The Paul Redmond addition to Friday night’s Bellator 187 card in Dublin was greeted warmly by the Irish MMA masses after the UFC veteran scored a decision win over Lukasz Chlewicki at KSW 40 three weeks ago.
Although Redmond is best known for competing in the featherweight and lightweight categories, with the call from Bellator coming so late and so close to his last outing, he felt it was better to organize a catchweight for his meeting with Sergio de Jesus Santos.
“I didn’t have hair out of place from the KSW fight,” Redmond told MMAFighting.com.
“I was in great condition, I didn’t go out and have the usual blow out that other fighters have after a camp. I had a little bit of birthday cake and that was pretty much it.
“It wasn’t that making 155 was too taxing on my body, you just don’t want to put two cuts so close together like that. The call came on short notice, so in the end I said I’d be happy to do it at 73 kilos (161 pounds) and that suited everyone.”
Redmond had previously been slated for a Bellator debut against featherweight contender Daniel Weichel when the promotion made its first trip to Dublin last December. The Irishman was forced out of proceedings with a broken elbow, but he never dwelled on missing out on making his bow with the promotion.
“I broke my arm, there was nothing I could do about it. I’ve put together a nice string of fights since then and now we’re back here again, so things worked out in the end,” he said. “I focused on myself, I didn’t dwell on the missed opportunity. That’s all you can do at the end of the day.”
“Redser” has been one of the go-to names for promotions venturing into Ireland and is currently under contract with both KSW and BAMMA.
Some feel as though a big performance from the Dubliner could warrant a permanent move to Bellator, but Redmond sees pros and cons when considering signing an exclusive deal with any promotion.
“It would be nice to get a permanent home in some ways, but then again sometimes a permanent home doesn’t suit the fighter. After fighting on BAMMA, then I fought on KSW and now I’m about to fight for Bellator and if someone else comes along I can fight there too,” he explained.
“I’ve done the whole contract thing before. At the moment I’m in a contract with KSW, but because it’s kind of open between them and BAMMA, we were able to get this done because BAMMA are working with Bellator. Everything is suiting me at the moment, we can see what happens from here.”
All things considered, Redmond would be interested in speaking to Bellator if his performance sparks interest this weekend.
“It would be nice to be with one of the big promotions. We’ll see what happens after Friday night, but if Bellator want to talk I’d definitely hear them out.”
Although he may be in the prime of his career at 31 years old, Redmond can see the end in sight. For that reason, he wants to make sure he is paid his full value every time he competes.
“I’ve probably only got a couple of years left at this. I don’t want to sound like a mercenary when I say it like this, but I’ve got to fight for who is paying the best money,” said Redmond.
“I don’t think you can fault anyone for thinking like that when you’re at this stage of your career. Different promoters talk about only being able to afford so much money and that the exposure they can give you will lead to bigger things down the line. I’ve done all those shows already.
“I was 31 last Friday, so I think I only have two or three years left doing this. It’s not that I don’t like doing it, but I want to be paid my worth. There is absolutely no point in fighting for buttons at this stage of the game.
“Bellator is a big show, KSW is a big show. They’ve got another big show in Ireland next year that is going to be massive. Fighting on these kinds of cards is always going to appeal to me, so we’ll see how it plays out after Friday night.”