Video – The Final Walk: Neil Seery

[Press Release] Irishman Neil “2 Tap” Seery has become an MMA icon over his three year UFC career. On Sunday, July 16 at UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NELSON VS. PONZINIBBIO, the Irish fan favourite will make his final journey to the Octagon where he will face surging Brazilian prospect, Alexandre Pantoja.

Not only have fans around the world come to love veteran Seery but so too have his fellow fighters, who time and time again have shared their respect and admiration for the flyweight’s hard-nosed approach to the fight game. In particular, Seery’s ability to balance a professional MMA career with a full time job and raising four (soon to be five) children, has impressed peers and pundits alike.

But Seery demonstrated a willingness to defy the odds long before his time in the UFC. In the early stages of his career the Irishman competed at welterweight, forcing him to enhance his modest frame in order to get the opportunity to fight his, often much larger, opponents.

Seery made a successful flyweight debut under the Cage Warriors banner in 2011 but, when he was submitted by Artemj Sitenkov (who incidentally also holds a win over Conor McGregor) in his second flyweight test, his long-time coach Andy Ryan was forced to convince him not to walk away from the sport. Just four wins later, the Irishman captured the Cage Warriors flyweight title against Finland’s Mikael Silander.

When Ian McCall was forced to pull out of his scheduled London bout with Brad Pickett in March 2014, the Irish fans took to social media to campaign for Seery’s promotional debut. And, sure enough, he was called up. To this day, many attribute that decision to the overwhelming outcry from Seery’s loyal Irish fan base.

Seery was cheered on from Octagon-side by UFC lightweight champion McGregor, as he and Pickett put on a relentless back and forth performance to the delight of the London crowd. Prior to the fight, many had believed it would be a one-sided affair in favour of the Londoner but Seery proved his worth over three rounds, forcing the infamous “One Punch” Pickett to shoot for takedowns to secure a decision win.

Seery’s next outing saw him draw some of the biggest cheers of the night when UFC returned to Dublin for the first time since 2009. It was a historic night for the Irish athletes on the card, as they went unbeaten in six bouts. Seery, one of those, graciously dedicated his victory to his nephew, whose funeral had taken place just days before the event.

Known for his willingness to accept even the toughest of fights, Seery was tasked with introducing undefeated bantamweight Chris Beal to the UFC platform when the organisation hosted a 30,000 seat stadium event in Stockholm, Sweden in January 2015. Fans and media alike had predicted that, with a win, Beal would immediately enter the title fray but, rocking the American on several occasions, Seery was able to dispel those predictions and secure a decision win.

When Seery took on Louis Smolka at UFC 189®: MENDES vs. McGREGOR the arena was filled with Irish fans, all of whom made sure they were seated inside the iconic MGM Grand Garden Arena early to see the Team Ryano fighter compete. While Seery came up short on the night, he gained widespread recognition for his tenacity and determination over three rounds.

Over the course of Seery’s career the city of Dublin has arguably brought out his very best performances. When UFC returned to the 3Arena in October 2015 Seery secured his sole UFC stoppage over Jon Delos Reyes, a win which caused the Irish crowd to erupt with applause and celebration.

Neil Seery is a fighter who will long be respected for his refusal to protect an untarnished record and his desire to instead bring entertainment to the masses each and every time he fights.

“I’m of course disappointed it’s coming to an end but I’m happy with what I have achieved.” said Seery. “I am glad my final fight is so close to home. I just want to thank the fans for all their support over the years.”

On July 16 inside the SSE Hydro, Seery will have one last opportunity to thank his fans in person as he bids farewell to the world of professional mixed martial arts.

Watch UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NELSON vs. PONZINIBBIO live on BT Sport 2 from 6:00 p.m. BST on Sunday, July 16. Catch the early prelims on UFC FIGHT PASS at 4:30 p.m BST.

 

For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.comAll bouts live and subject to change.

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Producer on ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, ‘Ten Thousand Hours’ and ‘The Fighting Irish’ documentaries.