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BAMMA 22 Preview: Welcome to the New Age

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BAMMA 22 takes place this weekend on Saturday, September 19th in the 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland. It will be an historic day for the promotion, being their first ever event held in Ireland and they have put together a card that appropriately marks the occasion with an amazing 20 fights scheduled. Not only that, there will be three titles on the line, not forgetting the first two women’s MMA fights in BAMMA history. The event features some of the most highly rated fighters, not just in Europe, but outside of the UFC.

Catherine Costigan vs Celine Haga

Catherine Costigan has embarked on a PR crusade in the build-up to BAMMA 22 and the Irish atomweight fights in BAMMA for the first time against Celine Haga.

Costigan recently fought for the leading women’s MMA promotion, Invicta FC, in Las Vegas in July, where she was submitted by Amber Brown. That loss, however, was the first in her career, having finished 4 of her 5 wins by submission herself. A fight in front of her home fans is the perfect opportunity to bounce back from the disappointment of her last fight.

Celine Haga takes the fight with Costigan on short notice after Simona Soukupova was forced to withdraw. While her record of 7 – 13 doesn’t look good on the face of it, it should be pointed out that the Jackson Winkeljohn fighter has gone 6 – 2 on her last 8 fights, so she is very much an improving fighter.

Marc Diakiese (c) vs. Rick Selvajarah – Lonsdale Lightweight Title

The first title fight of the evening takes place at 155 pounds in a clash of unbeaten Englishmen, as Marc Diakiese looks to defend his title against Rick Selvajarah.

Diakiese is just 22-years-old and is one of the fighters on the card who look destined for bigger things. Boasting an impressive 7 – 0 record thus far in his young career, he has already captured gold and every time he steps foot into the cage, he is a much improved fighter from his last performance. Something which he will be looking to achieve again on Saturday to retain his title with his most emphatic performance yet.

In Rick Selvajarah, the champion will certainly have his hands full. He has an identical 7 – 0 record, but Selvajarah has finished 4 of those wins by submission, as well as a number of submission wins as an amateur. Clearly, that fact makes him a dangerous proposition for the champion and Selvajarah has no intentions of leaving Dublin on Saturday night without a shiny gold belt in his possession. This fight could easily be one of the highlights of the night.

Alan Philpott vs. Regis Sugden – Lonsdale Bantamweight Title

The bantamweights get their turn next in a battle of experience vs youth when veteran Alan Philpott faces one of the hottest young prospects in European MMA in Regis Sugden.

The name Alan Philpott needs no introduction to those who have followed MMA in the UK and Ireland over the last number of years. He has fought 20 fights for many European promotions including Cage Warriors, Clan Wars and BAMMA itself. While he has never been the most consistent fighter throughout his career, Philpott is no pushover and his experience could be a major deciding factor against his much younger opponent. His 8 career submission wins could also be an indicator of where he will want this fight, especially against a striking based foe.

There is a lot of genuine excitement surrounding Regis Sugden. At just 20, he is unbeaten after 3 fights for BAMMA, having made his professional debut with the promotion. However, Sugden also owns a 10 – 1 kickboxing career and has been training as a kickboxer since an extremely young age. Many, including former UFC star Frank Trigg, believe Sugden has massive potential. Philpott is a tough test for him, but should he prevail with a title and a 4 – 0 record, the sky is the limit for Sugden.

Chris Fields vs Christopher Jacquelin – Co-Main Event

We take a brief break from title fights for the co-main event as TUF 19 competitor Chris Fields fights Frenchman Christopher Jacquelin in the middleweight division.

As mentioned above, Chris Fields featured on the 19th season of the Ultimate Fighter alongside teammate Cathal Pendred. Unlike Pendred, Fields did not earn a UFC contract, something he has since said “broke his heart”, and has returned to the European circuit. Fighting out of the now world famous SBG camp, Fields is an always dangerous fighter who has finished all 10 of his professional wins, 6 by knockout and 4 by submission. “The Housewives Choice” is now 32 and a win this Saturday could be the beginning of another run towards emulating his teammates and getting a UFC contract.

Fields’ opponent, Christopher Jacquelin, is not as well-known, but make no mistake about it, he is a dangerous opponent. Out of 6 wins, he has won 5 of those by submission, all of them inside the first round. This will be his debut for BAMMA and it remains to be seen how he will react to what will no doubt be a partisan crowd passionately supporting their hometown favourite in Fields. If all goes according to plan for Jacquelin, he will silence that crowd and leave Ireland’s capital with the biggest win of his MMA career.

