Irish MMA Talent On The Rise
Irish mixed martial arts has exploded on this little island of ours helped and aided by the huge success Of The Notorious Conor McGregor on the UFC stage. But as much as Conor’s success warms my heart and brings out my Irish pride this is only the tip of the Iceberg of Irish MMA.
There is a swarm of extremely talented and gifted mixed martial artists on the brink of breaking onto the world stage. This was no more evident than on Saturday evening in Dublin’s 3Arena were Bamma 26 took place. This was Bamma’s third show on Irish soil and was stacked from the first bout of the evening to the last bout with Irish talent challenging for and defending Bamma titles.
The night was opened by “Yogurty” Dave Fogarty and Barry Hanna. Dave was coming into his first MMA bout in Ireland off the success of a silver medal at the IMMAF world championships and fighting a very equally skilled Barr Hanna. The fight took place under the new ruleset and delivered and showcased the great skills of both young amateur fighters and got the card off to a great start with “Yogurty” getting the nod off two judges and winning via split decision.
Next up on the card was the SBGi man Ben Forysth. Ben has been struggling to get matched and has had a lot of opponents withdraw from fights recently but stepped into the Bamma cage against a very tough opponent in Pelu Adetola. In a hard-fought bout, Ben prevailed on all the judge’s scorecards (30-27,29-28,29-28) and went on to call out Northern Ireland’s Karl Moore for UFC Belfast in his post-fight interview with Obviously Fight Talk.
Round Two At The 3 Arena
Next up and a shout for fight of the night was Darren O’Gorman’s victory via rear-naked choke over Gary Morris, both fighters having their moments in this one but ultimately O’Gorman sunk in the choke in the third. John “Johnny Jitzu” Redmond fired the 3Arena crowd to their feet with a stunning walk away second-round KO over the debut Glenn Irvine, in a wild exchange Redmond landed the telling blow and turn out the lights of the young NextGen man.
This really brought the energy to the 3Arena and Keith McCabe followed his Team Ryano teammate with a beautiful armbar submission of Aidan Brookes in the first round. The Arena was rocking with the talent and high level of competition on display. Keeping with the submission theme Richie Smullen took on Andrew Murphy in the night’s next bout and finished with a superb heel hook from the SBGi man.
Sinead “KO” Kavanagh was next up against Katarzyna Sadurain the Bantamweight division and Sinead’s boxing pedigree shined through with the Dublin woman finishing the bout in the first via TKO and calling out for UFC Belfast in her post-fight interview in the cage and with media outlets and why wouldn’t she? 3-0 in Bamma with 2 KO/TKO finishes and would fit well in the UFC’s Bantamweight division.
D1 mafia was out in force for Ryan Curtis first professional bout in Ireland let only Dublin. The huge following was not disappointed as Curtis displayed dominance in his decision victory from the first bell to the last. Robert Pallin speaking with Ryan for Obviously Fight Talk asked to UFC question to which Ryan replied he was in no rush and he’s not begging for the call, he is only young and they will come calling for him.
Getting The Gold Belt
A great head on the young man shoulders as he knows time is most certainly on his side in his pursuit of Bamma Gold and then the world stage awaits. Blaine O’ Driscoll got the judges to call in a hard-fought fight against Next Gens Mark Andrew, a very tough fight for both young pros and certainly two to keep watching out for.
Rhys “Skeletor” McKee’s star shined bright once again in the Bamma cage with another first-round finish in highlight fashion. Finishing Tommy McCafferty a world-class elite Kickboxer and MMA fighter with a big right hand starting the flurry to which was followed up by heavy ground and pound forcing the referee to step in and wave this one-off.
Next up on the night, we had the long-overdue bout between Peter Queally and Joe McColgan. This matchup was due to take place on a few occasion’s but possibly this worked out best for fight fans for this to go down at Bamma 26.
In a great fight, McColgan showcased serious power and smooth striking and had Queally hurt on a few occasions in the bout, body shots that had Bas Rutten smiling somewhere in the world landed time and time again. Queally closed the distance and controlled McColgan up against the cage at times but McColgan rightfully got the judges to call in this one.
Paul Redmond Get The Win
Paul “Redser” Redmond took on Chris Stringer for his long-awaited Bamma debut and Stringer first MMA bout in over 3 years, this was a very tough and grinding fight but the Team Ryano man got the job done using his superior grappling and avoided the high-level striking attacks of Stringer.
Speaking with Paul after the bout, he felt he gained from a hard three rounds and shook off whatever ring rust there was but also highlighted what a good opponent Stringer is and hopefully we will see both in action again soon.
The Co-Main Event of the evening was a highly anticipated bout due to thrash talking in the build-up and it saw The Bamma Lonsdale Champion Alan Philpott defend his belt against Aaron Blackwell in what I can only describe as an odd fight.
Blackwell did not want to engage with Philpott, Alan for all his trying was pushing Blackwell to engage to the extend he embraced his inner Diaz and lay down in the cage and crawled towards(this is no a typo) He crawled towards him. Philpott defends his title and burst into song in his in cage post-fight interview “Philpotts on fire, firekid is terrified” this would be a huge fight and one Philpott wants.
The main event was for the Bamma World Title and lived up to it. Fight of the night in my opinion and the champion got the judges call in a close fight that I have to watch back again but credit to both men who left it all in the Bamma cage champion Rany Saadeh and the challenger Andy Young.
What Is Next for BAMMA In Ireland?
So what’s next, as Bamma showcased the future is huge for Irish MMA. Bamma is rumoured to return in early December and more Irish fighters will be matched on the card but the UFC will land in Belfast in November.
Speaking on this weeks episode of Obviously Fight Talk we had said that if Dana White was in attendance on Saturday evening with Looking for a fight there would have been a few names with stars marked beside them and potentially fighting on UFC Belfast.
This may very well happen but as many talented fighters that were on display on Saturday there are as many more waiting for that Bamma or Cage Warriors call to show what they have. The future is extremely bright for Irish MMA and Conor will be joined by the new breath very soon.
Obviously Fight Talk Noel O’Keeffe