UFC’s Chris Kelades “Grateful”, But Shocked by Attention That Debut Win Has Brought
By Kelsey Mowatt
After earning a unanimous decision win over Patrick Holohan at UFC Fight Night 54, Chris Kelades is adjusting to the public attention his memorable Octagon debut has prompted.
Not only did Kelades face Holohan on short notice at the October 4th event, but the victory took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is right by the flyweight’s hometown of Dartmouth. While Kelades may have been a recognizable figure in the region’s MMA community before, the Fit Plus fighter’s profile is considerably higher now.
“Yeah, it happens,” Kelades said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked if he’s been recognized on the streets, following the win. “I don’t like attention like that, it doesn’t bother me, but I’m not an attention seeker, so it’s kind of weird for me to get used to. You’re in a shopping mall, looking at clothes, and you look up, and a guy looks at you and he’s like ‘oh hey man’. Like you’re best friends or something.”
“We’ve had a few times where that happens but I mean, it’s all good, because it’s just part of what it is,” Kelades furthered. “At the end of the day, the more people that recognize you, and the more people you entertain, the better you’re doing in the sport. As long as you’re winning. It comes with it and I think that’s just part of the success. I appreciate it for sure.”
The victory made headlines throughout the MMA world, and in addition, several mainstream media outlets in Canada covered Kelades’ UFC debut.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for sure. Yeah. It’s been busy, but it’s slowly starting to die off now, which is good, just a few interviews every now and then,” Kelades relayed. “But it’s been really busy, from nothing, to a bunch of stuff all at once.”
Although not every fighter sprints to the spotlight or welcomes media attention, Kelades understands the importance of seizing the opportunities, which have come his way.
“That’s kind of the way I see it,” said Kelades. “Some people like attention, I’m not the kind of guy that really loves attention, per se. That was one of the things in all this that was the biggest shock in all this to me; to be honest, I expected to fight and fight good, win a bonus, those things ran through my mind…I never really thought about the spinoff of the press, and having to do so many interviews, and having that part, because it’s just not something that really fuels me.”
“But it’s something I’m grateful for, because a lot of guys, don’t have the opportunity, especially in their first fight to really get themselves out there and have that kind of acknowledgement,” furthered Kelades, who trains alongside UFC lightweight contender TJ Grant. “It’s definitely more of a blessing than anything else.”
As Kelades noted, he and Holohan also collected “Fight of the Night” honors, which came with an extra $50 grand each.
“That’s huge for me at this point of my career too,” said Kelades (8-1). “The money is going to come in handy. I’m going to invest in my own training. Not having to worry so much about the bills. Maybe do a camp somewhere. Just develop skills and not have to worry about the money, and have a clear mind is huge at this stage.”