Undefeated SBG welterweight Kiefer Crosbie faces his most experienced opponent to date in his promotional debut at Bellator 211 Saturday in Genoa, Italy, and the Dublin knockout artist wouldn’t have it any other way.
Despite being one of the most talked about fighters in Ireland, Crosbie has been unsuccessful in his efforts to secure dates with some of the biggest names on the European scene. Just four fights and four wins into his career, “Big Daddy” understands why some of the continent’s bigger names have been reluctant to book a date against him.
“It’s very hard to lose against a 4-0 lad for a guy that’s been in this game for 15 or 10 years,” Crosbie told Eurobash.
“I understand why people wouldn’t want to fight me because it’s a threat and it’s a lose-lose situation for them because the way they see it is, ‘If I win I’m only beating a 4-0 lad, but if I lose it’s a big kicks in the bollocks!’ It looks bad on their record, it looks bad for their career…so I understand it to be honest.
“Even guys like Colin Fletcher, I was asking for him for a long time and other guys like him, [because] he was in the UFC. I was looking for a guy to fight so people would be like, ‘He beat a UFC veteran’. I don’t necessarily give a sh*t about that, but people seem to care, promoters seem to care and fans seem to care.”
Crosbie has contested all of his professional bouts to date in his hometown. This time he goes up against an Italian, Orlando D’Ambrosio, who will be backed by his home support on the night.
According to Crosbie, he was given a number of opponents to choose from and he selected the Italian because he wanted to go in against the most experienced challenger available.
“I got sent three names and I picked the guy with the biggest record. I got sent a 2-0 lad, a 4-0 lad and this lad. His record said he was 9-3, but apparently he’s only 7-3, so someone f*cked up when they were sending over the records. I said I wanted this lad because he’s got the most amount of fights, most amount of wins—I want him, I want him in Italy and I want to be on the main card,” he explained.
“I wanted that test, I wanted an experienced lad and best of luck to him. I’m glad he’s experienced, I’m glad he’s felt other people, but I’m telling you now…on my life he has never felt what I have to offer. He’s never even sparred someone like me before.”
Irish MMA fans know that Crosbie has been plagued by last-minute withdrawals throughout his career. The Irishman admitted that he is not completely ruling out an 11th-hour change for his Bellator debut.
He said: “I was only thinking about that the other day. I was thinking, ‘This is going too smooth’. I was saying to my girlfriend the other day, ‘Something is bound to happen’. Every time I have a fight booked something comes along and it’s a headache. This one is going smoothly but I have a feeling something bad is going to happen.”
Despite the pressures of trying to impress his new promoter on top of facing the most experienced test of his young career on enemy soil, Crosbie already has his weekend in Italy mapped out.
“I can’t wait to pound him around and then pound a big pizza and a load of pasta afterwards,” he said.
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Kiefer Crosbie interview begins at 57:35.