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Kiefer Crosbie Not Surprised By Bellator Release: “My Goal Was Always The UFC”

It was a surprise to many when SBG Ireland‘s Kiefer Crosbie was released from Bellator, but “BDK” says it wasn’t to him.

Crosbie was one of the more prominent Irish fighters snapped up by the promotion to lucrative multi-fight deals as they expanded their footprint into the European market in 2018.

Then an unbeaten 4-0 prospect, Crosbie had just notched a highlight-reel finish at BAMMA 35 over Josh Plant. Crosbie detailed to MyMMANews.com how the win over Plant launched him into the public eye, but he was still queueing up to receive his social welfare allowance on a weekly basis:

“I was on the dole. My goal was always the UFC, even since winning that fight against Josh Plant. That fight went viral, it went everywhere and I made a name for myself that night. Everyone seen it, it blew up! My following went up, people in the street were like ‘aww, I seen you!’, but I’m still going to the post office on a Monday morning, collecting my bleedin’ scratch. It’s kind of embarrassing!”

Shortly after the Plant fight, SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh called Crosbie into his office to let him know that Bellator were interested in signing the Dubliner, and it was an offer that Crosbie couldn’t refuse.

“When I looked at the numbers, I was like ‘fucking hell!’ I didn’t think I’d be fighting for that much money until years down the line. I had to weigh everything up. My goal was still the UFC, and I still wanted that. But my number one goal in life really is to take care of my family. You can’t take care of your family making no money, so I had to just jump on the money.”

Crosbie would end up going 4-3 with the promotion during his 3-year tenure, though his first loss came via DQ from an illegal strike in what was otherwise a domination for the Irishman. Following his most recent loss to Georgi Karakhanyan last July, the promotion cut ties with Crosbie.

While the 32-year-old remains grateful for the opportunities, both in experience and compensation, that Bellator afforded him, once the call came, his mind immediately reverted to the original goal: UFC.

“It was like I was happy or something. The first thing I said to him [Tim Simpson of Paradigm Sports] was ‘let’s get to the UFC!’ It was literally the first thing out of my mouth!”

“My goal remains the same as it has since 2009 when I had my first MMA fight. That’s to get to the UFC, wrap that tri-colour around my shoulders and march into the Octagon! That’s my goal still. It’s still there, I’m still young, and I’m only getting better!”

Crosbie is set to take the next step towards his goal of the UFC when he faces Iman Samarghandi in the main event of Centurion FC on Saturday 2nd July in Malta.

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