This weekend BAMMA comes to Dublin, Ireland for the first time in the promotions six year tenor. BAMMA 22 will take place at the 3 Arena in Dublin and feature a huge 20 fight card with a large amount of Irish talent on show.
The main event sees current BAMMA Featherweight Champion Tom Duquesnoy put his Title on the line against top contender Brendan Loughnane. Elsewhere on the card we see women making their debut at BAMMA with Irish Catherine Costigan making her BAMMA debut. There are some moving parts in the 155lbs division also with three fights taking place all with potential Title implications down the road. With weigh-ins taking place today the full card is;
Tom Duquesnoy Vs Brendan Loughnane
Chris Fields Vs Christopher Jacquelin
Anthony Philpott Vs Regis Sugden
Catherin Costigan Vs Celine Haga
Jack Grant Vs Jack McGann
Conor Cooke Vs Paul Bryne
Marc Diakese Vs Rick Selvarajah
Kane Mousah Vs Myles Price
Sinead Kavanagh Vs Hatice Oyzurt
Frans Mlambo Vs Darren O’Gorman
Damien Rooney Vs Manel Kape
Jonathan Dargan Vs Lukasz Parobiec
Karl Moore Vs Paul Craig
John Redmond Vs Rhys McKee
Tim Wilde Vs Stephen Coll
Sean Tobin Vs Mark Andrew
Adam Caffrey Vs Dylan Tuke
Patrick Wixted Vs Connor Dillon
Gerrard Gilmore Vs Alexandre Liete
Arnaud Dos Santos Vs Keith Coady
This card is a huge card for the first BAMMA show in Ireland and the top of the card sees some great names competing in some intriguing match ups with big future implications. The main event for me is the most intriguing bout in that Duquesnoy has looked really good in his BAMMA showing to date and almost unbeatable. Loughnane is tough as nails and although he didn’t perhaps look his best in his last bout he did what he needed to do and dug deep to get the win. Loughnane is certainly well aware of the challenge at hand and him training at Alliance MMA ahead of this one is a testament of him taking this fight as his biggest fight to date.
The pressure really is on Chris Fields to perform in front of his home crowd and I would say that he needs a win to really prove himself as a serious Middleweight challenger. His last win came against Pavel Kusch back in September 2012 and he is 3-1-1 in his last five fights. His opponent Christopher Jacquelin is the less experience fighter going into this one and like Fields is also coming off a loss which ultimately makes both of them pretty dangerous in this fight with two very eager guys needing to get into the win column. I think this fight ultimately falls down to how Fields deals with the pressure of co-main eventing a card in Ireland but I suspect he has been working closely with John Kavanagh to get his expert tips.
BAMMA have finally given in and are for the first time in their history putting on some woman’s bouts on this card also which is a great move forward for them. PR machine Catherine Costigan has a break from Invicta to fight in Dublin against a last minute opponent Celine Haga. Also Sinead Kavanagh is set to take on Hatice Oyzurt on the undercard. It’s a big step for BAMMA to make and there will certainly be some pressure in moving the woman’s division forward which is difficult to do on the European scene given the lack of fighters available. Certainly baby steps at the moment but really interested in seeing how BAMMA move this on.
My pick for FOTN is Jack McGann Vs Jack Grant who clash at 155lbs. For me either of these guys could beat any of the BAMMA Lightweight roster on their given day and I think the winner of this one really can stake a claim to fight the winner of Diakese/Selvarajah who compete for the BAMMA Lonsdale Lightweight Title on the show. Elsewhere at 155lbs Kane Mousah makes his return after a long injury layoff against Irishman Myles Price which is an intriguing bout and will certainly be a tough return for Mousah.
Alan Philpott Vs Regis Sugden is also a huge fight with two guys looking to make a name for themselves in the BAMMA Bantamweight division. Philpott is looking to bounce back off a loss in his last bout against the BAMMA Bantamweight Champion Ed Arthur. Sugden came certainly stake a claim for a Title shot if he gets past Philpott, given that he has won his first three BAMMA bouts by stoppage. Pressure of fighting in Ireland may play a part on Philpott and given that he will be eager to get back to winning way this certainly makes for a compelling bout at 135lbs.
All in all this is a very strong card for BAMMA’s debut in Ireland and they have capitalised on the boom in Irish MMA. Did we need 20 fights though? Perhaps not and this definitely will require the whole BAMMA team to work very hard as a collective to make sure the show runs smoothly. BAMMA have since made their commitment to return to Dublin early next year so ticket sales must have gone well for them which is a good sign. I for one am very interested in a number of fights across the card particularly those being competed at 155lbs and less. I always enjoy seeing a Title fight main eventing a big card so for me BAMMA have done a good job in arranging this Title fight as the headline fight and really giving some support and backing to their Featherweight Strap.