Peter Queally will return to the Fight Nights Global cage on August 24 when he takes on Islam Begidov in Sochi.
The Irishman made his debut for the organization in February having gone through the annoyance of having his previous fight in December fight cancelled just 24-hours out from fight night after his opponent had complications cutting weight.
Queally announced his latest fight on social media last Friday in what at first looked like he’d taken another late notice bout. Speaking exclusively to MMAUNO.com earlier today though, Queally explained that this time around he was more than ready to step up to the plate.
“This one was kind of short notice, but it’s not really because I was scheduled with Fight Nights for on September 30, so I was already preparing for that one,” Queally said. “That fight was kind of scheduled for a while and the whole time I was complaining that it was too far away, but my opponent Kuat Khamitov was saying he didn’t want to fight earlier.
“I was resigned to just taking that fight in September, but just as it happened they were having a few problems with the Sochi card so they gave me a ring and asked me if I would fight a month earlier. They said they were also expecting me to fight on September 30 if I win and I said ‘Perfect, let’s do it’ and that was that.”
Not Underestimating Begidov
Begidov’s 9-9 record doesn’t look outstanding at first glance, but a closer inspection of his record shows he’s lost to some high-quality fighters. Queally feels confident heading into the bout, but at the same time, he says he won’t be underestimating the Russian.
“He’s 9-9, it says differently in other places, but he’s a pretty even fighter,” Queally said. “The thing is, with these guys you can’t judge on a record and all I see there are nine wins. His losses are to some very good guys and his recent losses especially. I’m definitely not taking him lightly. Everyone is tough in the first couple of rounds, even the guy on the street is tough for a first round or two, but I feel the class will show by the second round and I’ll take over that fight.”
Finishing The Fight… Finally
If you said Queally was overdue a finish, you wouldn’t be lying. All of Queally’s 13 fights have gone the distance and he admits himself it’s becoming a running joke in the gym.
“I’ve been getting close to a finish in the last few and I think I’m due one,” Queally said laughing. “It’s a running joke these days. The thing about it is, I don’t think I’ve been involved in boring fights. If you’re just a casual fans and you look on my Instagram or at my record you’ll see 13 fights and 13 decisions, but if you actually watch my fight you’ll see that I’m actually a really exciting fighter and that I am trying to put these guys away.
“It’s just not happening, but trust me, it’s going to happen. I actually feel like I’m going to go on a string of finishes, I really feel like I’ve jumped up a few levels since my last fight. I’m finding better shots and I just can feel that I’ve made a lot of progress.”
First Class Treatment From Fight Nights
If anyone knows what’s it’s like fighting in different promotions, it’s Queally. Amongst others, the SBG Ireland man has fought under the BAMMA, Cage Warriors, Cage Legacy, EFC and Venator FC banners and has a wide experience dealing with different organizations.
Suffice to say, Fight Nights Global have treated him amazingly so far and he’s been nothing but impressed with his dealings with them.
“It’s great working with Fight Nights,” Queally said. “For the first time I feel like I really have a promotion behind me and it’s a nice feeling. They are interested in me and it feels like they are pushing me into a spot where I can really do something. They’ve treated me amazingly both times I’ve been over there. The first time my opponent missed weight badly so we didn’t fight and then I went there again in February. Both trips were like A-1, the best I’ve ever been treated by any promotion. When they offered me the contract it was a simple decision. They’re great guys and I’ve been really happy with it.”
Queally has been so happy with Fight Nights that he’s signed a multi-fight deal for one of the first times in his career. Having taken late notice, one fight deals for the last few years, the extra planning around his bouts has been a big bonus for him.
“It’s nice because I know when my fights are going to be and where my fights are likely going to be and I’ve not really had that luxury of late,” Queally said. “In the last few years of my career I’ve just been taking fights here there and everywhere and I’ve done that because I’ve not wanted to sign long deals here in the UK.
“The pay here is just embarrassing so I’d never sell myself for that cheap in the UK, not for a Cage Warriors or BAMMA or anything like that. So if you don’t do that you have to be willing to take short notice fights and do all the rest of it. Being on the other side of it now though and having the notice on where and when I’m fighting, I do think it’s cool and I’m enjoying that luxury.”
Showing The Younger Generations The Way
With five years as professional fighter already under his belt, Queally is now viewed as one of the more experienced members of the SBG Ireland team. With so many younger generation fighters coming through the ranks, Queally now recognises that he has a duty as a senior member of the team to help the younger generation coming through.
With so many younger generation fighters coming through the ranks, Queally now recognises that he has a duty as a senior member of the group to help the younger generation coming through.
“I’m bringing Cian Cowley along this time,” Queally said. “He’s a good friend of mine and I think it will be a good experience for him coming over. He’s young in his career as well and I always like to bring different younger guys with me from my team. It’s good for them to get to know these promotions because maybe they can get a fight out of it then and it’s important they make these connections.
“As in any business, getting to know people is very important and if you can make a good impression you might be given opportunities. Cian will come with me for this one and it’s going to be great because he’s a very good training partner of mine and an experienced corner man. I think this is mostly going to be a stand-up fight for me so he will be perfect for that.”
“There are so many guys coming through at our gym now, some names you know and some names you don’t, but trust me the future is really bright. There’s James [Gallagher], [Richie] Smullen, Cian [Cowley], Dylan [Tuke], Kiefer [Crosbie], and so many more guys that are starting to make their mark already.
“They’re really starting to get ahead in their career’s and I’m trying to help them out the best I can. That’s what happened for me when I started out. Cathal [Pendred] was helping me, Chris Fields was helping me, Conor [McGregor] was helping me, there were so many different people who had like ten more fights than me trying to keep me away from pitfalls they made. I’ve made many in my career as well and I’m just trying to pass what I’ve learned down to the next guy. They’ll make their own mistakes too, but they’ll pass that on to the next person. We’ve got an amazing team down here and it’s all good.”
All Eyes On Sochi
While happy to help his teammates, Queally knows that it’s his career that has to be his focus right now. His goals for the minute are simple, win his next two fights and then go for gold.
“I’m set myself goals and I’ve got my eyes on that Fight Nights belt,” Queally said. “There’s not just the UFC anymore, there’s ACB, that’s an amazing promotion. There’s Fight Nights there’s more money to be made out there and a lot of the time now it’s more money than the UFC offer at entry level. I’ve got two fights lined up for me already, but after that, it’s the belt. That’s what I want. I want that belt, but four fights go quick. After three fights I’ll be revaluating things and all the rest of it. I’ll win these two fights and then reassess.”