BAMMA returned to the 3 Arena for #BAMMA26 last night and put on a solid card which although was darkened with many fight changes and cancellations still managed to deliver across the board. In the main event Rany Saadeh was able to successfully defend his BAMMA Flyweight Championship and it was the young up and comers that really shone the brightest for me;
The Irish fans absolutely delivered last night and being the first experience of watching MMA in Ireland for me it was an absolute pleasure to cover. Everyone in the arena was up for a good night and they all got behind their respective fighters but at no point throughout the evening did I sense any trouble brewing.
I know that we shouldn’t go in expecting trouble which I don’t but it is always refreshing to be in a crowd which you have absolutely no fear of any fights taking place other than the ones inside the cage. Credit to BAMMA for getting some cracking local fighters on then card who were all able to bring along a large fan base which really helped the promotion pack out the arena and create a great atmosphere.
There was a real great performance from some of the up and coming Irish fighters and the guys who stood out to me the most were Ryan Curtis, Ben Forsyth, Darren O’Gorman & Blaine O’Driscoll. All four of those guys stepped up to the huge task ahead of them but all looked as though they were seasoned veterans. Excited to see what happens next in each of their respective careers and equally expect to see them back on the BAMMA 2017 schedule.
From a personal perspective watching the show from the top of the arena seemed like a great idea to start with but as soon as the place started to fill up the view was quickly restricted and the media members were left watching the event on the screens.
This wasn’t an ideal situation given that the live stream wasn’t available until a few hours in (due to a technical glitch in the arena) which left some points of the evening a complete blank to the outside world.
Going into this event there was an emphasis on how people outside of the arena would be able to watch the show and just a few days before, BAMMA confirmed that the whole event would be streamed on their youtube page, see tweet below;
— BAMMA (@BAMMA) September 8, 2016
So you can imagine the frustration of people not in attendance when the live stream didn’t actually kick in until after the sixth fight had finished.
BAMMA have done such a good job at building momentum and putting on great shows that it is frustrating that they allow things like this to pull them back. Especially when one of their main rivals Cage Warriors was running a show at exactly the same time with no issues with their stream whatsoever, something they really have seemed to nail down.
BAMMA had seemed to have gotten over this which was an issue in the past and so it was surprising that it creeped back up again tonight and put a black mark on the show which otherwise was fantastic.