Ex-UFC fighter Paul Kelly sentenced to 13 years for heroin trafficking
Former UFC fighter Paul Kelly was sentenced to 13 years in prison for heroin trafficking.
The Liverpool Crown Court sentenced the 28-year-old English fighter this past week. He was found guilty in May following a four-day trial.
In the trial, prosecutors convinced jurors that Kelly was what amounts to a major drug dealer, working with friends to move heroin by using couriers.
“In my judgement you decided to supply Class A drugs when your contract with UFC was terminated,” Judge Mark Brown told Kelly, a father of two, according to the Liverpool Echo. “You obviously enjoyed the high life and saw selling heroin as an easy way to make money.”
Several of Kelly’s associates also were issued prison sentences.
The sentence likely signals an end to Kelly’s MMA career. His most recent fight came in March, when he knocked out Henrique Santana at UWC 22 in England.
Kelly (14-5), nicknamed “Tellys,” was 7-0 when he signed with the UFC in 2008. He went 5-4 in the promotion as a welterweight and lightweight, often alternating between wins and losses. Following a submission loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 126 that earned Kelly his second “Fight of the Night” bonus, the organization (perhaps surprisingly) terminated his contract.
Kelly went 2-1 in his post-UFC career.
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