In just under a weeks time leading European MMA promotion BAMMA are set to stage their 20th anniversary show. BAMMA 20 takes place on Saturday 25th April at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham.
The card will not only be special to BAMMA for being their 20th anniversary show, but it will also kick off their long term deal with Spike TV UK with the main card being broadcast live.
Topping the event is a Light Heavyweight showdown between Brett McDermott Vs Marcin Lazarz fighting for the vacant Light Heavyweight strap. McDermott made a huge statement at BAMMA 17 knocking out Oli Thompson, whilst Lazarz will be looking to get back to winning ways under the BAMMA banner following a loss at BAMMA 12 to former Middleweight Title contender Max Nunes. Since BAMMA 12 Lazarz has gone 2-0 and will be looking to pick up his third win on the bounce at BAMMA 20.
The fight will be McDermott’s sixth professional fight so Lazarz will be the more experienced fighter when the two step into the cage, however, going into the fight on a four fight win streak will certainly give McDermott the confidence to go in and take the title. Lazarz is no slouch though and has stopped four of his seven opponents to date. The loss to Nunes will only make him a better fighter and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Polish fighter scored an upset against McDermott.
The co-main event sees former UFC fighters Colin Fletcher take on Andre Winner in a Lightweight showdown with potential title shot implications on the line. Fletcher is coming off a stoppage win over Michael Brightmon at BAMMA 17 and has gone 3-1 since being released from the UFC. Winner himself has stayed very active mixing up his time between MMA and kickboxing. He hasn’t been in a BAMMA cage since BAMMA 10 but has amassed a record of 5-1-1 since BAMMA 10 including big wins over Artem Lobov and Jeremy Petley.
This fight is a definite crowd pleaser and I think stylistically will bring out the best in both fighters. Neither of these guys will want to be taking the fight down to the mat, however, if it does go to the mat I tend to lean towards Fletcher to have the advantage. Winner has had double the amount of fighters as Fletcher so experience will be on his side but Fletcher seems really at home in front of the BAMMA crowd which will play a bit factor on this fight. I believe that if either guy wins this one decisively they stake a big claim at getting themselves a title shot against current BAMMA Lightweight Champion, Mansour Barnoui.
WHOATV caught up with Colin Fletcher backstage at BAMMA 19 and the fan favourite vowed that the rematch would have a very different result;
The inaugural BAMMA World Bantamweight Title is also on the line in the main card as Ed Arthur takes on Alan Philpot. Undefeated Arthur will be looking to pick up his sixth win on the bounce, coming off a huge victory over in Sweden at Superior Challenge against Martin Akhtar. The fight marks Arthur’s return to the BAMMA cage with his last performance for the promotion taking place back in June 2014 where he submitted Mike Cutting in the second round. Northern Ireland’s Alan Philpot will be making his BAMMA debut and comes into the fight on a three fight win streak which includes a submission win over Steve McCombe.
Well for me this is my main event fight! These two guys bring it every time they step into the cage and we definitely have a real fight on our hands. There has been some back and forth on social media between these two which has only raised the excitement levels ahead of this fight. It’s very hard to pick against Arthur who has looked sublime in his five fights to date, however, Philpot is definitely going to be his toughest test to date and has a solid overall game. I am absolutely torn in this fight and genuinely can’t pick a winner and just hope that this fight delivers the hype that it has created. Win or lose both of these guys will be around for a long time and really are the superstars of the future.
Rany Saadeh puts his BAMMA World Flyweight Title on the line on the first bout of the main card against Chris Miah. The bout will be the first title defence for Saadeh who won the title in his last bout back in August at BAMMA Fight Night in Liverpool. Challenger Chris Miah will be making his second appearance for BAMMA but has been given the title opportunity due to his so far undefeated record of 6-0 with five stoppages.
This is a very intriguing fight between two very highly skilled Flyweight fighters. Whilst Saadeh is the Champion there is very little between both in terms of experience and skillset. Saadeh may be slightly ahead of Miah in terms of grappling and spends his training camps at Phuket Top Team alongside a raft of UK talent including current UFC star Ian Entwistle. It will be interesting to see how Miah deals with the occasion of fighting for a title on a main card and depending on how he deals with this could have a huge impact on the outcome of the fight.
Tony’s Thought’s on the rest of the card:
There are definitely some exciting fights set for the prelims and I will definitely be paying close attention to Warren Kee Vs Jack Grant. This fight was due to go down at BAMMA 18 but Kee suffered an injury and luckily it’s been rescheduled for BAMMA 20.
Another fight which should be very entertaining will be Regis Sugden Vs Ant Philips in a Bantamweight bout. Philips will be looking to get back to the win column having suffered four losses on the bounce including a loss to Mike Grundy at BAMMA 16. Regis Sugden will be competing in only his third professional bout but has stopped both opponents in spectacular fashion.
It’s also good to see BAMMA give some love to the amateur scene which I think is really important for the major European promotions to do. We have seen it in the past on their Fight Night shows so it’s good to give amateur MMA a bigger stage and BAMMA have hit the nail on the head here. Hopefully it’s something they will continue to drive and really help to breed some of tomorrow’s future stars.
The full fight card for BAMMA 20 is;
Main Card (Live on Spike TV UK)
Brett McDermott Vs Marcin Lazarz BAMMA World Light Heavyweight Title Fight
Colin Fletcher Vs Andre Winner Lightweight Fight
Ed Arthur Vs Alan Philpot BAMMA World Bantamweight Title Fight
Rany Saadeh Vs Chris Miah BAMMA World Flyweight Title Fight
Preliminary Card (Live on BAMMA facebook)
Regis Sugden Vs Ant Phillips Bantamweight Fight
Jefferson George Vs Rick Selvarajah Lightweight Fight
Jack Grant Vs Warren Kee Welterweight Fight
Harry Marple Vs Chris Astley Welterweight Fight
Chase Morton Vs Wayne Drake Lightweight Fight
Aiden Lee Vs Adam Jahovic Featherweight Fight
Oliver Paske Vs Arthur Jakub Amateur Welterweight Fight