With BAMMA 22 fast approaching, all eyes are definitely on the promotions first ever show in Ireland which takes place on 19th September in Dublin. But, as we all know, things move at an incredible pace in the MMA world and although BAMMA 22 is still a few weeks away, you can bet your bottom dollar that BAMMA matchmaker is already lining up fights for BAMMA 23 and beyond.
So, in typical fashion, I have donned my Jude Samuels flat peak hat (not really – hats don’t do my big ears any favours) and come up with some bouts which I would love to see at BAMMA 23, welcome back to Fantasy Island:
Mansour Barnoui Vs Rob Sinclair
Champion Mansour Barnoui has been dominant in his past two BAMMA fights against Colin Fletcher and Curt Warburton and has since fought for the M-1 promotion, picking up another first round stoppage. Rob “C4” Sinclair returned to winning ways at BAMMA in his last bout, stopping Michael Brightmon in the first round and proving he is still able to hang with the best BAMMA have to offer.
For me the fight between Barnoui and Sinclair has to happen and whilst there are a number of Lightweight fighters all vying for the shot at Barnoui, I would say that Sinclair is the logical choice right now. Although he is still contracted with Bellator, I think that the promotions would be able to reach an agreement to have him fight for a Title, after all, Bellator would benefit in him returning to them as a domestic Champion. Style wise these two would definitely make for an exciting fight and I would be very intrigued to see how the size difference would play out.
Barnoui has been taking some shots at British fighters recently through his social media and has called for BAMMA (British Association of Mixed Martial Arts) to be renamed (French Association of Mixed Martial Arts). Im sure that Sinclair would be the willing Englishman to step up and challenge Barnoui for his title.
Darren Stewart Vs Brett McDermott
McDermott may have come up short in his bid for the Light Heavyweight Title in his last bout, but “The Spartan” still has plenty to offer at 205lbs and would be a very good challenge for up and coming Light Heavyweight Darren “The Dentist” Stewart. Stewart is 4-0 with three wins coming inside the first round and is looking to break into the upper ranks of the 205lbs division.
For me this fight totally makes sense and poses a genuine challenge to Stewart who, so far, has run through his last four opponents with relative ease. McDermott is still early on in his MMA career with only six bouts under his name and would be a real test for him to see if he can hang with the younger more athletic style of fighter.
Luke Barnatt Vs John Phillips
Now this one would be interesting and certainly a fight I would pay good money to see. Barnatt is soon to announce his next fight following his release from the UFC and I would love to see “The Bigslow” back in the BAMMA cage. “The White Mike Tyson” would make a great opponent for “The Bigslow” and has sparked rumours on his return to MMA after a 2 years hiatus, competing and winning a one night tournament for Fightstar Promotions back in March.
Barnatt has come out and said on his social media recently that he is looking to take out any unsigned Middleweights until the UFC come back knocking and I genuinely think that Phillips may be one of those that the UFC have an interest in. Phillips hits like a truck but Barnatt proved his toughness in his last bout against Mark Munoz so I would love to see how this one would play out. The winner would definitely be fit to take on Cheick Kone for his Middleweight strap.
Ed Arthur Vs Cory Tait
Ed Arthur is just getting better and better in each fight and whilst the undefeated Bantamweight really has the world as his oyster, he can only continue to make noise in the MMA world if given the right level of opponent. Step forward Cory Tait. Tait come up short in his last fight for the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Title but with a record of 8-3 has eight stoppage wins and always makes for an exciting fight.
Arthur is just on fire right now and so BAMMA should really capitalise in giving him some big name Bantamweight fights. Tait is looking to bounce back from a loss in a Title fight and has rejuvenated himself by heading to the States to train with The Blackzilians. I think this fight would really test both men and be a good Championship fight for Arthur who has looked unstoppable in his past six fights.