Rafael Dos Anjos’ withdrawal through injury and the announcement of a welterweight super fight between Conor McGregor and fan favorite Nate Diaz has dominated the MMA world this week. McGregor’s presence at the top of the sport casts a shadow over all so much so that the return of Anderson Silva who takes on Michael Bisping in this weekend’s main event at UFC London has been relegated to a sideshow. News surrounding UFC196 has taken gloss away from another exciting event taking place in Dublin on the 27th of February, BAMMA 24 Ireland vs England.
BAMMA has shot to the forefront of the European MMA scene ever since Cage Warriors took an almost two-year hiatus dating back to November 2014. Booking shows across the UK and Ireland BAMMA has become a platform for the best mixed martial artists outside of the UFC to showcase their talent.
Ireland has certainly reaped the benefits of this and will play host to promotion for the second time in the past six months as BAMMA returns to Dublin following the success of BAMMA 22 in September. As a result, Ireland’s seasoned pro fighters have fought for the promotion on a number of occasions this year and now we are seeing the rise of some of the countries young talent perform on the big show. These prospects are taking the Irish MMA scene by storm and will be looking to put the rest of the world on notice by lighting up the 3 Arena on the 27th of February.
The Ireland vs England moniker has been attached to this card to create added interest and both teams will have a captain on fight night. Englishman Luke Barnatt (the current Venator middleweight champion) who previously competed on the Ultimate Fighter 17 for Team Sonnen will captain his country at the event while Tyrone Spong one of the most feared kickboxers in the world today will captain Team Ireland.
At the top of the bill middleweight champion, Cheick Kone will look to continue his dominant streak in the division when he takes on Welsh veteran, John Phillips. Kone has delivered brutal first round knockouts in his past two fights. Chris Fields who also features on Saturday’s card was on the receiving end of one of Kone’s brutal right hooks and the middleweight king packs serious power in both hands. The powerful striker looks to land bombs at any given opportunity whether it be with his knees, fists or elbows. The “Animal” will come out like a man possessed in the first frame and Phillips will need to take care to avoid the fate that awaited Fields and Andy Devant.
Calling himself “The White Mike Tyson” Phillips carries a knockout threat in his own right having one fifteen of his fights via KO or TKO. Phillips will come out strong in the first round throwing heavy leather to the body and head. This may work in his opponents favour and it would be wise to attempt to take Kone to the mat in the first round to try and wear him down. Phillips does have three submission wins to his name and may look to attack the neck making Kone defend early. If he can do this he has every chance of winning the fight. If the opposite plays out and the pair decides to stand and trade there is a chance someone is going to sleep early.
On the main card, fans will be fired up to see Tom Duquesnoy and Damien Rooney do battle in a bantamweight clash that will surely excite. Both fighters know how to push the pace and this should be an evenly contested affair with wild exchanges on the feet. If the fight hits the mat expect to see prolonged scrambles ensue as each man looks for the finish.
With great matchmaking across the board fans can expect excellent contests from top to bottom. Chris Fields once again competes at home and will look to turn a two-fight losing skid around as he takes on late replacement Andrew Clamp. Next Generation Northern Ireland’s Alan Philpott who picked up a split-decision win over Regis Sugden at BAMMA 22 will look to build on this momentum as he competes for the BAMMA Lonsdale Bantamweight belt against Nathaniel Wood. Elsewhere on the card, SBG Ireland’s Peter Queally fights at home for the first time since August 2014 while knockout artist Paul Byrne takes on Andy Devant in what should be an explosive affair. Add to that jiu-jitsu wizard “Magic” Myles Price who delighted his countrymen in a spirited loss to highly rated Kane Mousah in September will look to bounce back and pick up a much-needed win. Price’s well-rounded grappling skills will be put to the test by Mario Saeed. “Rudeboy” is coming into the bout with a very impressive eight wins with six of those coming by way of submission.
The most pleasing aspect of this weekend’s show, without doubt, is the presence of a ton of prospective Irish talents on the card. Plenty of SBG’s future stars are on the show. Sinead Kavanagh, James Gallagher and Dylan Tuke all take centre stage this weekend. A quick look elsewhere and the presence of Rhys McKee and Mark Andrew from Rodney Moore’s Next Generation gym in Antrim one cannot help but feel excited for the future of the sport across the island.
BAMMA 24 Ireland vs England takes place at the 3 Arena in Dublin on Saturday, February 27th and tickets are still on sale and can be purchased on Ticketmaster or at the doors on the day. It is sure to be a landmark occasion for Irish MMA and kicks off an action-packed weekend of martial arts. For all the results, highlights and post-fight reaction follow MMALatestNews.com.
Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking
We spoke to the recently crowned BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, as he prepares to defend his title against Richard Kiely at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.
