It’s not a stretch to say that 2022 hasn’t quite bit what lightweight Peter Queally wanted it to be.
Initially looking like he would fight in February, a long-standing shoulder issue put Queally on the shelf for the entire year up to this point, where 10 months after his last fight he’ll finally be able to get into the cage again.
“Last year hasn’t been great to be honest,” Queally told MMAWeekly.com. “I had kind of a nagging shoulder injury over the last few years and finally got it operated on in March. I’ve been kind of dealing with that for most of the year. But now I’m ready to go for this (upcoming) fight.”
While Queally managed to stay upbeat about his recovery, he does admit at times it was difficult to not always be in the best mindset while he healed up.
“You do try to stay positive, say that if you do the right things that you’ll recover, but serious surgeries like this can be hard mentally (to deal with),” said Queally. “You feel like you’re never going to get better. It kind of feels like almost like it’s over at times, but then they get better.
“If you’ve experience this once I think it helps you going forward if it happens again. You can bear that in mind that there will be light at the end of the tunnel and eventually it will come good and you’ll be better, and I am better.”
On September 23 in Dublin, Ireland, Queally (13-6-1) finally returns to action to face Benson Henderson (29-11) in the 155lb main event of Bellator 285.
“If you’d have told me 10, 12 years ago when I was sleeping in my car outside the gym that I’d be fighting Benson Henderson in the 3Arena In Dublin and I’d probably be more popular than him, I would have laughed at you,” Queally said. “But here it is and it’s happening. I’m really proud of all the hard work that I’ve done. It’s a dream come true to be in the situation I’m in.
“He’s a very good fighter obviously but I think I can enjoy success in the stand-up. I think I’m perhaps a little better than him striking. I think I can match him very well in other aspects of the fight as well. I believe can beat him.”
Though it’s been nearly a year since he fought, to get a win over a former champion like Henderson would be a huge step forward for Queally and make all he’s gone through worthwhile.
“I just want to beat Benson,” said Queally. “That would make it a pretty successful year for me.
“Even though I had kind of a downer in juries and stuff, if I can off with a big win like this it would be one of the most successful years of my career. That’s all I’m focused on is getting through him, winning, and then whatever happens after that we’ll deal with it after that.”