Paul “Tellys” Kelly, the thickly accented Scouser who compiled a 5-4 record while competing in the UFC as a welterweight and lightweight from 2008-2011, was just convicted of drug-trafficking in his native England, and is currently awaiting sentencing next month. According to the charges filed against him, Kelly — who has maintained his innocence throughout his trial — led a significant heroin dealing operation, in which he and his friend Christopher St John McGirr used couriers to import and distribute heroin. The Liverpool Echo (which Tellys doesn’t seem to hold a very high opinion of) adds more details:
West Derby hard man Paul Kelly had denied being a major heroin dealer after an acquaintance of his was picked up with 1.5kg of import purity drugs in the footwell of his car. But after a four day trial jurors returned unanimous guilty verdicts and he was remanded in custody to await sentence…
During his trial he claimed he earned £100,000 a year and did not need to deal drugs for money. But prosecutor David McLachlan said the fighting money had dried up after he left UFC and ended up losing a “journeyman” bout in India.
The investigation centred around Kelly and his best friend Christopher St John McGirr, 28, and their movements at the time of police raids in December 2011 and May 2012.
The court heard the pair were known as Batman and Robin by one of their customers.
They were accused of using couriers to move their drugs because they did not want to get their hands dirty.
One of those couriers, school friend Paul Rogers, 28, was also found guilty during the trial.
McGirr, of Tollerton Road, West Derby, admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs last year.
When the verdicts were announced Kelly raged from the dock, shouting: “I’ve got two kids!”, while a man believed to be his dad was thrown out by police after an outburst.
Judge Mark Brown told jurors they had made the right decision on the “clearest evidence”.
Kelly, who was given his nickname due to a severe case of invisible lat syndrome, made his Octagon debut at UFC 80 in January 2008, scoring a decision win over Paul Taylor in a bout that won Fight of the Night honors. Kelly went on to earn impressive victories over fighters including Matt Veach and TJ O’Brien, and had the pleasure of getting finished by Marcus Davis, Dennis Siver, and Donald Cerrone during his UFC stint. Following the loss to Cerrone in February 2011, Kelly was released from the UFC, and went 2-1 in international promotions since then, including a TKO victory over Henrique Santana at an Ultimate Warrior Challenge event in Essex this past March.
Anyway, good effort, Paul, but you’re going to have to at least kidnap a couple people if you ever hope to catch Lee Murray on the current leaderboard.