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Richard Kiely un-retires, swaps BAMMA for Bellator and puts welterweights on notice

SBG’s Richard Kiely is out of retirement and swapping BAMMA for Bellator as the US promotion continue their acquisition of Irish fighters.

Richard Kiely. Cutout: BAMMA
Richard Kiely. Cutout: BAMMA

Retirement didn’t last long for Ireland’s Richard Kiely.

‘The Face of BAMMA’, hung up his gloves in May of this year, calling it a day with two wins and one defeat to his name. That defeat came at the hands of then BAMMA Welterweight champion, Alex Lohore in November 2017.

“And that’s a wrap”, said Kiely in a Facebook post on 14 May.

“I’ve decided to retire from competitive MMA and focus my energy on other pursuits. I had a great time and really enjoyed the journey. Thanks to my opponents, there was never any real animosity and I have huge respect for them all. Thank you to my coach John Kavanagh and all my training partners.”

“Special thank you to David Alexander Roche who took me under his wing and was both a mentor and a friend, all my sponsors and anyone that helped or supported me along the way. It’s much appreciated.”

Now, he’s out of retirement and off to Bellator, as confirmed to on Wednesday.

Putting the Bellator welterweights on notice

Kiely confirmed the news himself at lunchtime on Wednesday and took no time in putting the welterweight division in Bellator on notice, including Michael Page, Terry Brazier, Paul Daley and Lorenz Larkin.

“The welterweight posterboy and new Face of Bellator MMA has arrived! Terrance, Larkin, Daley, MVP, know the name, I’m coming for you all.”

Kiely has been hugely vocal about getting in the cage with Terry Brazier, previously suggesting a bout with Brazier would be the way to get him out of retirement.

Brazier become two-weight champion at BAMMA Fight Night London in June, adding Rhys McKee’s Lightweight title to his own Welterweight title. However, Brazier has since been snapped up by Bellator, and with Kiely now putting pen to paper, a bout between the two seems closer than ever.

McKee’s teammate Stormin’ Norman Parke has also joined the Bellator ranks and also wasted no time in calling out Brazier as a way to avenge McKee’s defeat.

Kiely’s SBG teammate Will Fleury (4-1) made his Bellator debut earlier this month, taking his first professional defeat in the process with an R1 TKO loss to Alen Amedovski. With Bellator snapping up more Irish and UK names, you can be assured there are a few more high profile announcements to be made for Irish MMA fans over the next few weeks.

Watch: Richard Kiely v Alex Lohore

Updated 4pm.

Radio broadcaster, podcaster, fight fan cutting his teeth in BJJ. Slowly building MMA Charge. Known to write a lot about rugby, GAA and all things food.

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