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BAMMA 23 Preview

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This weekend BAMMA return to the Barclays Arena, Birmingham with another night stacked with amazing fights. Following the recent successful trip to Ireland for BAMMA 22, this card is set to even top that with 5 title fights scheduled for the night. With some huge fights set for the evening, it is set to be an exciting night for fight fans.

BAMMA Interim Heavyweight Title
Tom Denham Vs. Ruben ‘The Viking’ Wolf

Kicking off the main card, Tom Denham faces Ruben Wolf for the Interim Heavyweight Title. Wolf was initially meant to face current Heavyweight Champion Mark Godbeer, however, due to injury Tom Denham steps up for a crack at the Interim title instead.

Tom Denham (7-7) is making his 5th appearance on BAMMA this weekend, his last fight saw him defeat Ashley Pollard at BAMMA 21 via first round KO. Denham has won 3 out his last 4 with his only loss coming against injured champion Mark Godbeer. A win here will line him up for a chance to avenge his loss. Having never gone the distance in any of his professional bouts he is set to come out looking for the instant win be it by TKO/KO or submission.

The highly anticipated German Ruben ‘The Viking’ Wolf (10-6) is making his BAMMA debut this weekend, skipping the queue and getting a title shot straight away. He is currently one of the most well-known heavyweights around and is riding on a 4 fights win streak coming into this fight. Wolf similar to Denham has also never gone the distance in any of his fights and likes to mix things up in the cage to pick up a win before the final bell. This match-up is certainly not going to disappoint as the heavy hitters will certainly be an exciting start to the night.

BAMMA Flyweight title
Rany Saadeh (c) Vs. Shaj ‘Superman’ Haque

Returning to the cage for his first bout since August 2014, is BAMMA Flyweight Champion Rany Saadeh (6-1) who is appearing in BAMMA for the 4 time. German Saadeh is a high-level striker and has proven so in his past few fights along with his 3 TKO/KO finishes, coming into this fight on a 4 fight win streak he looks to add another win to his record whilst remaining flyweight champion.

Shaj ‘Superman’ Haque (7-1) is making his BAMMA debut this weekend and has been so impressive in his last few matchups he managed to get an instant title shot. He enters this fight with 4 back to back wins with some notable ones he picked up in Cage Warriors against Damien Rooney and Martin McDonough. Having gone the distance in all of his fights to date he has quite the cage experience and will aim to pick off the champ and take home the belt.

BAMMA Light Heavyweight Title
Marcin ‘Bane’ Lazarz (c) Vs. Paul ‘Bearjew’ Craig

Champion Marcin ‘Bane’ Lazarz (8-1) picked up the title back at BAMMA 20 against Brett McDermott by decision in his return to the promotion. His last fight in BAMMA prior to that saw him lose the first fight of his career. However, since then he has comeback with a bang, winning 3 straight and now looking for his 4th. Lazarz is a very a well-rounded fighter with various wins coming by each method. He now makes his first defense of the title against the highly rated Paul Craig.

Undefeated Paul ‘Bearjew’ Craig (7-0) is entering the BAMMA cage for the second time in this fight. The Scotsman proved his toughness and worthiness of a title shot only two months ago in Ireland at BAMMA 22 when he pulled off an upset win against Karl Moore with a guillotine choke. Craig is a submission specialist with 6 submission victories to date and has also only ever gotten out of the 1st round on one occasion. Craig now faces his toughest task yet in Lazarz and looks to continue his unscathed record on Saturday while picking up the title.

BAMMA Bantamweight Title
Ed ‘King’ Arthur (c) Vs. Shay Walsh

For the Co-main event of the evening these two Bantamweights will go to war for the BAMMA title.

This fights sees Ed ‘King’ Arthur (6-0) defend his title for this very first time since his impressive victory back at BAMMA 20 when he defeated Alan Philpott for the title. Only early in his career, Arthur is undefeated and has been outstanding in his performances proving a force at Bantamweight in Europe. With half of his wins coming from a rear-naked choke, he may be hunting for Walsh’s back on Saturday and lock in the choke to get the win.

