’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever met. Out of all the fighters I know, I’ve never seen anything like his hard-working mindset. I’m very competitive so I wouldn’t say this to his face hahaha, because when we spar, he’ll definitely kick my ass, but I always try my best to outwork him. He’s on another level with his work man, he’s constant with it, and he’s a big inspiration for me, Dave as well. I’ve got a lot of love for coach Lee, he really helps me out a lot, and it’s good to be outside of Birmingham as well. Because I get used to travelling, get used to going against different guys, they have always welcomed me with open arms and they make sure I put the work in.”
I completely agree, it was my 1st ever visit there and the whole team made me feel like I’ve been there for years.
“They’re a great family down their man. you could be anyone from across the world, walk into their gym, the same as walking into ours, they’ll make you feel welcome and part of the team within the 1st 20 to 30 minutes, make you feel like you’ve been there for years.”
100 percent, I’m definitely looking forward to visiting there again soon.
As previously stated, you are set to once again set to take the walk to the lion’s den this Saturday for Golden Ticket Fight Promotions. A highly regarded platform for many up-and-coming amateurs such as yourself, and a chance to end the year on a high note.
How does it feel to be making your debut for GT?
“I am super excited, I can’t wait, I really cannot wait. About a week after my inclusion at the euros, I went straight back into camp. I said to my coaches that I needed to get back out there before the end of the year, I need some redemption for the performance I put on last time. And there’s no better way to do it than fighting a tough opponent on Golden Ticket at the weekend, and on my home show really. I’ve tried to fight there a couple of times but due to injuries to myself, I’ve not been able to participate, so I’m super excited to take the walk to that cage.”
It’s a great card put together by the whole team, definitely some amazing fights on there each and every time.
“It’s gonna be amazing, I’m ready to put on a show for everybody there.”
You are set to take on Arte Surve’s Oskar Lang in Wolverhampton, what are your thoughts on Oskar as you prepare to collide on December 3rd?
“I have respect for everyone that I step in the cage to fight, win or lose, you get in that cage so you have my utmost respect. But for me, he’s just another fighter put in front of me, no disrespect to him at all but I’m coming to take him out, it’s as simple as that. Like I said, I must end this year on a win, for me it’s crucial. Even if it turns out to be a tough fight, I’m gonna come out on top because it is so crucial.”
A very admirable mindset to have mate, pure determination.
As previously stated, Golden Ticket Fight Promotions has cemented themselves as one of the most exciting promotions in the UK. Bringing fight fans some of the most explosive talents to the shows in recent years, December 3rd will be no exception.
Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“I got my teammate Cheikh Mane. He’ll be fighting a few fights before me; I can’t wait to see him go out there. I think I’m slick and I’m suave and I like how I fight, but my gosh he’s a whirlwind, he’s definitely one to watch. My Team England teammates, Owen Cartridge, our team captain. Then my brother Jordan Little, he’s going for the title 1 fight after me. So, Team England and Team Mac’s gonna put on a show.”
I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for those bouts.
It’s been great speaking with you today mate, I wish you all the best with your final preparations and for fight night.
“Thanks man, it’s been good to speak with you too Aaron, I’m gonna put on a show for you guys.”
Last but not least, do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“I wanna give a shout-out to all my family, friends, teammates and coaches. I’ve got so many people supporting me that give me so much love, that always have my back. After the last fight, I really needed to know I had them there and now that I do. Those guys know who they are, you mean so much to me, I’m gonna make sure I prove that on the weekend. My message to the crowd is be ready for a quick one, I’ll be looking to get in and out so I can get a pizza, I am starving right now hahaha.”
Catch Kean and many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s shaping up to be an incredible fight card this Saturday at the K.K Steelmill in Wolverhampton. There are limited tickets available on the door but there is PPV available for only £12.99 from: https://livemma.co.uk/product/gtfp-21/
Golden Ticket Fight Promotions are proudly affiliated with the English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) who’s prime goal is To develop and promote the education, training and safeguarding of young people, competitors and coaches in MMA.