How Training To Be The Next UFC Star Has Made Me Better At School – Nate ‘The Great’ Kelly

You would, perhaps, be forgiven for having a negative perception of a child that dreams of excelling in combat sports. The lazy stereotype would be this child must be overly violent, uses their fists at any opportunity and ignores their studies to focus on fighting.


However, with Nate ‘The Great’ Kelly, you have someone whose school work hasn’t been ignored because of his talent within combat sport, it’s actually helped him hit the books as hard as he hits the pads…..




I first started kickboxing at 4. I was a really hyper child and my mam was looking for something so I could burn off some energy. I loved watching the old KungFu movies with my Grandad, I was never into TV but I really liked these. So my mam thought martial arts would be good for me and I was hooked from the very first class.


Then when I was 7 I saw some jits with uncle and wanted to do that too. So I joined the Straight Blast Gym and it was amazing from the start, I got to do Jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and boxing. I like to be free doing martial arts going from one style to another, I don’t like to be limited to just one of them. Martial arts comes in many forms, so that’s why I like MMA.


Training at the Straight Blast Gym is fantastic, it’s the family atmosphere that I love. When I first joined, it was just me and one other teen that competed for SBG.

From the off I used to go to jits competitions with the some of the pro team – Chris Fields, Paddy Houlahan, Ash Daly, Owen Roddy, and John Kavanagh.


I’ve been involved with SBG before it got so well known, so I used to go small halls to cheer for my team mates – Conor, Paddy, Chris, Owen. John used to say he could hear me screaming over everyone. I used to get to watch right at the side of the ring or one of the older lads would bring me out the back where they were warming up. They’ve always made me feel like part of the team/family. I would be in the gym training next to Conor at 10 pm when I had nationals or Worlds coming up and would ask John could I do extra training, he would always say you don’t need to ask, this is your home. It’s the family vibe that sets SBG apart.


I’m very focused on what I want to do, with MMA you have to do the training, you don’t just walk into the gym and into the octagon the next day, (if you do you’re in the wrong gym), you have to learn your trade just like a carpenter or plumber. From this, I have learned what you can achieve when you put in the time and effort. I’m very focused in school due to the level of discipline I have learned in MMA. It also teaches you respect and helps with concentration.




Also, I have to have all my homework done before training and keep good grades. So I know one doesn’t go without the other.


I think combat sports is great for kids, it teaches discipline, confidence, courage and respect. Any child growing up, to have this in their life is a great thing. It will also keep them fit and will give them confidence in hard situations, like someone bullying them or being mean to them. It’s not about having to get into a fight to stick up for yourself, it’s the confidence that a kid doing martial arts has to be able to walk away from something and not have to prove themselves.


Parents think team sports are the way to go but if you have a team of 18 and 8 kids can only play the other 10 sit on the bench and some might not even get on the pitch, that’s so bad for anyone’s confidence, never mind a child. My team mates are like family, there is a great bond in clubs in martial arts.


Ultimately I love what I do and what MMA has given me. If kickboxing goes to the Olympics –and it isn’t far off – I would try for that and then I will be ready to make my mark in the UFC.




I used to say when I was an 8-year-old I wanted to be better than Conor or anyone in UFC. But now I know there is one Conor McGregor and one Nate Kelly and I want to be the best person I can be. I think watching and learning from Conor, this is the biggest thing he has taught me – be yourself and believe you can achieve anything. I will work hard everyday until I get there.

Stop Doing Meta-Work Now! (Like Sorting Your Email)

While walking around the office I happened upon a relatively new employee dragging emails from his inbox into folders. I asked why and was told, “I’m just answering emails and getting stuff off my desk.” An empty inbox may be emotionally satisfying to look at, but in practice, you should never do it. Here’s why.

I recently wrote a piece arguing that from a mathematical perspective, Messy Desks Are Perfectly Optimized. While it validated the genius of my friends with messy desks, it also generated a barrage of good-natured ribbing from my super-neat friends. Emotions aside, the math is the math! By putting the last paper you looked at on top of the pile, you are organizing your desk using an algorithm called LRU (Least Recently Used). It is based on the idea that the papers you most recently used are the ones you are most likely to use again. Conversely, the papers you have not used in a long time will probably remain unused. It is the closest you can come to predicting what data you are most likely to need next. But what about the papers on the bottom of the pile? When and where should they be filed?

Caching and storage

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Why AI? The impact of artificial intelligence

Mitch Joel in conversation with Steve Irvine of

Artificial intelligence is urgently knocking on the doors of marketers, and set to have a big impact on brands. This session will serve to answer some key questions regarding the real potential of AI and the effects it will have on the future of the marketing industry.

Presented by two esteemed subject matter experts, author and tech guru Mitch Joel will conduct an in-depth discussion with Steve Irvine, founder of and advisor to Canada’s leading AI research organization, the Vector Institute.

