We are now full steam ahead in our search for possible UFC candidates across Europe and our tour so far has stopped off in Scotland, England & Wales and now take a venture just over the river to look at some candidates hailing from the North and South of Ireland.
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Peter “The Showstopper” Queally (7-2 MMA)
Queally has a big test ahead of him at #BAMMA24 against Nathan Jones but if he is able to get past this one then it puts him in a great place for a potential call-up. His only two defeats have come via decision, with one of those being a split one which was debatable. The SBG Dublin based fighter has surrounded himself with one of the best teams in Europe and has competed for some big Worldwide promotions including Venator FC, EFC and Cage Warriors and so in terms of dealing with big fight pressure is more than capable of dealing with it. Queally has a great personality and a willingness to step up and take fights on short notice which is always a tick in the box especially with the increase of UFC European cards this year and if they are in need of a late minute 155lber then “The Showstopper” would be a great option.
Alan “The Apprentice” Philpott (14-7 MMA)
Philpott has the opportunity to take the BAMMA Lonsdale Bantamweight Title at #BAMMA24 and in my eyes a win in this fight really puts him at the top of the pile for potential Bantamweights on the cusp of signing with the UFC. His sole loss in recent times came against Ed Arthur which is no negative on Philpott and with a record of 4-1 in his last five can certainly hold his head up. Probably his biggest challenge in my eyes is his weight, which will probably put him to the back on the line if the UFC are looking at last minute replacements but if he is able to prove that he can make weight without issue at #BAMMA24 then that point is largely irrelevant. He has some good solid wins against some credible European fighters and in recent times does look to have grown as a fighter and adding in his outspoken personality would make him a great addition to the UFC Bantamweight division.
Paul Byrne (6-1 MMA)
Paul Byrne is arguably one of the most exciting Middleweights in Europe and this is supported by the fact that he has never gone the distance inside his seven professional bouts. He suffered his first and only loss back in November and is looking to redeem himself at #BAMMA24 in a Middleweight clash with former TUF contestant Bola Omoyele. As a Middleweight Byrne is also able to set himself apart given that most of the UFC’s recent European signings have been at Welterweight and below and an impressive win over Omoyele for me will only justify the fact that Byrne is more than capable of holding his own in the big leagues.
Brian “The Pikeman” Moore (8-4 MMA)
Moore hasn’t been active in recent years, only competing twice since 2013 and going 1-1 but there is certainly some raw talent that he possesses which make him more than a capable of fighting at the highest levels. He has a very solid ground game which has resulted in five of his eight wins coming by submission. Moore may need a couple of wins back under his belt before being snapped up by the UFC given his lengthy time away from the sport but a win at #BAMMA24 against Mick Brennan will get him back on track and I think a Q3/Q4 call-up is definitely within reason.
Tom “The Tank” Egan (7-5 MMA)
After taking nearly two years out from competing, Egan is poised to make his return for the CES MMA promotion. Although he has been inactive in terms of competing, he has been an integral part of Conor McGregor’s ride to capturing the UFC Featherweight Title and served as one of the main coaches on The Ultimate Fighter for Conor, creating a relationship with the UFC in the process and also getting his name and face known across fans worldwide. With a few wins under the CES banner the UFC might take a look at the Republic of Ireland’s first ever UFC fighter. Egan is a prolific striker and his exciting style has resulted in six of his seven wins coming by way of TKO.
Others to consider;