Exclusive Paul Kelly interview

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What are your expectations of the upcoming fight against Siver?
I think it's going to be a cracking fight. The pair of us like to stand and bang, and I fancy a good tear-up, especially after my last fight. Roli [Rolando Delgado] didn't really want to exchange with me, he wanted to hug me. Even though I wasn't terrible, it wasn't my usual explosive performance, and I don't want to be in boring fights.

Bearing in mind your heavy hands, do you think Siver will try to take you down if the stand-up isn't going his way?
He can try if he wants to. The only time I end up on my back in a fight is when I want to be there. Until the Troy Mandaloniz bout [at UFC 95], I'd only been on my back for 120 seconds – that's over the space of ten fights. Not many people can stay on top of me – I've got a good bridge, a good base and bags of core strength. I don't think being on your back in MMA gives you any advantage at all, not even if you're a black belt.

Even though Delgado is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, he couldn't do anything to you on the ground – did that help your confidence?
I don't want to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet, but people who train with me know that I've got good submission defence. But Siver has got good, fast, explosive submissions so I need to watch out.

What are you working on in training at the moment?
I mix it up. I do equal amounts of stand-up, wrestling and submission defence. I do a lot of weight training too. It used to be that I'd sit in somebody's guard, but now I'll pass and go for my own submissions. So I've been working on my whole game.

This is your second fight at lightweight since dropping down from welterweight. Has it been easier to make weight this time?
It hasn't been easier because of the simple fact that I've been doing a lot more weights this time. I almost stopped doing weights for my last fight. This time I've been doing weights every day, whether it's to be explosive or for strength. I've been working a lot with Kerry Kayes [former bodybuilder, now nutrition and strength coach] and I'd never be able to make the cut without him. I feel like I'm stronger than any other lightweight at the moment.

You've had most of your fights in the UK. How much does that help you out?
I love fighting in the UK. I've got 150 people who've paid £150 to come up and watch me at UFC 105. The whole arena could be against me, but if my mates are there I'd fight the devil. Also, it's nice to be able to train in my own gym instead of a mat on the floor of a hotel. I'm not in a rush to fight in the States.

What are your final predictions for UFC 105?
My fight won't going three rounds – I'll stop him before then. Before the UFC I'd never gone more than two minutes into the second round but the UFC is a step up. I can't stop people on cuts any more – the UFC cut men are too good. I don't even want to make a guess about the Randy Couture-Brandon Vera fight. Couture's a legend, isn't he? But Vera knows if he beats Couture he's right back up there, where he thought he was going to be. I'm predicting that [Britain's] Terry Etim will smash his opponent [Shannon Gugerty of the US] as well – I've been training with him, and think he's going to come into his own in this fight.
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Coach Staff

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