Austin Clem will make his Bellator debut on Feb. 22 at Dublin’s 3 Arena, when he takes on Aaron Chalmers on the main card of Bellator Dublin. The event is set to be headlined by James Gallagher v Cal Ellenor.
Austin Clem (3-1), who fights out of Missouri, looks to make a statement in his Bellator debut as he takes on the test of the highly-controversial Aaron Chalmers.
Austin Clem made his professional debut in October 2018 after overseeing an amateur career of (5-1). Clem actually competed twice in October of 2018, picking up a second-round win via submission, later the same month tasting his first professional loss. Since then, Clem hit the ground running in 2019, successfully winning two of two, both coming via rear-naked choke.
Chalmers (5-1) has had an impressive start to his mixed martial arts career considering his background, the stick he’s had and jumping straight in at the deep end. Chalmers was victorious finishing his first four opponents in round 1. However, Chalmers tasted a tough loss in his home town of Newcastle, England, when he was caught in a heel hook in round 3 to Corey Browning. Chalmers returned to action later that year and picked up a second-round win v Fred Freeman at Bellator London.
Below, we caught up with Austin Clem to see his take ahead of his bout with Chalmers.
How do you feel ahead of your Bellator debut and how important is it for you to kickstart your Bellator career with a win?
Clem – “I’m feeling good leading up to this fight! I think it’s a matchup that should bring quite a bit of excitement; obviously, starting my Bellator career with a win is extremely important to me, but honestly, at the end of the day, it’s not more important than every other fight. No matter what cage I’m in, anywhere in the world, winning is my number one priority”.
You take on Chalmers, how do you view Chalmers as an opponent and where do you see his biggest threat if any?. He’s a very controversial guy to step in there with, and also, if you are familiar with his history on Reality TV, do you have any takes on that?
Clem – “Honestly, I know people give Aaron quite a bit of hell for being a Reality TV star turned MMA fighter, but I have quite a bit of respect for him. I don’t blame him, or the route he has taken one bit. Whether people believe he’s been hand-fed opponents or not, at the end of the day he still went straight to the pro level with minimal experience. There’s a very select few in the world that’d even consider doing that, especially with how well known he is, and how many eyes have been on him since day 1 of training. As far as Aaron being a threat, and where I view him as a such, definitely standing. He’s a fantastic athlete, and he hits hard. Especially with that big right hand of his. Anytime it connects it truly has KO potential.”
What drove you to get into mixed martial arts and when did you know this was for you and a career could be made from it?
Clem – “Actually, I really wanted to get into boxing. I love boxing, and have since childhood, although my parents would never let me get into it. When I moved out, I was talking to a friend about it and he told me I should do MMA instead, due to my wrestling background. I fell in love with the sport since day one and never looked back, but I really started taking this seriously as a potential career after my 5th or 6th amateur fight. That’s when I quit my job to pursue training every day, and things have kind of taken off from there”.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time and what’s your goal?
Clem – “In 5 years, I hope to be among some of the top names in the sport. Also, I’d like to be able to begin giving back to my community, and my support system that has been with me through thick and thin and has helped me get to this point in my life/career. I have some pretty lofty goals, and I’m hoping that I can pull off a win against Chalmers, and then continue to long climb towards the top of the rankings. I think a win over a well-known opponent would help propel me forward and really kickstart my career!.”
Below are Clem’s social media accounts to get behind.
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