In Boston, Joe Kelly is known as the inconsistent but lovable relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. On the mound, Kelly uses his military-grade rifle of an arm to try and dispose of opposing batters. Off the field, he’s a wildcard à la Charlie in “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis.” His psychotic personality mixed with his God-given arm strength makes him one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in terms of stuff.
But last night, it became apparent to Red Sox Nation that Kelly’s talents and showmanship are best suited for another sport: UFC. After drilling New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin with a 97.7 MPH heater, we got our first glimpse of Joe Kelly the fighter. And boy oh boy was it glorious.
The most notable things that qualify Joe Kelly to fight in the UFC are his balls of steel, for lack of a better term (maybe “courage” and “toughness” are better terms, but that’s neither here nor there). When Kelly’s fastball hit Austin’s ribs, the Yankee put on a classic “tough guy” routine. He slammed his bat on the ground and began walking toward the mound like he was leaving the gym after chest day. Kelly, fearing no Yankee douchebag, gave Austin the Morpheus “come here” motion from The Matrix and said, “let’s go”. That willingness and desire to fight is enough to validate Kelly’s testicular fortitude (again, for lack of a better term).
THE BALLS pic.twitter.com/XoUP1iRDr4
— Bostons Diehards (@WTP_BDiehards) April 12, 2018
After inciting the violence, Kelly swiftly dodged a punch and executed a perfect take-down on his Yankee counterpart. When he had Austin bent over on the ground, he delivered a fierce donkey punch to the back of his head. And while yes, Yankees fans are correct in noting that Kelly’s fist didn’t connect with Austin’s occipital lobe, he landed a heavy forearm blow to the back of Austin’s head.
For every New York street-tough saying “that must be what they call a punch in Boston”, I implore you to get on all fours, take a blow like the one Joe Kelly delivered to Tyler Austin’s skull, and see how you feel the next morning. No? Didn’t think so.
JOE KELLY DONKEY PUNCH TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! FIRE ME UP! pic.twitter.com/tu0dIwGqpQ
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) April 12, 2018
No statement has been made by either Kelly or the UFC regarding Kelly’s first fight, but it’s only a matter of time. With all the drama surrounding Conor McGregor, the UFC needs fresh faces to market in order to sell more tickets and PPV fights. Joe Kelly, who is beloved by all of Boston and Red Sox Nation, would surely put asses in the seats.
Finally, there are murmurings in the UFC sphere that Jim Buchanan, legendary Red Sox preseason reporter will be calling Kelly’s first fight. If that isn’t enough to convince you to support Joe Kelly’s UFC career, I don’t know what is.