Tom DuQuesnoy (c) Vs. Brendan Loughnane – BAMMA Featherweight Title

Our main event takes us into the featherweight division for the BAMMA featherweight title. A fight featuring 2 more young, hot European prospects. Champion Tom DuQuesnoy takes on Brendan Loughnane, looking to successfully defend his title for the second time.

DuQuesnoy is just 22 and has been on a tear since his only career loss against current UFC prospect Makwan Amirkhani. He has 5 knockout and 3 submission wins in his 10 fight career, but his style of fighting itself is what attracts fans most. He is high paced, high action and definitely high in entertainment value. The Frenchman trains with Jackson Winkeljohn and, should he defeat Loughnane on Saturday, surely it’s only a matter of time before he gets the call from the UFC.

Brendan Loughnane already knows what it feels like to fight for the UFC. He lost a decision to eventual winner Norman Parke in the semi-finals of the Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes series, before losing another decision, this time to Mike Wilkinson at UFC on FX 6 in 2012, which served as the finale to the show. He didn’t get another fight for the promotion, but the now 25-year-old Manchester native has rattled off 5 straight since that disappointment and gets his crack at BAMMA gold this Saturday.

The entertainment on Saturday is by no means limited to these 5 fights however. The 15 other fights on the card feature more exciting young talent such as Dylan Tuke, Darren O’Gorman and Ireland’s dual featherweight medallists at the IMMAF world championships in Las Vegas in July; men’s gold medallist Frans Mlambo and women’s silver medallist Sinéad Kavanagh. As the show itself is titled; Welcome to the New Age.

The full BAMMA 22 card is as follows:

Tom Duquesnoy vs. Brendan Loughnane – BAMMA Featherweight Title
Chris Fields vs. Christopher Jacquelin
Alan Philpott vs. Regis Sugden – Lonsdale Bantamweight Title
Catherine Costigan vs. Celine Haga
Jack Grant vs. Jack McGann
Conor Cooke vs. Paul Byrne
Marc Diakiese vs. Rick Selvajarah – Lonsdale Lightweight Title
Kane Mousah vs. Myles Price
Sinéad Kavanagh vs. Hatice Oyzurt
Frans Mlambo vs. Darren O’Gorman
Damien Rooney vs. Manel Kape
Johnny Dargan vs. Lukasz Parobiec
Karl Moore vs. Paul Craig
John Redmond vs. Rhys McKee
Tim Wilde vs. Stephen Coll
Sean Tobin vs. Mark Andrew
Adam Caffrey vs. Dylan Tuke
Patrick Wixted vs. Connor Dillon Gerard
Gilmore vs. Alexander Leite
Arnaud Dos Santos vs. Keith Coady

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ACB

Rany Saadeh pleased with the opportunities ACB brings, promises a finish in his debut on Saturday

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The BAMMA Flyweight belt was ruled for years by none other than Rany Saadeh, During his reign as champion he successfully defended the belt on two occasions. His dominance over the division saw him go undefeated in BAMMA and without a loss since 2012. Following the expiration of his contract, Rany vacated his BAMMA belt to explore new challenges.

He has now signed with ACB and is set to make his debut in only a matter of days at ACB 74 in Austria where he will take on Darren Mima. In a recent catch up with Rany, he explained his reasoning behind joining ACB and his goals in the promotion.

“ACB is the fastest growing organization in MMA. They’ve promised me an active career with events all over the world and a tempting bonus structure. It was just what I was looking for. I’ve looked into the competition and I can honestly say that the competition at flyweight is just as good, if not even better than in the UFC. Being the ACB title holder would make me a legit world champion.”

Ahead of his bout with Mima, we are set to see some new stuff from Saadeh as he claims to have changed up his style after a solid camp for this fight, guaranteeing us a surprise.

“I didn’t need to change anything for him but my style changed in general since my last fight. I’ve had an excellent camp with high-level training partners and coaches. I’m very grateful for my coaches who have put hours of private work into me this year. Especially with my new boxing coach Luciano Robledo, I can guarantee a surprise.”

The confidence is evident as he tells me how he sees the fight going. Promising his well-rounded arsenal of both strikes and grappling are worthy of bonuses, something he’d be very keen on considering the set-up in ACB.

“I will not just completely dominate but also finish.” He began, “I can imagine this fight being a wild brawl and dropping my opponent. Also on the ground, I have some slick submissions that are bonus-worthy.”

