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BAMMA 25: Champion vs. Champion Preview

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This weekend BAMMA is back in the Barclay card Arena in Birmingham for a star-studded card when some of Europe’s finest go to war inside the BAMMA cage in what is expected to be a sell-out event. Featuring on the card are some true grudge matches which will surely liven up the crowd prior to the Champion vs. Champion fights that top off the card. Also along with the card, this weekend is the BodyPower Expo event in the NEC and the BAMMA Invitational UKMMAF National Amateur Tournament.

Kane Mousah vs. Marc Diakiese – BAMMA Lonsdale Lightweight Title

The first title fight of the night takes place in the 155-pound division when these two undefeated highly rated prospects finally get to take to the cage and slug it out. It is evident that both men highly dislike each other and with two such exciting fight styles to top it off this is sure to be an all-out war.

Kane Mousah had been asking for this fight for over a year and then his wish was granted when this fight was offered to him. Both men were originally meant to meet at BAMMA 17, however, Mousah had to pull out due to an injury. His return to the cage saw him take on Myles Price at BAMMA 22 in a fight which many thought he lost. Regardless of that, he showed his toughness, superb striking and GnP which he is known for that lead to him gaining a big victory. Now he looks to take the win and steal the title from his bitter rival this weekend in his toughest matchup to date.

This fight will be Diakiese’s first fight since BAMMA 22 in his ever so impressive title 24-second defence, where he handed Selvarajah his first professional loss. Diakiese is a very quick exciting fighter that likes to mix things up and keep his opponent guessing.  He will be looking to do just this against Mousah on Saturday and possibly repeat what happened in his last fight. This fight is not to be missed and could possibly a FOTN or even FOTY contender.

Colin Fletcher vs. Walter Gahadza – Welterweight bout

The BAMMA welterweight division is one that is seemingly neglected, having no World or Lonsdale champ whatsoever for quite some time now. However, these men may look to change that as both are arguably some of the divisions finest throughout all of Europe and definitely some of BAMMA’s most exciting and well-known fighters.

UFC veteran and TUF: Smashes finalist Colin Fletcher is one of the most interesting fighters around that is renowned for wearing his infamous clown mask during his walk out. Fletcher is only after recently returning to the Welterweight division following a long-term spell at Lightweight where he has spent most of his professional career. Fletcher is known for his prowess on the ground and his submission game while also being incredibly strong in the clinch. A win here will continue his positive start at Welterweight and may lead to a shot at the vacant title.

Undefeated Walter Gahadza is one of Europe’s most under the radar Welterweights that has been smashing guys for years and now finally gets to make his highly anticipated debut. He is very well rounded and capable of finishing the fight anywhere, this will be a real tough test for him but a win here will put him up there with some of the division’s elite and put him in with a shout at the title too.

Mark Godbeer vs. Stuart Austin – BAMMA World Heavyweight Title

In the first of our Champion vs. Champion matches the BAMMA heavyweight title is on the line in a fight that will determine who is the king of the Heavyweights in the promotion.

Godbeer hasn’t had the best of luck as of late having to pull out of his last bout as well as the RIZIN tournament due to injuries. However, the heavy hitter’s luck is about to reverse as he looks to successfully defend his title before he re-enters the Bellator cage and takes centre stage at Bellator London against James Mulheron.

Austin is on a roll in BAMMA at the moment with two successful wins, picking up the Lonsdale title in the mixed. His impressive performances in his last two fights which saw him boast both a submission and TKO victory has led to one of his biggest opportunities to date when he gets the chance to spoil the champs return from injury.

Martin Stapleton vs. Damien Lapilus – BAMMA World Lightweight Title

In this fight, we return to the 155 division only this time with the BAMMA Lightweight title up for grabs when both men go head to head.

Champion Martin Stapleton will defend his title for the first time this weekend against one of the top upcoming French fighters in Lapilus. He previously competed in season 9 of The Ultimate fighter followed by an unsuccessful spell at Bellator. Since his last loss at Bellator, he has won for on the trot easing past his opponents finishing each fight, splitting the victories evenly between TKO and submission. He will be looking to continue this form and finish the Frenchman this weekend in order to retain his coveted title.

It only took the highly rated Lapilus 1 fight under the BAMMA banner to get himself a crack at the title. His upset victory over Wolfslair product Jack McGann proved acceptable in BAMMA eyes to then take on Stapleton. Lapilus will now be aiming to continue the success of the French under the promotion then ultimately aim towards joining his brother in the UFC by getting himself a call-up.

Tom Duquesnoy vs. Shay Walsh – BAMMA World Bantamweight Title

In the Main event of the evening, we’ve got one of the most highly anticipated BAMMA bouts to date when the Featherweight Champion moves down a weight class to meet the Bantamweight champion in his effort to become a dual-division champion.

Tom Duquesnoy is arguably the best fighter in Europe at the moment after recently picking up victories against highly prolific fighters such as Brendan Loughnane and Damien Rooney. The Frenchman dominated the Feathweight division then opted to move down a division in an effort to take the title there before looking to depart off to the UFC if the opportunity arises. Which it most likely will with a win. Duquesnoy is an exhilarating fighter to watch with world class striking with speed and movement to top it off, he is also quite nifty on the mat too, however, does rather to keep it standing. He will surely look to repeat his performance in his Bantamweight debut here and take home the gold back to his home country with him.

Across from him then will be reigning Bantamweight champion Shay Walsh who ever since joining BAMMA has dominated everyone in his path with very little competition, his most recent coming against Ed Arthur at BAMMA 23. The champ is quite well-rounded, although his work at Tiger Muay Thai has certainly seen him evolve in the striking department quite a bit. Now in his toughest fight to date, he looks to defend his belt successfully and cement his name at the top of the Bantamweight division throughout Europe. This fight is another one not to miss and will be an extraordinary way to top off the card as well as a great weekend.

The remainder of the card is as follows (Bottom to top format):

Lightweight – Jai Herbert vs. Tony Morgan
Featherweight – Dean Trueman vs. Huseyin Garabet
Welterweight – Terry Brazier vs. Issey Francis Buangala
Lightweight – Rick Selvarajah vs. Oliver Coyne
Heavyweight – Tom Aspinall vs. Lukasz Parobiec
Lightweight – Chris Bungard vs. Xavier Sedras
Featherweight – Mike Grundy vs. Marley Swindells
Lightweight – Tim Wilde vs. Christian Holley
Light Heavyweight – Brett McDermott vs. Jamie Sloan
Bantamweight – Ed Arthur vs. Cameron Else
Middleweight – Matt Hallam vs. Alexander Bergman
Featherweight – Ronnie Mann vs. Graham Turner

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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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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 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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