Former UFC competitor Paul Kelly returned to the octagon in style at Probellum 1 this Saturday with a convincing win over Simone Bottino after 8 years away from the sport.

The night played host to an array of local talent who all impressed with over 10 Merseyside fighters and none of them losing. Local brothers Jamie and Aaron Small stood out in particular. Jamie took just 15 seconds to get the win. Aaron followed up with a venomous submission win.

However all eyes were on Paul Kelly, the Liverpool man, who has shared the cage with Donald “cowboy” Cerrone. The Olympia arena was anticipating the long awaited return of Kelly and he did not disappoint. With UFC superstar Darren Till in his corner it had that huge fight feel. It looked like 35-year-old had never been out of the cage in the first round. With an impressive early left right combo, he then took Bottino to the ground and dominated.

The second round proved it wasn’t all plain sailing for Kelly. He was hit early in the round and then nearly put into a rear naked choke. However, Paul proved his floor game is still as sharp as ever. He got into full mount and pounded Bottino forcing the referee to stop the fight.

With highly populated Merseyside spectators all estatic, Kelly took the mic after the fight to thank the fans. He also confirmed that there is more to come. He said, “I haven’t got long left but in the time I do have left I’m gonna sprint.” Paul was released from prison in 2018 following a drug trafficking charge. Despite the absence, Kelly proved his talent is still there at probellum 1 and there will be plenty more to come from the proud scouser.

Image credit Instagram @paulkellymma