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After spending time in the US helping his teammates prepare for UFC fights, Brad Riddell was home for just two days before setting off for Perth.
This Saturday, the New Zealander takes on Abel Brites in the main event of Hex Fight Series 15 at a catchweight of 79kg. The event will be held at Metro City in Northbridge this Saturday, July 21.
Although Riddell has predominantly fought in kickboxing, this weekend doesn’t signify an intention to focus exclusively on MMA just yet.
“I fight in kickboxing next weekend,” Riddell told Engage Media Group.
The following Saturday, Riddell will be in Chendu, Chinafor a kickboxing bout at EM Legend 32.
“I get back [from Perth] on Sunday night, then I fly out on Wednesday night – I think – to China.”
Like his City Kickboxing teammate, Israel Adesanya, Riddell has made a name for himself on the kickboxing scene; his credentials as an elite striker demonstrated by a number of titles, including WBKF world middleweight champion, New Zealand WMC middleweight champion and Oceania Super 8 middleweight champion.
Despite his affinity for standup, Riddell is looking forward to showcasing his other, lesser known skills on Saturday night.
“I can’t wait,” Riddell said. “I’m presuming he’s gonna take me down, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Riddell believes his solid build and heavy-handed style make him well suited to MMA.
“I think it suits me pretty well,” he said. “I guess my style is threatening in MMA since the size of the gloves.”
However, this won’t be his first foray into MMA. The decorated striker is already 3-0, having finished all three bouts via knockout before the third round.
Inspired by the “complete domination” put on by his teammates Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Alex Volkanovski, Riddell looks to outclass Abel Brites who took the fight on short notice.
While in the US, Riddell said news of his original opponent Robert Powdrill withdrawing from the bout didn’t disrupt his training – for the most part.
“It was pretty hard to stay away from the buffets,” Riddell laughed.
“When I found out I was like, ‘Oh shit. Are we gonna go eat or what?’ and then Eugene reckoned they were gonna find somebody so I just carried on doing what I was doing, and lucky I had someone step up.”
Brites (11-5) is a former Hex lightweight champion who last fought in October last year, where he picked up a decision win against Ethan Duniam at Brace 51.
Riddell’s last MMA fight was in January last year against Kenan Song (now 14-4) at Glory of Heroes 6 where he scored a knockout in the second round. Since their bout, Song has signed with the UFC and earned himself two impressive knockout victories under the promotion.
Despite that, Riddell isn’t getting ahead of himself with ambitions of someday joining the UFC.
“It’s always been the goal. It’s gonna happen eventually.
“It’s such a hit-and-miss sport. Our fight was quite close until I caught him. Just because I beat him, doesn’t mean I would do super, super well in the UFC. Good things take time.”
At least for the rest of the year, Riddell is looking to take fights from both kickboxing and MMA, before focusing on the latter.
“I reckon I’ll just have a last few kickboxing fights – a last farewell – and if MMA comes along, I’ll probably take that on precedence.”
Hex Fight Series 15 will be held at Metro City in Northbridge, Perth this Saturday, July 21.