Lohore (13-1) won the vacant BAMMA welterweight title last month at BAMMA 31 in London. Fighting his longtime rival Nathan Jones on the night, Lohore knocked out “Mr Bag & Tag” with a knee in the first round.
Q: Obviously the rivalry between you and Jones had been going on for years, but you finished it in brutal fashion. Did you to speak to him after the fight?
Yeah I did have a chat with him. I was telling him that it was a great fight and we should train together sometime, but he was he wasn’t really keen on it. I guess he was still a bit sore about the defeat.
Q: In the cage after your win, you called out Richard Kiely, now you’re fighting him. Are you happy you got the opponent you asked for?
Everyone keeps saying I called him out, I didn’t call him out, he called me out! I didn’t even address his name, I said ‘this Irish kid has been running his mouth we’re going to go out there and shut him up.’ I didn’t even know who he was. He’s been mentioning my name and talking a lot of rubbish on my social media disturbing me and my fans.
Q: The finish against Jones was picture perfect. From the elbow, to the right hand, to the knee, was it the best of your career?
Yeah I think it is, by far! It was perfect technique. I knew as he was going he back he would try to duck in for the takedown. Because I was throwing the head kick anyway all I needed to do was just switch it to a knee. I couldn’t ask for any better.
— BAMMA (@BAMMA) September 15, 2017
Q: Given it’s in Dublin and Richard is Irish, How do you feel about going into enemy territory at BAMMA 32?
That’s great, that’s why I’m doing it! I need to be comfortable in every environment, so going out there will test. I wanted to be on the Dublin card, now I can teach him a little lesson too, I can’t wait.
Q: As you know the Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers has brought a lot of attention to BAMMA recently, what are your thoughts on him?
He’s good man. For someone who doesn’t come from a fighting background and does reality TV stuff, he’s doing good. How can people say he should fight someone more experienced, because he is taking guys that are on his level and he’s doing good.
He’s helping MMA fighters because he has got a big following so more people are going to be watching MMA and learning about MMA so it’s a good thing having him on board.
Opponent announced in the next few weeks
The team has asked Bamma for an opponent with pro wins
— Aaron Chalmers (@AaronCGShore) October 6, 2017
BAMMA32 will take place at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 10th. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.ie. The card will air live on both UNILAD’s Facebook page, and Dave.
BAMMA 31: Alex Lohore Knocks Out Nathan Jones with a Knee
In the main event of BAMMA 31, Alex Lohore knocked out Nathan Jones with a vicious knee to become the new BAMMA welterweight champion.
Jones (11-6) returned to BAMMA after fighting at Bellator 179 in May, where he submitted Umer Kayani in the first round. It was his first title fight under the promotion, as he stepped into the BAMMA cage for the sixth time in his professional career.
The self-proclaimed “future of French MMA” Lohore (13-1) was riding a 9-fight winning streak as he made his BAMMA debut on the night. Like Jones, “Da Kid” last fought at Bellator 179 stopping Dan Vinni, who was scheduled to face Walter Gahadza tonight, but the fight was cancelled.
Lohore backed up Jones to the fence and landed some good knees to the midsection. It was evident pre-fight animosity was carried into the cage as both men swung with bad intentions in the first. Jones secured a takedown and looked to wrap up a guillotine choke but Lohore defended well.
After Jones and Lohore broke from a clinching position, Lohore landed a beautiful step-in knee and sent Jones crashing to the canvas unconscious.
— MMA Latest (@MMALatestNws) September 15, 2017
Official Result: Alex Lohore def. Nathan Jones via KO (Knee) Round One 4:13
BAMMA 31: Aaron Chalmers Wins by Knockout in 30 Seconds
In the second fight of his career, Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers knocked out Alex Thompson in just 30-seconds at BAMMA 31.
Chalmers (2-0) made his pro debut back in April at BAMMA 29, when he submitted Greg Jenkins in the first round. “The Joker” had spent his training camp at UTC in Birmingham for this fight, alongside the likes of Yannick Bahati and UFC welterweight Leon Edwards.
Thompson (0-1) had previously fought at BAMMA before facing Chalmers, but on the amateur circuit. Making his pro MMA debut on the night, “The Iron Born” was riding a 4-fight losing streak coming into BAMMA 31, and had taken almost a full year away from the cage.
As the round opened up, Chalmers and Thompson began to exchange on the feet. A left uppercut from “The Joker” had already knocked Thompson out on the feet, and as he was falling to the canvas Chalmers landed a right hand to finish the job.
— MMA Latest (@MMALatestNws) September 15, 2017
Official Result: Aaron Chalmers def. Alex Thompson via KO (Uppercut) Round One: 0:30
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