SBG Ireland’s Will Fleury would rather roll the dice against Antonio Jones at Bellator 224 than sit out until Bellator returns to Dublin in late September.
The Tipperary native is riding high on the back of a second-round submission over Shaun Taylor at the promotion’s last Dublin event in February and admitted that Friday’s Thackerville card is a risk to a certain extent. However, the Irish middleweight insisted that he will have no regrets if he does leave his U.S. debut with an injury that rules him out of bout on home soil in two months time.
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take,” Fleury told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “I think you have to get out there and be as active as you can; I don’t want to fight twice a year. Say if something terrible does happen — like I’m smashing Antonio, I break my hand off him and I can’t fight in Dublin — I’d rather have done it this way than have no taken my chances.”
“This is the game were in, man,” he added. “There’s risk involved in everything we do. [You’ve got to] get in there, keep risking and keep putting your balls on the line. That’s what I’m doing. I just feel like there’s something special going in my mind at the moment where I’m up for everything and I feel like every challenge is one I can smash.”
Casting his mind back to his last win, Fleury noted that he already has some names on his mind that he would like to call-out if he manages to get through Jones on Friday night.
“Let’s get Antonio in front of me, let’s see what I can do with him and hopefully afterwards I’ll have a few names on my mind that we can try to bring over to Dublin,” said Fleury.
“I think there is a recognition out there that if you’re looking for legit fighters, Will Fleury is your guy. Even if you look at the reaction of the crowd in Dublin that night, I was pretty blown away. [Bellator] put me as the fifth fight on the prelims and you’re kind of thinking, ‘They must think I’m some kind of bum or something’. And then I went out and I got this huge reception from the crowd and I beat one of the most legit opponents anyone had on the card. I’m expecting to be a little bit higher up that card, and to be honest, I don’t care if I’m not — just put somebody legit in front of me and watch me smash them.”
He also claimed that the fight he will call for in Dublin depends on how he finishes Jones.
“[The call-out] depends on how I smash Antonio. The story works better in different ways; I’ll tell you all about it afterwards.”
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Will Fleury interview begins at 1:13:00.