Earlier today BAMMA tweeted a teaser of a big announcement that will be revealed soon. With the image and hash-tag being “BAMMA22” it is almost a certainty that it is either a signing of a big name in Irish MMA or that BAMMA 22 will be in Ireland, I am tending to lean towards the latter.
BAMMA was formed in 2009 and since its inception they have yet to travel event outside of England. This would be a historic move for the promotion that has featured fighters like Paul Daley, Jimi Manuwa, Frank Trigg, Tom Watson, Gunnar Nelson, Ricco Rodriguez, ‘Ninja’ Rua and more.
There are a number of reasons why I believe that a BAMMA show in Ireland would be a great idea and here they are;
FANS – Irish fight fans a very passionate group. They support their own in the masses and are very loyal. Recently, well since a certain Conor McGregor came around, the number of MMA fans have increased drastically. These new set of fans have only been exposed to one event and that was UFC Fight Night Dublin last July. Since then there has been no more marquee MMA events happen in the whole of Ireland. It is unknown whether these fans would attend a show that doesn’t have the letters U-F-C or not but with an ever growing base of people involved with the MMA scene in Ireland, most of whom would go to a BAMMA show, it is certainly worth the risk of trying to tap into this market.
FIGHTERS – There are currently three big Irish MMA fighters signed to BAMMA: Alan Philpott, Conor Cooke, and Chris Fields. Having either of these three compete outside of the island of Ireland can be a waste for a promotion as they are all big draws in their homeland. A show involving these three plus any host of top BAMMA talent would certainly bring a crowd.
There are also a number of top unsigned Irish talent that would not look out of place on a BAMMA card. Experienced fighters such as Tommy McCafferty, Philip Mulpeter, Andy Young, and Henry Fadipe along with rising talent like Sean Tobin, Charlie Ward, Darren O’Gorman amongst many others would be a great addition to a BAMMA card or even the roster.
COMPETITION – Since the loss of Cage Warriors and Cage Contender there has been no other major shows take their place in the Emerald. Current Irish promotions like BattleZone, Clan Wars, Chaos, Immortal, UXC, Akuma etc. are all quality shows in their own right but none have a big brand name like what BAMMA has or the TV footprint like they do. There is a gap in the market for a promotion like BAMMA to come and as any good business knows: if you see a gap, you must fill it.
In conclusion, when you have a market with relatively no competition, has passionate fans and popular fighters it seems like a no-brainer for BAMMA to do a show in Ireland and make history in doing so.