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Paul Redmond: Bellator Dublin bout with Ryan Scope should crown inaugural European Series champion

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Paul Redmond thinks his bout with Ryan Scope at Bellator Dublin on Feb. 22 is of a high enough caliber to crown an inaugural Bellator European Series champion.

The promotion has shied away from the idea of forging regional titles since the Series was launched, but Redmond believes the belts would stimulate the divisions throughout Europe.

Speaking on the day his fight with Scope was announced, Redmond underlined his delight in facing another highly touted European lightweight.

“I’m pleased with it,” Redmond told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.

“There were a few names tossed around at the start, I didn’t think they pushed me in the direction I wanted to go in. We had a bit of back and forth with Bellator and they came back with this. Ryan’s a good lad, he’s highly ranked, so yeah, great fight.”

Redmond highlighted how his patented submission skills and Scope’s striking ability make for an intriguing clash of styles.

“I think he’s right up there [with the best lightweights in Bellator]. He’s been unlucky in his last couple of fights. ‘Pitbull’ is a tough fight for anybody. I actually didn’t see the fight, but I seen a couple of clips. Some people were saying Scope should’ve took the nod. Then we all seen what happened in the Queally fight: he dropped Queally with a head kick I think it was and then couldn’t put on him. Peter toughed it out and got a sweep from guard I think it was. From that sweep on, it was all Peter. He’s just been unfortunate, but I know over the years people have been dodging him left, right and center. He had to move up to welterweight to take a fight with Lew Long. I choked out Lew Long on Cage Warriors so I think this one is going to be real clash of styles. Ryan’s really tidy on the feet and I’m really tidy on the ground – I think wrestling wins that match.”

Redmond feels as though a win over Scope can bolster his stock significantly, but revealed how he sometimes feels overlooked.

“I think a win over Scope is huge for reputation, but in saying that, I did an interview with the Mirror the other day and I don’t know, but I think I’m being overlooked for this fight,” he said.

“I think I’m being played down…I seem to get it for all of my fights…maybe it’s the stuff I put on Instagram or sh*t like that. I don’t come across like I’m a hard case…I don’t know what way people think. But the guy [from the Mirror] said to me, ‘You’re taking a step up fighting Ryan Scope,’ and I said, ‘Hang on a second, I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu, I’ve got 24 pro fights, I’ve fought in the UFC, I fought on Bellator, I’ve fought on KSW, I’ve fought on BAMMA, I’ve fought for the Bellator title…where are you getting that from?’ I’m up there with the rest of them, f*ck that. I’m going to go out there and do the business in February and that’s that.”

The Team Ryano stalwart went on to underline why he feels Bellator would benefit form the additions of European titles, particularly in the lightweight division.

“Let’s do a European belt, why not? I see people saying, ‘you would be watering down Bellator…watering down the divisions.’ How would you be watering down the division? You made a series for the European side of things, why not make a f*ckin’ belt for it? Whoever has the European belt could fight ‘Pitbull’. ‘Pitbull’ has two belts, featherweight and lightweight, he can only defend those so many times a year. He could holding up a division and he’ll end up relinquishing one of those belts. In the meantime while he still has both of them…put something else up for grabs, why not? I’m gonna say in the press conference or at the end of the fight or whatever – let’s do a belt.”

Redmond thinks he and Scope is a good enough matchup to crown the first European Series lightweight champion.

“I think so,” Redmond replied when asked if his bout with Scope could crown an inaugural European champion. “Let’s start pumping it out on Twitter, but I think it would be a cool idea.”

Check out Paul Redmond’s appearance on Eurobash. The interview begins at 50:00.