We are now in 2016 and what better way to start the year than looking across the European MMA scene and putting together some fights we at #WHOATV would love to see happen.
Many of the fights listed below can only really happen in a fantasy island, this is MMA and things move so much, but either way we hope you enjoy our suggestions and as always lets us know your thoughts on our Facebook and twitter page;
Paul Redmond Vs Paddy Pimblett
When Cage Warriors return in 2016 it’s hard to argue that these two will be in the top five of their Featherweight rankings and I think that they make for a very intriguing fight. Redmond will be eager to get back to winning ways on European soil following a couple of tough losses in the UFC and Pimblett will be keen to get a win over a former UFC fighter and prove why he is one of the best in Europe. This one is a real toss up and a very even bout on paper with two guys with some of the best Jiu Jitsu in the division and one I would definitely pay good money to see.
Tom Duquesnoy Vs Shay Walsh
Duquesnoy firstly needs to overcome a strong challenge in Damien Rooney at BAMMA 24 but should he pass that test then I think we need to see him in there with the Bantamweight Champion. Walsh really showcased his striking in defeating former Champion Ed Arthur to gain the Bantamweight Title and would be a very solid opponent for Duquesnoy. These two are likely to want to stay active so this fight may be dependent on a number of moving parts but if they both remain on winning ways I think Jude Samuels would be pretty interested in this one.
Jack Hermansson Vs Cheick Kone
Arguably two of the best Middleweights in Europe would make for a highly exciting and entertaining bout and would really help the winner to push on and put themselves in a strong position for future negotiations. Both are riding a six fight win streaks and hold Titles in two of Europe’s biggest promotions (BAMMA, Cage Warriors), and with that thought in mind alone would make this one of the most highly anticipated fights on the European scene. Superfights don’t tend to happen often but we can all dream.
Ivan Buchinger Vs Chris Fishgold
Former Lightweight Champion Buchinger has racked up five wins since leaving Cage Warriors in December 2013, however, the level of opponents at M-1, bar Mansour Barnaoui is questionable. Step forward top Featherweight contender Chris Fishgold. Fishgold who is 11-1 has wins over Jeremy Petley, Andy DeVent & Marcin Wrzosek to name but a few and was definitely well placed for a Cage Warriors Title shot before the promotion went on a break. Buchinger would certainly bring Fishgold his hardest test of his career and likewise Fishgold would provide Buchinger with a solid top European opponent.
Martin Stapleton Vs Mansour Barnaoui
Stapleton looked superb in defeating Gavin Sterritt in under two minutes and is now the Champion, but how bitter sweet would it be to beat the former Champion who stepped away from the promotion due to contract disputes? Since stepping away from BAMMA, Barnaoui has fought for M-1 twice, once at Lightweight and once at Featherweight but the temptation of coming back to BAMMA for a Lightweight would surely be too much for him to turn down? I think the fight style wise makes for a very exciting proposal and Barnaoui would prove a real test for the newly crowned Lightweight Champion. Aside from his constantly improving skills, Stapleton just seems to have his mind right at this stage of his career and I think we would need to see the very best of Mansour Barnaoui to take that belt away from the new Champion.
Marc Diakese Vs Kane Mousah
Ok well I just think this fight needs to happen sooner rather than later and in my opinion if it’s doesn’t happen within the first six months of 2016 it won’t happen. These two guys are on upwards projections in my eyes and I think that Diakese won’t be around for too much longer so Jude c’mon son let’s get them matched up and see who is the better man. The fight sells itself and I suppose the only thing which could hold it back is that Mousah only has one win for BAMMA under his belt so can you really put him in there with the Champion after that? We have certainly seen crazier things so why the hell not. I think both these guys will be around the scene for a long time to come but I just pray to the MMA gods that we see this fight in 2016.
Lew Long Vs Gavin Sterritt
I would be very interested in seeing Sterritt at Welterweight and think that the move will be a logical one for him to make following the result of his last bout at Lightweight. I also think that Lew Long is a very credible opponent to meet him at 170lbs and would prove a very tough test. Long has been firing on all cylinders in recent times racking up five back to back wins all by stoppage and I think Sterritt would be a true test to get Long the recognition he deserves.
Saul Rogers Vs Brad Wheeler
It’s tough to argue that both of these guys deserved a crack at the Cage Warriors Lightweight Title before the promotion went off the scene and with plans to come back in 2016 why not make this the vacant Lightweight Title fight? Wheeler has never looked better and with six wins on the bounce (including a WFS Lightweight Title win) can certainly justify a Title shot. Rogers has had a very different route since and won the Ultimate Fighter competition only to be pulled from the final due to visa issues. Two of the UK’s very best Lightweights at present and I think these guys would bring out the very best in each other.