Roscommon MMA star Danni Neilan won on her Bellator debut last Friday night at Dublin’s 3 Arena. The Rathbrennan girl claimed a convincing points decision against Camila Rivarola at strawweight (115 pounds).
Due to time constraints and TV scheduling, Danni’s bout ran late, which meant she walked out for her debut in front of a packed arena.
Danni, who had signed a four-fight deal prior to her bout with the Stockholm based fighter, told People Sport she was pleased with her night’s work.
She said: “It was mad like. I was meant to fight at five o’clock but they ran out of time on the night and I was told I’d be on at 6.30 pm so I knew it would be absolutely jammed by then.
“I was given just five minutes notice ahead of my fight so I didn’t really have time to get nervous. It was just a rush!”
Danni, who trains at SBG Mullingar, says that confidence was high going into the fight and she felt she had “put her best foot forward” in the pro ranks.
“I was confident all the way through camp. I knew she was a one-trick pony. I knew I would have to bring the fight to her because she likes to run away but I was a little bit disappointed I didn’t finish her,” she said.
Danni looks set for a bright future and she certainly impressed those in attendance last Friday night.
“They (Bellator) are excited about me. The head of the corporation was there on Friday so I just need to keep winning now”.
Former two weight UFC champion, Conor McGregor, was also in attendance at Friday’s event and he offered plenty of advice throughout Danni’s fight.
“Conor was cornering me when I was on his side of the cage. It was surreal and I was thinking ‘I hope I do what he’s telling me to!’
“He said it was a great performance afterwards and gave me a hug and shook hands with Alan (McCormack, Danni’s coach and fiancé),” she said.