Because Daniel Kelly has the look of a fellow who drives a Honda Odyssey to work everyday, his upset victory over Antonio Carlos Junior back in March stood out among the many held at UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane. As far as surface narratives go, why not? Here was a man who was 38 years old, scoring a technical knockout over a fighter a dozen years his junior, defying Vegas odds and Darwin’s theories alike, in his native country.
Not a bad night.
Yet what Kelly could have lived without was the nickname assigned to him by all the social media players that had tuned in that night…"Dad Bod." The four-time judo Olympian can’t help but recognize the backhandedness of such a distinction, even if it’s meant as a warm endearment.
"I heard it," Kelly told MMA Fighting from his home in Melbourne. "It was a lot of, ‘What’s this old guy doing? Antonio Carlos Junior’s a lot younger, he has better cardio and he’s looking better physically.’ Yeah, I heard all that, and I hear it every time, about how old I am and having a ‘dad bod’ and not having good conditioning. It’s all bullsh*t."
Kelly’s "dad bod" reference was peculiar, too, because he wasn’t even the oldest dad on the card. Mark Hunt, who scored a ridiculous walk-off knockout of Frank Mir in the main event, is three years older than Kelly. Yet it was Kelly, who fights as a middleweight, that got labeled a weekend warrior. Continue reading
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