Having been successful in BAMMA, Rany is striving for more glory as plans on taking home the ACB title becoming the first Western European to do so.

“Of course!” he says with determination in his voice, “I’m coming into ACB as a world champion and the #1 ranked flyweight in Western Europe. After winning this fight, the title fight is right there”

It’s now been over a year since we’ve seen, “Prince” enter the cage. A decision voluntarily made by the German as he adjusted his game.

“It was mid last year when I had started to adjust my game. These changes take time and as the wished competition wasn’t there, I decided to take some time off fighting to prepare for a bigger challenge.”

Now having departed ways with BAMMA, the British promotion now has a new champion in Daniel Barez. Unfortunately for Rany, his reasons for leaving was the lack of competition has beaten everyone put in front of him with money being an issue that stepped in the way too. Despite any negativity derived from his departure, he does not rule out a return to the promotion where he was once Flyweight king.

“The competition in Europe just got very thin. With five fights in BAMMA, I somehow wasn’t very impressed with the opportunities left. Neither I got the fights, nor the purse that I needed to take my career further. After two title defenses, it felt like I was standing still which isn’t just BAMMA’s fault. Altogether, they are a great promotion and I wouldn’t exclude a return.”

When the UFC announced they would have the best flyweights from around the world enter the TUF house with a shot at the belt going to the winner. Many would have thought Rany Saadeh would have been up there. The season had champions from all over the world but no one from BAMMA, something strange considering the number of champions they signed in the past year from the promotion.

In an unfortunate circumstance for Saadeh, it was not his fault he wasn’t in the house as the UFC did come knocking but BAMMA just weren’t letting their champ go. Despite this situation, there is no bad blood anymore as Saadeh has moved on with things now.

“The UFC was definitely interested in putting me on the show and it is not true that BAMMA wasn’t asked. They were asked but didn’t want to be part of it. Without their permission, I wasn’t able to take part in the TUF. But I’m not mad at that anymore, I feel like it will make better opportunities possible.”

Having missed out on a possible UFC opportunity before, it isn’t on his mind anymore as he remains pleased with his life and is mainly looking to support his family in the future.

“I really don’t care, I’m set for the next few fights. All I want now is a decent living from fighting and provide for my family in the near future. ACB is not just giving me the chance to reach that goal but also giving me the challenges that I need. So far, I’m a very happy person”

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BAMMA

Today’s MMA news round-up

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Today has been a pretty busy day when it comes to MMA news. We’ve had it all today from new champions to commissioners being slapped to fighters being flagged by USADA. It’s been hectic to say the least so here are the highlights of today’s news.

1. Conor McGregor causes havoc at Bellator 187

Yes, that’s correct, Conor McGregor at Bellator. Following the win of his teammate and friend Charlie Ward at Bellator 187 the UFC Lightweight Champion entered the cage to celebrate with Ward, however, their celebrations did not go to plan. Referee Marc Goddard wasn’t pleased with this in the slightest and tried get McGregor out. This didn’t go down too well as McGregor confronted the referee who initially pushed him. See the video here:

This unfortunately was not the only incident as Conor appeared to slap an official who tried to get him off the top of the cage.
Credit to @BryanLaceyMMA for this one

2. Bellator to hold 8 Man Grand Prix for Vacant Heavyweight Championship

Earlier today it was confirmed by MMA Fighting that Bellator would crown a new Heavyweight champions following a report from MMA Junkie. There is no official dates yet, however, they do hope to start on January 20th and crown a new champion by the end of the year. There are some big names bidding to become the new champion, they are:

Fedor Emleianenko
Frank Mir
Matt Mitrione
Roy Nelson
Ryan Bader
Rampage Jackson
King Mo Lawal
Chael Sonnen

3. Anderson Silva flagged by USADA for potential doping violation, out of UFC Shanghai Main Event

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva failed a USADA doping test and was pulled from the UFC Shanghai Main Event. The sample was collected from an out of competition test on October 26th. This is now his second time failing a doping test. Last time he was hit with a one year suspension and a heavy fine. No more information on the matter has been made available yet in relation to suspension.

4. UFC newcomer Grant Dawson also flagged by USADA for potential doping violation

USADA had a field day today in terms of fighters testing positive for doping. Grant Dawson, who has yet to even get a date for his debut was flagged for a sample collected on October 18th. The 23 year old was signed after impressing on Dana White’s contender series where he scored a second round submission on Adrian Diaz.