GroupM’s Rob Norman Retires After Three Decades — Well, Sort Of

Rob Norman, the outspoken global chief digital officer of GroupM, is leaving his full-time role at WPP’s media investment group after more than three decades at the company.

Norman, who had been CEO of GroupM North America before he took over the new chief digital officer role in 2012, will remain an advisor to GroupM and clients with a “reduced workload that allows him more time to pursue personal interests,” GroupM said in a statement. He will leave the full-time role effective January 2018.

Media is a tough business with its share of difficult moments, Norman tells Ad Age, and some keep at it because they have “unbound brilliance” or “unbound determination.”

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How to Define Purchase Intent in the Data Age

There’s no question that today’s marketers will be left behind if they’re not using data in their digital advertising campaigns. The entire industry relies on both first- and third-party data when making their ad buys and targeting their audiences. However, despite understanding the power of data in theory, data providers and planners still lack clarity and confidence in the type of data they’re using.

Nearly two-thirds of marketers are not entirely clear on the origins of the data they employ in their ad campaigns. Beyond that, three-in-four marketers are not fully confident that the data they’re using reaches in-market consumers.

Recent events support the growing skepticism and mistrust when it comes to advertisers and data providers. Facebook has disclosed a series of measurement glitches that reflect material discrepancies between actual campaign performance and what was originally reported by the platform. Twitter has faced similar pressure from brands that are questioning whether the platform is over-reporting the presence and impact of bots on brand campaigns.

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Quaker Oats-sponsored filters were targeted with specific messages depending on time of day.

Brands can now apply more-advanced targeting tools to Snapchat photo filter campaigns, enabling them to reach select audiences and experiment more with the creative messaging, the company says.

The messaging and media app is calling the new tool, which arrives Tuesday, “audience filters.” Instead of just hitting a specific location (which is what its geofilter does), brands can target based on interests, time of day, age, gender and other technical criteria.

“This signals that Snapchat is willing to start to do more for advertisers,” says Aaron Goldman, CMO of 4C Insights, a Snapchat ads platform partner. “Reaching someone when you know they’re at your store, that’s farming. Audience filters—that’s more like hunting.”

Filters, or the overlays that people use to decorate photos and videos, are one of Snapchat’s most-used products, with 3 billion of them viewed a day, according to the company. Snapchat usually offers a variety for people to choose from. The filters are an attractive ad unit for brands.

Quaker Oats, owned by PepsiCo, is among the brands that have already tried the new audience-based filter campaigns. It targeted mothers and working professionals, divided the campaign into day and night, and tweaked the message depending on time of day.

“Geofilters and audience filters have fundamentally different targeting strengths,” Abhishek Jadon, director digital strategy at Pepsi North America Nutrition, wrote in an email. “Geofilters allow you to target very granular geographic areas, whereas audience filters can be targeted based on a host of behavioral attributes.”

Quaker Oats worked on the campaign with VaynerMedia, a Snapchat ads platform partner. Snapchat has built tight relations with select agencies familiar with its ad platform, which help brands run their campaigns and use the targeting capabilities.

“What intrigues us most about Snapchat’s filters is the combination of paid and earned media delivery rolled seamlessly into a single ad unit,” Jon Morgenstern, VP of paid media, at VaynerMedia, said in an e-mail. “When you consider the earned impressions derived from Snapchatters sending out Snaps using the filters to their friends, in addition to the paid delivery costs, the effective CPMs paid can be extremely efficient.”

The filters now have the same targeting tools as Snapchat’s video ads, and they can both be bought in auctions on the self-serve platform. This summer, Snapchat upgraded its ads manager with an advanced mode, inspired by Facebook’s Power Editor, which lets advertisers design, test and publish ads in a more streamlined fashion.

Snapchat has slowly been rolling out the ad technology it needs to attract the kind of non-stop advertisers that power Facebook and Google’s businesses.

The automated ad system has helped introduce more brands to Snapchat, and there were five times as many advertisers in the third quarter compared to the prior quarter, according to Snapchat’s financial report earlier this month. However, the automated ad system also drove down prices, which dropped 60 percent in the third quarter.

Snapchat’s ad sales reached $208 million in the third quarter, according to the report. That fell below expectations, according to analysts.

The company has been promising an app redesign to make it easier for both consumers and advertisers to understand the value of the platform.

Most recently, Snapchat launched a pixel, considered an essential ad tech offering. Pixels track consumers across the web and help brands retarget ads to people that visited their websites, among other data and measurement benefits.

Snapchat is still seen as immature in its advertising offering, and a number of agencies and brands have been frustrated by its slow progress. On Tuesday, Snapchat also said it would open an online tutorial to help get brands and agencies up to speed on how the platform works.