Peter Queally: “The Writing is on the Wall” for a move to UFC

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Peter ‘The Showstopper” Queally has been going quietly about his business for years. From South Africa to Poland, the SBG fighter has gone the extra mile to stay competitive and with a victory at BAMMA 24 next Saturday night, Queally is expected to reach the biggest milestone of his professional career.

Sources close to Queally believe a win at the 3 Arena is all that is needed for him to secure a contract with UFC. When we asked ‘The Showstopper’ about the stipulation, he insisted that “big things” were on the horizon for him after February 27.

“I think most people know that the writing is on the wall for me now. It’s just a matter of time,” he said about his future with UFC. “I’ve been doing this right for a long time now. I’ve travelled, I’ve taken the hard fights and I’ve taken the path that nobody else wanted to. I think most people are starting to see that. They can see my work and the value in it. So, you’re right, there are big things coming after this one.”

Standing in his way will be English welterweight Nathan ‘Mr Bag and Tag’ Jones. A man who is known for his aggressive showings, Jones is currently riding a five-fight win streak with each victory coming by stoppage. Although Queally knows that Jones will present a “tough” challenge, he is confident that after moving up to welterweight there is nothing that will get in the way of him banking a solid performance in the Irish capital.

“I’ve watched a few of his fights, he’s a good, solid, tough fighter. I don’t think there’s anything to particularly prepare for with him. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but they’re all the same. You’re competing against yourself. I’m the one who has to perform and when I perform, there’s no one that can deal with me. I’m a nightmare.

“I’ve proven that. At welterweight, when there’s no cut, I always perform. I’m so confident now, it’s like the missing piece of the puzzle has been found. This lightweight business, my two losses are at lightweight and that’s because when I show up at that weight I’m a heap of shit. I’m just not the same.

“At welterweight, even though I’m a bit undersized, I know I always perform. I’m not worried about Nathan Jones or any fighter for that matter. I just go in and do my thing. I know I’ll be doing my thing on February 27 and that’s it. It’s plain sailing for me.”

Queally has endured some horrific weight cuts while travelling across the world to compete. Now at 170lbs and getting ready to compete in front of his country, ‘The Showstopper’ agrees that BAMMA 24 provides him with the perfect equation to seal the biggest win of his career.

He said: “I’m so happy to be fighting at home. I haven’t fought in Ireland for years. I’ve been to some absolutely mad places just to get a fight. They’ve been long journeys and people don’t realize how hard it is. In Ireland, nobody does this apart from me and Artem Lobov, really. Cathal (Pendred) and Chris (Fields) used to do it too back in the day, but in recent times, it’s only been me and Artem who are willing to take those kinds of fights.

“Promoters have said it to me. When there’s some 10-0 beast in Warsaw or wherever, and no one will fight them, they pick up the phone and they ring John (Kavanagh), and they’re usually looking for me. The promoters have told me that themselves. They would ring other gyms in Ireland but there is no one taking these fights. I’m delighted to be back home. It’s an absolute pleasure to be close to home and not having to go through the usual travel. It’s a different situation for me.

“It’s a different situation for my opponent too. I don’t think he’s ever fought outside of England. I can tell him, like I’d tell anyone, it’s a different situation when you go to someone’s hometown. You feel the crowd, you see the size of the arena and all of these different things – you have to be ready for it.”

Having recently spent some time away in the States with UFC featherweight champion and teammate Conor McGregor, Queally saw firsthand what it means to be at the very forefront of MMA. That being said, it isn’t the fame and money that keeps the Irishman motivated.

“I’ve been seeing into his life at the top of the sport for quite a while. I was over in America with him and we had a lot of fun, but it doesn’t particularly motivate me. I’m doing this for me. I just like fighting, to be honest. I’m not really in this for money or fame or anything else. When I got into this, there was no money in it, it’s only recently that money has come into it. The dream is there now.

“Things haven’t really changed for me in that regard. I don’t think about money and fame at all. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s a lot of fun and I had a great time with Conor over there.”

There is undoubtedly pressure on Queally ahead of his pivotal bout with Jones, but as he puts it, “every fight is pressure” and he’s been able to condition himself for that over the years.

“The pressure is neither good nor bad. The fact that some important people are watching doesn’t put any extra pressure on me. Every fight is pressure. Whether you’re fighting in the 3 Arena or you’re fighting in a school hall, there is always pressure. All of these fights go on your record and that’s all that matters. You’ve got to win these fights and you have to beat good opposition. It doesn’t really matter where you’re doing it or who is watching.

“Anyone who has career aspirations in the fight game has to live with pressure. If you truly believe you can get to the top, you’ve got to feel that pressure in every single fight. I’ve been dealing with that for a very long time, it’s nothing new.

“Even with the big show in the 3 Arena, I’ve fought in bigger arenas than that, much bigger. I’m talking about fighting in a different country with a different set of circumstances altogether. This is new to a lot of these guys, but it’s certainly not new to me. I’ve taken the harder road, but I think BAMMA 24 is where that will pay off.”

Given what awaits him should he have his hand raised on the night, Queally knows it’s important for him to put a stamp on his showing:

“It is important for me to put a stamp on this one and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to maul him. I think I’m going to finish him in the second or third. The guy’s tough and he’s proven that, but I will maul him.”

@PetesyCarroll

Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus