Tony Kelley


Slated to face Trevin Jones
April 15, 2021
Kelley (leg) is being pegged for a July 24 fight against Trevin Jones, MMA Island reports.
After dropping his UFC debut via unanimous decision, Kelley picked up his first victory the same way last time out against Ali AlQaisi last October. He picked up a possible leg injury in the clash but the next fight date falls out of the medical suspension window, so he should be ready to roll. Kelley owns a 7-2-0 professional record overall and is set to take on another fighter in Jones who has opened up his UFC career in identical fashion, picking up his first win in his second fight with the promotion. Kelley stands two inches taller than his opponent but sports the same reach.
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Possible leg injury
October 13, 2020
Kelley is facing a potential 180-day medical suspension pending a MRI on his right leg and ankle, Nolan King and Farah Hannoun of USA Today report.
Even though it wasn't pretty, Kelley still picked up his first UFC victory against Ali Al Qaisi at UFC Fight Island 5 on Saturday. Kelley only absorbed 29 total significant strikes in the matchup, but 11 of those were to his legs in the third round. The UFC medical staff will ultimately force him to get it checked out before a return to competition can be cleared.
Picks up first UFC victory
October 10, 2020
Kelley defeated Ali Al Qaisi via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
It was a decent bounce-back effort for Kelley on the heels of his unanimous decision loss to Kai Kamaka in his company debut this past August. Kelley deserved to win, but a deeper dive into the numbers reveals some issues. Kelley won the total strike battle by a count of 61-58 (unofficially), but also allowed Al Qaisi to land 5-of-15 takedown attempts. In didn't cost him in this one, but Kelley is going to have to get that straightened out moving forward or he's going to be in trouble. Kelley will be 34 years old this coming January, so his ceiling looks to be pretty limited.
Next bout set for October
September 1, 2020
Kelley will take on Ali Al Qaisi in a bantamweight matchup at the UFC event scheduled for October 10, MMA DNA reports.
Kelley will be looking to turn it around after losing a short-notice UFC debut in mid-August to Kai Kamaka. Al Qaisi lost his debut a week earlier under similar circumstances, falling to Irwin Rivera via split decision. Kelley will hold three-inch height and two-inch reach advantages.
Competitive in UFC debut
August 15, 2020
Kelley lost to Kai Kamaka via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC 252 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was a highly competitive bout in which both men looked strong in their company debuts, and also saw both men walk away with a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. Kelley got off to a slow start before slowing finding his range over the course of the final ten minutes. While Kelley looked more than competent on the feet, it was his poor takedown defense than eventually did him in. He allowed Kamaka to land all five of his takedowns attempts, and that was simply too much to overcome in a close bout. The 33-year-old Louisiana native had spent the entirety of his pro career prior to Saturday on the regional circuit. We'll undoubtedly see him again with the UFC.
To debut at UFC 252
August 11, 2020
Kelley has agreed to face Kai Kamaka at UFC 252 on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nolan King of reports.
Kelley and Kamaka are both featherweight fighters, though the official weight class was not confirmed by the report. Kelley is a Team Alpha Male product with just six pro fights under his belt, with the only loss coming against current UFC fighter Kevin Aguilar back in 2016. He'll take on a fighter eight years younger in Kamaka, who will carry a five-fight winning streak -- composed under KOTC, Bellator and LFA -- to his UFC debut.