Tipperary's Will Fleury brings 3Arena to its feet with first Bellator win
Will Fleury wanted to prove his resilience and he most certainly did that.
When put to Tipperary's Fleury that he was in good hands with John Kavanagh after his first career defeat last July, he assured me that he didn't need any outside motivation.
Fleury earned his first Bellator win on Saturday night, when one of the world's top mixed martial arts promotions set up shop in the 3Arena for Bellator 217.
Taylor engaged with an takedown attempt and referee Kerry Hatley didn't take kindly to Fleury's defensive elbows and while the Scot's gameplay was clearly to wrestle, it was Fleury who enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the grappling department as he finished the opening round in top position, raining down ground and around to close out a fruitful five minutes.
— Jonnyboy (@JBNeverDies) February 23, 2019
And it was in the grappling department that the fight was ultimately decided when Fleury saw a glimmer of an opening and cinched up a vice-like rear naked choke out of nowhere in the second round.
Straight Blast Gym's Fleury made it clear since weigh-in day that he doubted his opponent's professionalism after Taylor weighed in a whopping 5lbs over the middleweight limit.
'The Lion of Tipperary' doubled down on that in his post-fight interview before proclaiming himself the best middleweight in Ireland and making clear his desire to prove himself the best 185lber in Europe.
And considering how well he rebounded from his only career defeat, it's not hard to foresee a scenario in which Fleury is competing for that honour before the year is out.