Irish Prospect Lee Hammond Not Anticipating Judges’ Scorecards in Bellator Debut vs Jamie Hay: “I’ll be looking to finish the fight!”

Irish prospect Lee Hammond (1-0) isn’t planning on leaving it in the hands of the cage-side judges when he makes his Bellator debut this Friday night inside Dublin’s 3Arena. The SBG Ireland fighter is set to face Jamie Hay (2-0) in the opening fight of Bellator 275, a fight card headlined by a middleweight title matchup between champion Gegard Mousasi (48-7-2) and undefeated no.1 contender Austin Vanderford (11-0).

Speaking to ahead of his fight, Hammond affirmed his intentions once the cage door locks:

“I’ll be looking to finish the fight. I’m not going to rush anything, but I’ll be going in there to finish the fight whatever way it presents itself. On the feet, I’ll be trying to finish the fight. If he shoots in, I’ll be trying to finish the fight. If I take him down, I’ll be trying to finish the fight. If I’m on my back, I’ll be trying to finish the fight. Regardless, I’ll be trying to get the finish.”

The 2018 IMMAF World Champion and long-time training partner of Conor McGregor was primarily known for his BJJ skills, but it was the Dubliner’s much improved striking prowess that drew attention in his pro debut.

Hammond made quick work of opponent Ionut Brostic (4-0) in his pro debut at Heroes Fight League 2 in Romania, stopping Brositc via strikes to claim an emphatic 1st-round TKO. In the interview, Hammond credited his striking improvements to the work he has been putting in with hailed Crumlin Boxing Club head coach Philip Sutcliffe Sr, in addition to SBG Ireland and Warriors Thai Boxing Gym.

Looking ahead to his next opponent, Jamie Hay, Hammond is prepared for every scenario that may play out come Friday night:

“In the two fights I’ve seen, he has closed the distance fairly quickly, but let’s see. He could change. I said that about the last guy. People can change. You wouldn’t know, he could come in and try box, try strike. He could come in and grapple. I’m ready for everything, so let’s see how it goes.”

Lee Hammond vs Jamie Hay will take place at Bellator 275 on Friday, February 25th.

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Andy Stevenson
Andy Stevenson is an MMA writer, interviewer, and occasional podcaster based in Dublin, Ireland.