On September 19th, British mixed martial arts organization BAMMA will make their promotional debut in Ireland with a historic event in the 3Arena. It’s not surprising that a host of Irish mixed martial artists have been added to the line-up, however, we may see another Irishman inside the BAMMA cage if he has his way.
Ireland’s top ring announcer and MC Noel O’ Keeffe has been making his case on social media for being the right man to host the show; and it seems he’s not alone. Since throwing his hat into the ring for the position, his support on social media from fans and fighters alike has soared.
Many of the fighters scheduled to fight at BAMMA 22 have shown their support, including the likes of co-headliner Chris Fields, Next GenerationNI’s Alan Philpot, and Limerick’s own Catherine Costigan.
— chris fields (@chrisfieldsmma) August 14, 2015
The support he has received from Ireland’s MMA community isn’t an enormous surprise considering his status in the mixed martial arts scene in Ireland. If you have ever been to an MMA or even a kickboxing show on the Emerald Isle, you have probably heard his voice bellowing through the building — from MC’ing some of the biggest local shows like Rumble in Rush to Primal Fighting Championships, and from Clan Wars to Enfusion Live, he is truly a busy man.
His most recent appearance was at the deafening Cage Kings event on August 8th.
As busy as he is, this schedule has helped him cultivate the following he has, hone his abilities, and turn what was initially a dare into a profession.
It wasn’t Noel’s idea to become a ring announcer. In 2009, while training with his coach at the time Stefan Moriarty alongside now-SBG fighter Ben Forsyth, who was preparing for an upcoming fight on a show run by Moriarty himself, Noel began announcing Forsyth in the gym just like a ring announcer would before a fight. Upon hearing him, his coach Stefan immediately told him he was going to announce the show.
Six years later, when most would have declined in the first place, he’s still at it. But it’s no longer just a dare, and if the stars align for him, we might just see the Irishman announce some of Europe’s top talent in the 3Arena in just a few weeks. It would clearly be the biggest show that he has done to date — but if you ask him, or any of his supporters, they will tell you that when stage is set, and the bright lights are on, and when Dublin makes some noise, that he is certainly up to the task.