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MMA Latest News’ Top 5 weekly Prospects: England

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Welcome to this week’s segment of MMA Latest News’ Top 5 weekly prospects. This week I will be going through who I believe are the top 5 prospects from England. Due to the large amount of high caliber English fighters around, I will be doing the similar layout as I did 2 weeks ago with Canada; 5 prospects inside the UFC and also 5 prospects outside the UFC also.

Top 5 prospects inside the UFC

1.Leon Edwards
Record: 9-2
Promotion: UFC
Fighting out of: UTC Birmingham
Last fight: UFC Krakow vs. Seth Baczynski (Won via KO)
Next fight: UFC Glasgow vs. Pawel Pawlak

Leon “Rocky” Edwards has impressed so far in the UFC. Despite losing his debut to Claudio Silva, it was a very impressive display that could have seen the fight go either way. His last fight put the Welterweight division on notice that he was dangerous when he knocked out Baczynski in just 8 seconds in Baczynski’s home country, earning him a performance of the night bonus.

Previous to the UFC, Edwards also proved to be a dominant Welterweight as he went undefeated in his BAMMA career. Edwards, as proven in his last fight, has an amazing stand-up ability which has assisted him winning via KO/TKO on 5 occasions. He is definitely one to watch in the near future, particularly in Glasgow when he looks to defeat another Polish welterweight contender.

2.Darren Till
Record: 13-0
Promotion: UFC
Fighting out of: Astra Fight Team
Last fight: UFC Fight Night 67: vs. Wendell de Oliveira Marques (Won via KO)
Next fight: N/A

Darren Till is also a Welterweight fighter. In his debut back in April he was the underdog, however, that meant nothing as he pulled off an upset as he landed some vicious elbows to pick up a fantastic win in his opponent’s home country. Till was unknown to quite a lot of MMA fans, European fans in particular, but he made sure that wasn’t the case that night when he walked out of there with the MMA world talking about him.

Till has spent his professional career fighting in Brazil, where Astra Fight Team is based. He has proven lethal to his opponents so far with 9 of 13 wins coming by way of TKO/KO. With an undefeated record behind him Till will be one to watch in his coming fights as Liverpudlian will look to extend that even further.

3.Mike Wilkinson
Record: 9-1
Promotion: UFC
Fighting out of: Atherton Submission Wrestling
Last fight: UFC Stockholm vs. Niklas Backstrom (Won via KO)
Next fight: N/A

Wilkinson has now 3 fights in the UFC, winning 2 of them. His debut saw him defeat highly tipped fighter Brendan Loughnane via Unanimous decision. He then lost his 2nd bout to Rony Bezerra after getting caught in a triangle choke. Then his latest fight saw him feature as the first fight on the UFC Stockholm Main Card pulling off an upset against Sweedish prospect Backstrom in his own backyard.

Wilkinson is a very well-rounded fighter and is willing to do whatever it takes to win, be it wrestle, grapple, or just simply stand and bang. In a stacked featherweight division, he may need to carry on winning if he is to move into the rankings. He is not one to miss and is an entertaining fighter to watch. Keep an eye out for any upcoming fights of his.

4.Tom Breese
Record: 8-0
Promotion: UFC
Fighting out of: Tristar Gym
Last fight: UFC fight night 67 vs. Luiz Jorge Dutra Jr. (Won via KO)
Next fight: N/A

Yet another Welterweight, Tom Breese is one of the big names in English MMA at the moment, with an undefeated record behind him he has dominated BAMMA in the past as well as a one-fight stint at Cage Warriors before being signed by the UFC. Only making his UFC debut in April, Breese beat Jorge in just one round in his home country of Brazil. Previous to his debut Breese had a lot of hype behind him and he certainly lived up to it.

Training in Canada out of Tristar, he trains with some of the best in the MMA scene as well as the UFC. The young Englishman has never gone the distance in 8 of his professional MMA bouts.  Grappling is a strong point of his as six of his victories have come by way of submission. Breese is yet to have his next fight announced but is tipped for great things, be sure to keep up to date on anything new regarding his fights.

5.Arnold Allen
5.Arnold Allen
Record: 10-1
Promotion: UFC
Fighting out of: BKK Fighters
Last fight: UFC Berlin vs. Alan Omer (Won via Submission)
Next fight: N/A

Allen has only recently made his UFC debut at UFC Berlin against the experienced Iraqi fighter, Alan Omer(18-4), who he defeated in exquisite fashion via a rear-naked choke. He is a Cage Warriors vet fighting under that promotion’s banner on six occasions, winning five of those fights. In his last bout at M4tC before signing for the UFC, he won the Featherweight title there. Now signed for the UFC, he has a lot of hype behind him with a massive following.