5. Martin Nguyen becomes ONE Championship’s first ever two division champion

Featherweight Champion Martin Nguyen stepped up to Lightweight to clash with title holder Eduard Folayang in effort of making history. Many ruled Nguyen out but he silenced all critics when viciously knocked out Folayang to take home another title. See the knockout here:
Credit to @Jolassanda for the video.

 6. All but one fighter make-weight for UFC Norfolk

Things were running smoothly today at the UFC Norfolk weigh ins until Matthew Lopez stepped up to the scales for his bout with Rafael Assuncao. He weighed in 2.5lbs over for his bout. The fight will go ahead, however, Lopez will lose 20% of his purse. Both Pettis and Poirier successfully made weight for their Main Event fight tomorrow night.

7. One new BAMMA champion while Lahore defends his belt in style

Despite some streaming troubles for the first two fights, BAMMA finally got one up in time for fans to see the final 3 fights. In the World Flyweight Title fight, Andy “Taz” Young fell lost his belt to Spaniard Daniel Barez via Majority Decision, After being docked a point in the opening round Barez came back strong to take home the World Title.

In the Main Event of the evening then, the anticipated match up between Alex Lahore and Richard Kiely went down. There was a lot of hype surrounding this one in the build up to the fight but it went as planned for Lahore. The champion pressured for a takedown in the first until finally succeeding, following some work on the mat it looked as if Kiely was about to gain some advantage on top. Only for Lahore to lock in a Kneebar and finish off the fight retaining his belt.

8. Cage Warriors 89 gets a shake up

The Cage Warriors Belgium card had an incredible addition today as they announced via newsletter that Karl Amoussou will defend his belt against Dominique Steele in the Main Event. The fight for the Vacant Heavyweight Championship was then demoted to co-main with a change in opponents for Mauro Cerilli. Dutchman Nills van Noord stepped up to face the Italian after Light Heavyweight Champion Karl Moore was forced off the card due to injury. This dampened his hopes of becoming the first Cage Warriors two division champion since Conor McGregor.

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BAMMA

BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream

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BAMMA and Bellator returned to the Irish capital of Dublin to host BAMMA 32: Lohore vs Kiely, and Bellator 187: McKee vs Moore.

The BAMMA card will be shown live on UNILAD’s Facebook page, MMA Latest will share the live stream when the link is available. Unfortunately for UK fans, the Bellator 187 card, which takes place prior to BAMMA 32, is not being televised.

BAMMA 32 Official Results:

MAIN CARD:

  • Alex Lohore (13-1) vs. Richard Kiely (2-0) – For BAMMA Welterweight Title
    • Result: Alex Lahore def. Richard Kiely via 1st-round Submission(Kneebar)
  • Andy Young (11-8) vs. Daniel Barez (8-4) – For BAMMA Flyweight Title
    • Result: Daniel Barez def. Andy Young via Majority Decision
  • David Khalsa (2-0) vs. Dylan Tuke (3-1) –  Featherweight Bout
    • Result: Dylan Tuke def. David Khalsa via second-round TKO (1:09)  
  • Blaine O’Driscoll (5-1) vs. Dominique Wooding (3-1) – Bantamweight Bout
    • Result: Dominic Wooding def. Blaine O’Driscoll via Third-round KO(1:47)
  • Ion Pascu (16-7) vs. Omar Santana (13-4) – Welterweight Bout
    • Result: Ion Pascu def. Omar Santana via Unanimous Decision

Bellator 187 Official Results:

MAIN CARD:

  • A.J. McKee (9-0) vs. Brian Moore (10-5) – Featherweight Bout
    • Result: A.J. McKee def. Brian Moore via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 – 4:14
  • Sinead Kavanagh (4-2) vs. Maria Casanova (2-4-1) – Catchweight Bout (140lbs)
    • Result: Sinead Kavanagh def. Maria Casanova via TKO (strikes) Round One
  • Kevin Ferguson Jr. (1-1) vs. Fred Freeman (1-0) – Catchweight Bout (165lbs)
    • Result: Kevin Ferguson Jr. def. Fred Freeman via SUB  (rear-naked choke) Round One – 1:57
  • Charlie Ward (3-3) vs. John Redmond (7-12) – Middleweight Bout
    • Result: Charlie Ward def. John Redmond via KO Round One – 4:59

PRELIMINARY CARD:

  • Sergio de Jesus Santos (4-6) vs. Paul Redmond (13-7) – Lightweight Bout
    • Result: Paul Redmond def. Sergio de Jesus Santos via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
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