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Paul Kelly explains the sucker punch

Paul Kelly already tried to clear up that whole sucker punch drama during Donald Cerrone’s post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, but fucked if I know what the hell he said. Even after watching it ten times, the best I can come up with is “Oi wassan seelin joos gonta weich no dees respach!” Since I can barely understand that mushmouth Hugh Grant, someone as ghetto as Kelly might as well be speaking Na’vi. Fortunately, Fighters Only got a comment from him and decoded his babble into easily readable English:

“You know what I am like, you never see me shake hands at the weigh ins. But Donald went out of his way to shake hands, so I shook his hand and said look ‘Just, bring it tomorrow. From minute one, I am me.’ and he said ‘Sure, lets get it on and lets make some money. Its about more than just winning, you know?’” Kelly told Fighters Only from Las Vegas on Sunday night.

“So we had an agreement to come out and f–king have it. So when he is standing across the cage I’ve got that in my head, ‘Come out and have it’. In my mind it was going to be the same as the start of my fight with Paul Taylor – just straight to work and go at it properly.

“I wouldn’t pull a dirty trick, you know what I mean? I’ve just touched [gloves] and went to work straight away – I thought that’s what he was going to do. Maybe I should have waited a split-second more but I thought we just going to go straight at it from the off, I was expecting him to be straight in. I’ve said sorry and I don’t know what I can do or say.

“Your mind goes a million miles an hour in there, you know? I just had one thing on my mind, ‘get to work’, and that’s all. Its not my style to sucker punch anyway, never in any of my fights have I ever been accused of being a dirty fighter. I am not about that.”

On one hand, it’s a bit of a stretch to imagine standard WURRIUR talk = a signed and sealed agreement not to touch gloves. But on the other, it’s not like Cerrone was being especially obvious about a glove tap as they approached each other. I’m a big fan of the mantra ‘Protect yourself at all times’ – I thought Million Dollar Baby got what she deserved.

But just like I was the only one who cheered when Clint Eastwood finished her off, I’m probably one of the few willing to excuse Paul Kelly. Touching gloves has become a de facto tradition in MMA, so if you ain’t gonna do it you better make it clear ahead of time or at least have the decency to gong and dash your way out so there’s no ambiguity over whether you plan to show your opponent respect or try and cave his head in.

  • Carcass

    “Protect yourself at all times, if you want to touch gloves, do it now…back to your corners.  Ready?  Ready?  FIGHT.”

    There’s nothing ambiguous about that.  There’s no such thing as a sucker punch, other than punching a sucker who isn’t doing as he was warned to by the referee.

  • G Funk

    Is there a gif? I remember him raising his hand to touch and then, bam.

  • subo

    ^ That’s absolutely what happened, and Donald raised his first.  You either do it or you don’t.  He did it.  Dirty move.

  • frickshun


  • agentsmith

    Looks more like Kelly was faking a jab, not a glove-touch.  And Cerrone is clearly reacting just before Kelly even throws, so he obviously realized from the way Kelly was moving that he was coming to throw em, not to touch.

    Seems like a misunderstanding to me, but one that of course makes Kelly look bad.  Probably the best evidence to back that up is the fact that Cerrone didn’t seem at all pissed about it in the post-fight interview.

  • matthewpolly

    It’s a gray area, but the shallow tradition of MMA is that you touch gloves, step back, and then start fighting. You don’t touch gloves and then immediately follow with a right overhand. It’s a gutter move, even in Liverpool. Kelly, despite his protests, knows this.

  • agentsmith

    See this interview with both of them, where Cerrone says flat-out that he knows it wasn’t an intentional cheapshot.


    More disturbing to me is that Cerrone appeared to not be ready for the entire first round of that fight, let alone the non-glove-touch.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Looks to me like Cerrone wasn’t going for one, but the Brit was, then re-adjusted thinking Cerrone wasn’t down and then jumped right in.

  • glassjawsh

    dirty as fuck, and it’s even worse that he is trying to save face after losing. No way he apologizes if that first punch had cleaned cerrone’s clock (or if any of his punches thereafter had done the same)

  • scissors61

    It was a crappy move, but unless it happens before/after the bell rings or during a ref-enforced break in action it’s not a sucker punch. See Daley, Paul for a real sucker punch. 


  • subo

    Donald clearly had some other shit on his mind during that interview.  Poor guy.

  • subo

    Kelly said he didn’t mean to do it and it won’t happen again.  Good enough for me.


    Also, lol at Kelly saying “money” like twenty times.  $75,000 bonuses are nice.

  • agentsmith

    “Donald clearly had some other shit on his mind during that interview.  Poor guy.”

    Like what?  Did he leave the stove on?

  • G Funk


  • Omomatta

    I think Thuderbiscuits is right. Good on Cerrone for winning that fight. His jits aren’t the greatest, but they’re well suited for MMA. What irks me is that it didn’t seem like he found his riddum. When he does, his muay thai is off the chain. I wanted to see some nice standup, but I’ll take the sub.

  • Conseal

    His gradfather just died. He’s right to be upset and emotional.

  • Symbul

    Donald Cerrone and the first round have a “strained” relationship. He doesn’t like to start fighting until the fight is well underway usually.

    Also fuck those second (and third, and so on) glove touches. You already had a chance to do it, just come out and fucking fight.

  • agentsmith

    “His gradfather just died. He’s right to be upset and emotional.”


    So that’s what Subo was talkin aboot.

  • FiveBoltMain

    ramble ramble ramble ramble!


    If Cerrone doesn’t have a problem with it, then why should any one else? He’s the one who got punched & didn’t see it as a dirty trick, so let it go. It’s in the past you whiny bitches!

  • Redping

    Glassjawsh mum must’ve been raped by a sucker punch or an englishman or something because even though cerrone doesn’t care, he seems to be taking the sucker punch pretty personally

    glad to see everybody else realised it was more of a miscommunication than a dick-move, it kinda looked like it to me

  • subo

    Agent – yeah.  I’m hoping to score an interview with him so I can write the old man up correctly.

  • iamphoenix

    who fucking cares. the packers won the superbowl.

  • Smitler

    “It’s a gutter move, even in Liverpool.”

    Have you been to Liverpool Mr Polly? That move is how family greet each other in scouse-land. :)

  • SST

    Paul Daley is laughing right now. That aint no sucka punch.

  • glassjawsh

    that’d be like saying that rape is ok if the victim doesn’t say anything about it. duurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • G Funk

    If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it really happen?

  • frickshun

    ^^Technically, yes.

    What is this, fucking Schrodinger’s Cat?? Oh, too smart for you guys?

  • glassjawsh

    now tell everyone you learned about it by watching stargate!

  • G Funk

    Kurt Russel was much better in OVERBOARD

  • FiveBoltMain

    Comparing rape to the “sucker” punch ? You have officially gone bat shit crazy.

  • agentsmith

    @ jawsh:  Well if you want to use that analogy, the victim actually DID say something… he specifically said he wasn’t raped.  When someone says they weren’t raped, I generally take their word for it.

  • matthewpolly

    I have been to Liverpool, but, fortunately, no family sucker-punched me. I’ve also been in the ring and one of my big fears was that if I stuck out my hand for a tap my opponent would use the opportunity to jump me. I was ready, as every fighter should be once the ring sounds, but it is still a gutter move. Tap, pause, start fighting. Isn’t MMA, as Goldberg always says, about “respect?”

  • frickshun

    ^^WRONG. Goldy always says it’s about the TEEP. And the jab, which is apparently THE MOST UNDERUTILIZED WEAPON IN ALL THE GALAXY.