Ahead of Bellator 217, Andy Ryan underlined his belief that his fighter, Paul Redmond, would have been given a main card slot had he fought under the SBG banner, but the legendary Irish coach felt further slighted on fight night at the 3 Arena.
In the co-main event, Team Ryano’s Myles Price took victory over SBG’s Peter Queally in one of the most high-profile fights of the night given Price’s history with SBG and his time spent at AKA ahead of UFC 229. Out of all of the victorious fighters on the event’s main card, Price was the only one who did not receive a post-fight interview in the cage.
Redmond, who took a win in one of the most competitive fights of the night against Charlie Leary, also did not receive an in-cage post-fight interview on the night.
“When we came out of the cage one or two people said it to me, ‘Why didn’t they interview Myles?’ and I didn’t think anything of it,” Ryan told Eurobash.
“But it wasn’t until later on that I started getting phone calls from people saying that the commentating on the fight was very biased. I understand John [Kavanagh] has a big team there and he has big influence, but some of the commentary wasn’t even about the fight, it was about training in SBG and stuff.”
Ryan went on to praise Peter Queally for presenting himself to the media after his defeat.
“I understand that [SBG is] a huge name, but give Myles his dues there. He had a great fight. I listened to Peter Queally’s interview after the fight and it was very humble. It was what a proper martial artist does; no bullsh*t. It was a pretty honest interview and I wish him all the best. But they should’ve given Myles his 20 seconds on the microphone.
“Everyone else on the main card was interviewed, I couldn’t believe it. Even on the undercard they were in there interviewing a few of them. With Myles, was it snub or did we spoil the party? I don’t know. I was annoyed a little bit by that, but it wasn’t until later on when people said it to me.”
Ryan outlined why he couldn’t understand Price not being interviewed given the interest that surrounded his meeting with Queally.
“It was the co-main event. It was a big opportunity for my gym. We were there for all the big nights in Irish MMA. They talk about 2014 and we were there, we were at the heart and soul of that with Neil Seery; we are part of it. It wasn’t until other coaches said to me afterwards, ‘Jesus, they mustn’t like Myles…they wouldn’t even interview him’.”
He added: “He deserved an interview after that fight. Maybe I’m being petty, I don’t know. I think that was a bit wrong considering the hype of the fight.”
Ryan feels as though Redmond and Leary’s meeting was a higher-level clash than some of the fights on the main card, namely Kiefer Crosbie’s clash with Daniel Olejniczak and Richie Smullen’s meeting with Adam Gustab.
“Just some of the fights on the main card…I didn’t think the guys fighting Richie or Kiefer were at their level. That’s not being disrespectful to the two guys that won, I just think they were better than their opponents before the fights even started. Look, they take what they’re given. That’s what happens when you’re a fighter.”
Despite the reaction Redmond’s win received in front of his hometown crowd and the traction his post-fight scrum garnered, Ryan doubts he will be given a main card slot when the promotion returns in September.
“I don’t think they give a f*ck to be honest with you. I don’t know if it’s more of a show now than a [sport], I don’t know. I just think we’re not the big cheese, so they’ll just fit you in where they want,” he said.
“I hope [Redmond is on the next Irish main card]. He should’ve been on it from the start. He’s such a high profile fighter, it’s crazy. I know when [Dave Green] was asked about this at the press conference he was saying, ‘Well who could you move down? Any of the undercard could be on the main card.’ No, they couldn’t because they’re not experienced fighters, they’re not experienced pros. What happened to serving your time and working your way up? If anything put an extra fight on the main card.”
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Paul Redmond/Andy Ryan interview begins at 52:20.