KIEFER CROSBIE daydreamed about fighting in the UFC when he worked in the pub as a fresh-faced teenager.

He wasn't legally allowed to pull pints in his local as he was only 15 years old, and he certainly won't be pulling any punches when he makes his debut tomorrow.

The proud Irishman makes his octagon debut on the prelim portion of UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia – thirteen years into a career which has had its ups and downs.

It wasn't that long ago that fighting in MMA's top promotion seemed like a pipedream for The Straight Blast Gym star.

So to say he's over the moon to have finally made it to the sport's promised land would be an understatement

'Big Daddy' told SunSport: "It means everything [to be in the UFC]. It really means everything,


Dana White makes announcement on shock ‘UFC 300 return’ for retired champion

Best UFC betting sites UK: Top UFC offers for September 2023

"You can buy so many things on this planet that will make you happy, but you can't buy a UFC contract.

"You have to earn that and I've earned that the hard way and the long way. But I've earned it and that's forever now.

"It's going to be etched in history that Kiefer Crosbie is a UFC fighter.

"And I can't wait to finally make that walk to the octagon and do my team – get my hand raised – and represent my country and my people.

Most read in MMA


Brittney Palmer joins no bra club in outfit as fans call her ‘queen of hotties’


I once was a Neo-Nazi but I changed my ways and now I’m fighting for UFC gold


UFC launch legal action against Pillow Fight Championship over logo similarity


UFC octagon girl Brittney Palmer goes braless in risque dressing gown snap


"And finally, after all these years, just do it. That's really what I'm looking forward to."

Despite his ups and downs Crosbie – who began watching the UFC the best part of two decades ago – always knew he'd one day grace the octagon.

"I said it since I was 15 years of age when I first started watching it on the TV and I said it out loud, 'I'm going to be in the UFC," he said.

"I got laughed at in my face and people were looking at me like, 'You're stupid.' But I just held that was like, 'I can f***ing get into that UFC. I want to fight these people.'

"It was a long road, of course, but I'm here now and all I have to focus on is the task at hand in a couple of days. Finally, I'm here."

"It's crazy [to think of]," Crosbie said when recalling daydreaming of fighting in the UFC while he worked in a pub. "You have no idea.

"I was watching the UFC when nobody knew what the UFC was a thing in Ireland."

Crosbie's desire to fight in the octagon has, ever so slightly, been driven by one of his long-time team-mates and good friends competing in the promotion.

The friend in question: 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor.

So it's somewhat fitting that McGregor has been ramping up preparations for his own return alongside the soon-to-be debut boy.

You can buy so many things on this planet that will make you happy, but you can't buy a UFC contract

He said: "It's been amazing [being in training camp with Conor]. Conor is the the greatest of all time – he's the best to every do it.

"Being on the same mat as him and listening to him is just amazing. The advice he's given me [has been amazing].

"He's watched a lot, watched all of his fights, and gave me detailed breakdowns and we went through a lot of stuff in the gym.

"He's just very invested and I'm very grateful to have that mentorship from him and his advice.

"He's just unreal to be around, to train with, to listen to and take inspiration from."

Being a team-mate of the biggest superstar in MMA history has its benefits in terms of eyeballs – but it also brings additional pressure.

Crosbie is long accustomed to that and feels it – as well as a win over former UFC veteran Alex Oliveira in his last outing – will help him ward off the dreaded "UFC jitters".

"I showed that I can finish these people [who have been in the UFC] and finish them in one round," Crosbie said. "He was a 22-fight veteran in the UFC and he's been winning before and and after that fight.

"He's still very much relevant and he's trying to get back into the UFC.

"That's the reason I'm sitting here is that because the UFC saw that and thought, 'Man, this guy is legit.'

"I look forward to taking out more vets in the UFC now."

Standing between Crosbie and victory in the first fight of his four-fight UFC deal is fellow debutant Kevin Jousset.

He said of the Frenchman: "He's good, he comes from a really good gym. He's a solid grappler and a talk and awkward striker.

"Again, he comes from a good team so he's going to have some good rounds from him in that gym.

"But I just believe I can hit anybody and knock them out.

"I genuinely believe that and I genuinely believe if I can land on that chin I can knock you out, whoever you are."

Crosbie's life has changed drastically in the two weeks which have passed since he fulfilled a life's work and signed with the promotion – with his social media blowing up.

But, ultimately, he knows nothing else matters but doing the business and having his hand raised, something he hopes will inspire young kids back home in Dublin.

He said: "If anyone is going to take anything from this – and hopefully be inspired from – is that you can do anything you want to do.

"Once you can see it in your mind and speak it out loud, you can do it. It's as simple as that. Stop listening to people and go and do it.

"I'm very proud of myself for putting the work in and getting to this level.

"But, all that being said, it means nothing until I get my hand raised.

Read More on The Sun

Ex paramedic reveals five popular foods you should never give kids under 5

Huge star to front Asda’s Christmas ad after signing mega-money deal

"And when I get my hand raised, then I can finally say, 'I did it.' I have to go out there and get this job done, I have to go out there and win this fight.

"And when I do that, I can take a breath and go, 'Finally, I did it. I'm 1-0 in the UFC now.' And that momentum will carry me on to the next one."

Source: Read Full Article