Montel Jackson Says a Win Over Brian Kelleher Would be Biggest to Date

Montel Jackson
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: Montel Jackson poses on the scale during the UFC 227 weigh-in inside the Orpheum Theater on August 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Montel Jackson (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is eager to get back into the UFC Octagon when he faces Brian Kelleher (19-9 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC 232 on December 29. The two bantamweights were supposed to meet last month at UFC 230 before Kelleher fell ill just hours before the fight.

“I was kind of like “What the fuck,” it was Madison Square Garden and literally two hours before the fight,” Jackson told MMASucka. “It’s like, ‘I’m ready to fight, like, what the fuck.’ And just to get the call when we were all on the bus to head over to the venue. Man, that sucked.”

As a result, this is the second camp in a row Jackson has been training for Kelleher, and has been training for the same man for three months straight. However, Jackson said he’s not too concerned over whether Kelleher is able to make the fight this go-around.

He’s eager to get back in the win column. Ricky Simon handed Jackson his first professional loss at UFC 227, a fight he took on five days’ notice. Jackson said that’s taught him to stay ready no matter what.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh I want the opportunity and I want this, I want that, I want a chance on the big stage,’” Jackson said. “Everybody can say that stuff, but are you ready for that chance to present itself? In this game, you must stay ready. You must be on your P’s and Q’s.” 

Jackson vs. Kelleher

Jackson began his career with six straight victories before dropping a unanimous decision to Simon. He punched his ticket to the UFC with a third-round TKO over Rico DiSciullo on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

He feels a win over Kelleher would be the biggest of his young career to date. Kelleher holds victories over Renan Barao, Iuri Alcantara, Julio Arce (two) and Damian Stasiak.

“He’s a veteran, man,” Jackson said. “He’s got some good wins against some good people. So hell yeah.”

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