Since entering the BAMMA cage for the first time Shay Walsh (13-3) has never lost under the promotion with a clean sleet of 3 wins in the BAMMA Bantamweight division. His time in the promotion has certainly been impressive leading to him earning his first crack at the title. Walsh has won the majority of his fights via TKO/KO with 6 to date looking to add another this weekend when he attempts to dethrone the ‘King’.

BAMMA Lightweight Title
Martin ’50 Cal’ Stapleton Vs. Gavin ‘Warhorse’ Sterritt

For the main event of the evening we see the Lightweight title up for grabs as two Bellator veterans look to snatch the coveted BAMMA title.

Martin ’50 Cal’ Stapleton (16-4) is coming into this fight riding on a 3 fight win with his last 2 victories coming under the BAMMA banner. Now in his first fight since BAMMA 19 he looks to become the new champion. During his time at Bellator he was very unsuccessful losing all 3 of his fights before being released by the promotion. Now after finding his feet again he is back on form. Stapleton fights out of SBG Manchester and is a very well rounded fighter with his wins all being quite evenly split up between the three victory methods. He now believes it is his time to be on top and rule the Lightweight division making this fight one of the fights to watch on the night.

Gavin ‘Warhorse’ Sterritt (6-1) will be making his BAMMA debut this weekend and similar to others on the card he is fighting for title on his debut too. Sterritt was forced to pull out of his fight with Brennan Ward in Bellator which cost him his contract despite having two wins out of two in the promotion. His impressive skills during his time at Bellator sure caught the eye of BAMMA which lead to him earning this title shot. Sterritt is a more ground fighter and likes to get a win by way of submission like he has done on 4 occasions to date.

By the looks of the event this is going to be one hell of a night for fights as well as a historical night for BAMMA. The preliminary card will be live on the Lonsdale Facebook page from 7-9pm followed by the Main card which will be live on the BAMMA Facebook page from 9-11pm. The card is as follows:

BAMMA Lightweight Title
Martin ’50 Cal’ Stapleton Vs. Gavin ‘Warhorse’ Sterritt
BAMMA Bantamweight Title
Ed ‘King’ Arthur (c) Vs. Shay Walsh
BAMMA Light Heavyweight Title
Marcin ‘Bane’ Lazarz (c) Vs. Paul ‘Bearjew’ Craig
BAMMA Flyweight title
Rany Saadeh (c) Vs. Shaj ‘Superman’ Haque
BAMMA Interim Heavyweight Title
Tom Denham Vs. Ruben ‘The Viking’ Wolf
PRELIMS
Featherweight Bout
Jeremy ‘Ninja’ Petley Vs. Nad Narimani
Lightweight Bout
Jack ‘The Pilgrim’ McGann Vs. Damien ‘Frankenstien’ Lapilus
Heavyweight Bout
Stuart ‘He-Man’ Austin Vs. Paul ‘Titan’ Taylor
Welterweight Bout
‘Dirty’ Harry Marple Vs. Shane Gunfield
Catchweight Bout (80kgs)
‘Super’ Bill Beaumont Vs. Marcin ‘Mad Boy’ Prostko
Light Heavyweight Bout
Brett ‘The Spartan’ McDermott Vs. Pelu ‘The Nigerian Diamond’ Adetola
Lightweight Bout
Tobias ‘The Development’ Reid Vs. Craig Clarkson
Bantamweight Bout
Nathaniel ‘The Prospect’ Wood Vs. Bryan ‘The Big Bad Wolf’ Creighton
Featherweight Bout
Francisco ‘Croata’ Albano Barrio Vs. Daniel Crawford
Bantamweight Bout
Jay ‘The Red Bull’ Butler Vs. Cameron ‘Killacam’ Else
Lightweight Bout
Ben ‘Bad Man’ Bennett Vs. Jai Herbert

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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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