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Heading to the top: Tom “Fire Kid” Duquesnoy

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Welcome to MMA Latest News’ newest segment “Heading to the top”, where we speak to upcoming prospects closing in on a UFC call-up. To kick off things our first interview is with BAMMA featherweight champion Tom “Fire Kid” Duquesnoy (11-1 1NC). Tom who trains out of Jackson-Wink MMA is coming off a big win at BAMMA 22 against UFC vet Brendan Loughnane to successfully to defend the title. He has now decided to drop down to bantamweight upon his return to action at BAMMA 24 against Damien Rooney, a decision which seemingly is part of a long-term plan in Tom’s quest for the UFC.

“I was talking a lot with my close people about that and we decided to. For the UFC that there was a plan that I will try and cut down to make the bantamweight division. But I said we should do this now because I can get used to doing this, so I can feel the sensation, I can get my body used to going down so I won’t be surprised in the UFC about how to cut for this division. So we decided to go to the bantamweight category in BAMMA.”

Already holding one BAMMA belt, Duquesnoy has plans to win himself another in the light of his move to bantamweight stating how he expects to get a bantamweight title fight if he wins at BAMMA 24.

“What I would like to do is to get a title shot in this category so afterwards I will have 2 belts in two different divisions so it’s promotionally a good thing to have two belts in the most famous organization in Europe. If I win against Rooney I will get a title shot and hopefully, I will win it and I will then have one more fight under contract at BAMMA.”

Like the majority of fighters the UFC is the goal they have, Tom is no different and in no rush either as he is willing to fight out the remaining of his contract in respect to being completely ready for his crack at the big league.

“The goal obviously is the UFC so I just want myself to be 200% prepared to go there, so after them 3 fights, I will feel fully prepared for the UFC.”

Despite his previous comment Tom does believe he is ready at this current time but not for the UFC’s elite, which is the level of prepared he looks to be going into the UFC.

“Yeah I think I am ready for the UFC but I don’t think I’m ready for the top 3 guys, so I want to go to the UFC when I will get a chance at the top guys.”

In relation to his upcoming fight, Tom has nothing but respect for his opponent after studying him well in the build up to his bantamweight debut expecting Rooney to be at his best coming into this fight, hoping both men go to war and put on a hell of a fight for the Irish fans at BAMMA 24.

“I watch his fights, he is taller than me, he’s a warrior, he’s also an Irish guy so he’s going to be prepared 100% mentally and physically and will be at his best. I wish we have a great fight together.”

Of course this is not Duquesnoy’s first time fighting in Ireland, this fight sees him returning to the emerald isle for the second time, something that he seems to be looking forward to quite a bit as he has nothing but good words to say about fighting in Ireland yet again.

“Last time I enjoyed Dublin, the 3Arena was full of people that were crazy, and the people are really invested into the MMA show and sport. They really like to support their athletes. It’s good for me to fight over there, I like it there, my Irish fans they are really and supportive. I really can’t wait to be back there either.”

Unlike the majority of fighters Tom has unfortunately never gotten the chance to fight in his home country under MMA rules, as he spoke to us about the sport being illegal in France because of it being blocked by the Judo federation something that doesn’t seem to be changing much in the short-term.

“It is still blocked by the Judo federation because they are afraid about the MMA globalization. It is not anymore. Judo federation is the first combat sports federation in France so they have a lot of lobby and power especially in the sports ministry in France so they put a lot of pressure on MMA staying illegal. So, unfortunately, it is still blocked and at the moment, I don’t have much to say on the future on the short term legalization of MMA in France.”

Despite the sports current status in France, in the long term it may finally become legal in the country, something that would be a dream come true for Duquesnoy if he got to fight there be it BAMMA or hopefully UFC as it wouldn’t be much of a journey from his home and he would have a lot of local fans to support him.

“BAMMA in Paris, UFC in Paris either would be a dream because I got a lot of fans in France and I could bring a lot of fans to the stadium in Paris and you know what Paris would be awesome for me cause it’s only like 20 minutes from my house If they could organise something there. But yeah it would be an honour and a pleasure to fight in front of my home fans.”

So that’s a wrap to the first segment of “Heading to the top”, be sure to follow Tom Duquesnoy his hunt for glory at BAMMA 24 against Damien Rooney which takes place on February 27th in the 3 Arena, Dublin.  You can also follow Tom on twitter @TomFirekid.

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Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking

Harry Davies

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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.

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.

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.

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BAMMA 31: Alex Lohore Knocks Out Nathan Jones with a Knee

Harry Davies

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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.

Round One:

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.

Official Result: Alex Lohore def. Nathan Jones via KO (Knee) Round One 4:13

You can stay updated with the official results of BAMMA 31 here, and also over at our Twitter page @mmalatestnews.

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BAMMA 31: Aaron Chalmers Wins by Knockout in 30 Seconds

Harry Davies

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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.

Round One:

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.

Official Result: Aaron Chalmers def. Alex Thompson via KO (Uppercut) Round One: 0:30

You can stay updated with the official results of BAMMA 31 here, and also over at our Twitter page @mmalatestnews.

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