Mixed Martial Arts

Long ecstatic for ‘dream come true’ Wembley fight

Venue: The SSE Arena, Wembley, London Date: Friday, 1 October
Coverage: Watch live coverage on BBC iPlayer from 18:00 BST & weigh-in from 12:00 BST on Thursday 30 September

Lewis Long says the prospect of becoming a father is extra motivation ahead of a “dream come true” fight at the SSE Wembley Arena.

Welterweight Long takes on Switzerland’s Michael Dubois at the Bellator London event on Friday.

He is aiming to become the first Welsh fighter to secure a top 10 ranking in either UFC or Bellator.

Long also hopes a win will lead to global recognition.

“Breaking into the top 10 now will open up me fighting in the (United) States, a little bit more worldwide,” says Long from his gym near Pontypridd.

“As a fighter that is what I want, I want to travel, I don’t want to fight Welsh people or British people, I want to fight and use this experience of fighting to see the world and what it opens up to me.

“To get across to the States and the audience over there will massively boost my public persona and also create the life I want to create for my kids and family,” he says.

Long’s family is soon to expand, he and his fiancé are expecting their first child – a baby boy – in January.

The prospect is the perfect preparation for what will be his first fight in a year.

In his last outing he beat Italian Gianni Melillo at Bellator 247 in October 2020.

“It’s huge, fighting in Wembley Arena, fighting on BBC, what a platform to compete on.

“It’s just a dream come true and just fantastic and the more I’m getting closer to the fight the more I’m feeling ecstatic, I don’t think there is another word for it.

“I don’t feel like I’ve ever felt this happy and good… and of course it helps with the motivation that I’ve got a baby boy on the way.”

He jokes that he needs a win in order to pay for a pram.

“They are expensive!” he says.

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