‘It’s going to be magical!’ – Richie Smullen to face Adam Gustab in Bellator debut

James Gallagher (foreground) will take on Steven Graham (background) in the main-event of Bellator Dublin. ©Bellator

Richie Smullen has promised a ‘magical’ performance when he debuts for Bellator in Dublin on the 23rd of February against Adam Gustab.

Four weeks ago, it was confirmed to WicklowNews that the 27-year-old Arklow-native would be have his first fight for Bellator when the promotion run in the 3Arena in Dublin in February.

On Wednesday, the Irish Daily Mirror revealed the full fight card for February’s show in Dublin, with Smullen taking on Gustab (3-3) on the prelims.

Smullen (3-1-1) last fought in July, losing by submission to Luis ‘Violent Bob Ross’ Pena in the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter 27.

Meanwhile, Gustab’s last fight came in December 2017, when he lost by knock-out to Declan McAleenan at Cage Legacy 5, having also tasted defeat against Smullen’s fellow Irishman Paul Hughes by TKO in February of that year.

Speaking to WicklowNews, Smullen said that he will have too much for the Pole when they step into the octagon in just over a months time.

“[Gustab] is a fairly solid fighter, he’s fought some of the big names, and he’s fought on good shows. I’m expecting a good performance from him,” he said.

“I think that I’m going to be too much for him. I think I’m a level ahead but the 23rd of February will tell.”

Despite previously facing Pena at lightweight (155lbs), Smullen will drop back down to featherweight (145lbs) to fight Gustab, which the Irishman explains as a return to his comfort zone.

“I was offered opportunities at lightweight, that’s why it happened like that. I started off as a featherweight and I am a featherweight, but opportunities came along that I couldn’t turn down.

“I feel like I am hungrier than ever, more motivated than ever. The best me is going to show up in Dublin on the 23rd of February. It’s going to be magical.”

Tickets for the event are now on sale to the general public and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.ie and Bellator.com, as well as the 3Arena box office.

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