Allen is a big threat to anyone who stands in the cage with him as his striking ability can end a fight at any moment. Being so young, he has a bright career ahead of him and is one of England’s uprising stars in the sport. I recommend to you all to watch him because you certainly won’t be disappointed. This guy comes to fight no matter what.


 

Top 5 Prospects outside the UFC

1.Brendan Loughnane
Record: 10-1
Promotion: BAMMA
Fighting out of: All Powers Gym
Last fight: BAMMA 19 vs. Steve Polifonte (Won via Unanimous Decision)
Next fight: BAMMA 22 vs. Tom Duquesnoy

Brendan Loughnane is one of the most highly rated English fighters outside the UFC at the moment. His only loss came to fellow Englishman Mike Wilkinson in his one-fight stint in the UFC after competing in TUF. He was unfortunately released after that bout and he surely has unfinished business left there.

Loughnane now fights under BAMMA and will challenge for the Featherweight title in September.
Currently on a two-fight win streak in BAMMA, both men he beat were French, leaving only the top French featherweight and BAMMA champion, Tom Duquesnoy, in his way of the title strap. Loughnane has championship experience as he is the former FCC champion. Noted for his wrestling straight-forward, aggressive style, Loughnane is a tough opponent and could be on the brink of a UFC return with a title victory.

2. Pietro Menga
Record: 12-0
Promotion: BAMMA
Fighting out of: MMA Academy Liverpool/ Supergym Thai Boxing
Last fight: BAMMA Fight Night vs. Steve McCombe (Won via Submission)
Next fight: N/A

Despite not fighting since last August, Menga still makes the cut. With a highly impressive record with some big victories, it is a surprise he has not yet been snapped up by the UFC. He is a highly skilled grappler, winning eight fights via submission. One of those was armbar victory against current BAMMA flyweight Champion, Rany Saadeh, back at UCC 12.

With very little competition left for him at flyweight in Europe, it would be silly not to have himself and Saadeh go to war in the cage one more time. If Menga returns and maintains his unbeaten record, I believe a shot at the big time is in store for him.

3.Alex Enlund
Record: 11-2 1NC
Promotion: Cage Warriors
Fighting out of: Bad Boy Training Centre/ NEVT
Last fight: Cage Warriors 73 vs. Nad Narimani (Won via Unanimous Decision)
Next fight: N/A

Enlund is one of two current Cage Warriors champions. The Featherweight won the vacated belt back in November against Nad Narimani via Unanimous Decision. He also has a victory against SBG fighter and Conor McGregor’s sparring partner, Artem Lobov. It is unknown to when Enlund will return to action, but we hope that it will be sooner rather than later.

Enlund possesses some of the best ground game in Europe with nine victories coming by way of submission, seven of which were rear-naked chokes. With quite a lot of former Cage Warriors champions being called up by the UFC, and most recently ONE FC, Enlund could be on their radar.

4.Jack McGann
Record: 8-1
Promotion: BAMMA
Fighting out of: Wolfslair Academy
Last fight: BAMMA 21 vs. Aziz Stringer (Won via KO)
Next fight: N/A

At only 22 Jack McGann has a lot of experience behind him and an excellent record to match. McGann is one of the top Lightweights in the BAMMA division and all of Europe. McGann’s MMA career has been developed through Wolfslair Academy through the years, training with the like of Bisping and Rampage Jackson from a young age.

McGann has superb stand-up ability winning seven of his victories by way of KO/TKO. He is renowned for finishing his opponents in the very first round, with seven first-round finishes. He has only gone the distance on one occasion, when he was on the wrong side of the decision against Marc Diakiese. After bouncing back from his very first loss, he will be pursuing a title and maybe the UFC in the coming years. Being an outstanding and exciting fighter in the cage he surely is a young fighter to keep an eye out for in the future.

5.Kane Mousah
Record: 6-0
Promotion: BAMMA
Fighting out of: Team Rough House
Last fight: FCC 11 vs.Hayden Critchfield (Won via submission)
Next fight: BAMMA 22 vs Myles Price

This undefeated lightweight has been impressive so far in his career. He was scheduled to face Marc Diakiese in his BAMMA debut but had to pull out due to injury. However, this week it has been confirmed that he will debut at BAMMA 22 against Myles Price.

Mousah is a very well rounded opponent with excellent conditioning. Carrying an unscathed record with may assist him in his push for greater things. His next fight won’t be one to miss as he is on the road to success.

 

So that’s a wrap for another week, I hope you enjoyed this weeks set of prospects from England. I believe it is evident that there are some major prospects to be looking out for from England. Watch out next week as I will mixing things up once again and have something different on the cards.

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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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