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UFC 230: Brian Kelleher to face newcomer Domingo Pilarte at Madison Square Garden

Brian Kelleher gets ready to enter the ring

Brian Kelleher gets ready to enter the ring at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum for UFC Long Island on July 22, 2017.  Photo Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

If you hear a few booms in the crowd at UFC 230 in November, don’t be alarmed.

Brian “Boom” Kelleher will make the trip from Long Island to Madison Square Garden when the UFC returns on Nov. 3. He’ll face Domingo “Son of Fire” Pilarte in a bantamweight bout, according to the UFC.

Selden’s Kelleher (19-9, 3-2 UFC) will look to get back on track after a loss to John Lineker in his last bout. In that fight, Kelleher withstood a barrage of strikes before suffering a knockout in the third round. He previously beat former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao in a unanimous decision in February and holds UFC wins over Iuri Alcantara and Damian Stasiak.

Pilarte (8-1) will make his UFC debut after a July appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, where he defeated Vince Morales by rear-naked choke in the second round. The bantamweight prospect from Houston enters the UFC on a five-fight win streak dating back to February 2015.

Kelleher becomes the second Long Island-based fighter officially booked for UFC 230. Huntington’s Matt Frevola has been confirmed to fight Lando Vannata in a lightweight bout. The other local connection confirmed for the card is David Branch, a Bronx native living in Brooklyn. Branch is scheduled to fight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 230.

Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who grew up in Baldwin, also is close to booking a fight for the MSG card, sources told Newsday in July. Weidman is expected to rematch Luke Rockhold, who took Weidman’s title at UFC 194 in December 2015 by handing him his first career loss.

New York Sports