BAMMA have recently announced further additions to their ever expanding roster with the likes of Kane Mousah and Martin Stapleton amongst the most recent to put pen to paper. But with further fights due to be announced for BAMMA 17 and more fighters needed to fill their growing 2015 schedule, I thought I would explore the fighters throughout Europe that stand out to me as potential employees for BAMMA. So without further ado here is my list of fighters that I would love to see fight for BAMMA;
Danny “The Cheesecake Assassin” Mitchell (14-6 MMA)
Mitchell has recently been released from the UFC following back to back unanimous decision losses which is very unfortunate and for me and in my eyes a slight bit premature from the promotion. But the past is the past and can’t be changed but going forward I think Mitchell would be keen to jump back into the fire and take on the toughest opponents available to him. Signing with BAMMA would not only put him straight back into one of the biggest shows in Europe but would also signal his content to not look for an easy return to the win column. Mitchell likes to stay active and with BAMMA’s intention to put on more shows in 2015 than in previous years the prospect of keeping him busy could be attractive to Mitchell whilst maintaining the high levels of European exposure BAMMA offer.
Brendan Loughnane (8-1 MMA)
Loughnane has really grown as a fighter and his loss to Mike Wilkinson at UFC on Fox 6 is probably a blessing in disguise in hindsight for the Manchester based fighter. He has racked up three back to back wins since the loss and has looked very impressive in his performances most recently this past weekend at FCC 11. Loughnane joined the TUF Smashes cast as a replacement for Michael Pastou and he picked up a win over Patrick Lodice before suffering a UD loss to season winner Norman Parke. These fights don’t stand on his record but you can guarantee that the loss to Parke is a constant reminder to him of just how close he was to making it. For me signing with BAMMA would do him the world of good and not only increase his exposure but also increase the level of opponent which is key for an athlete to continue to evolve. And with the BAMMA lightweight division continuing to expand there are many great fights at 155lb that he could use to propel him to that next level he is striving to reach.
Dominic “Black Panther” Wooding (7-1 Amateur)
Be it amateur or professional I think that Wooding would make a great addition to the BAMMA roster. Wooding was due to fight at FCC 11 this past weekend but the bout was pulled due to an injury to his opponent so he is more than ready and could easily step onto the BAMMA 17 prelims. Wooding is a very exciting fighter and having had the pleasure to see him fight live a few times at the Troxy in London I feel that Wooding embraces the “New Breed of MMA fighter” and has a bright career ahead of him. BAMMA do a great job of building stars (Scott Askham, Leon Edwards, Tom Watson) and for me given the right direction and close management Wooding could be a future star in the sport. The BAMMA stage would also help him deal with fighting on bigger shows with greater exposure which could not only help spread his name across Europe but also help with sponsorship and further opportunities. Wooding is definitely a fighter I want to see don the Lonsdale gloves at one point!
Ivan “Buki” Buchinger (28-4 MMA)
Buchinger is one of those who just always entertains regardless of the size of the show. He has spent 2014 fighting for the M-1 after breaking away from Cage Warriors and on paper is a huge name and would certainly rustle things up in the BAMMA Lightweight division. He is riding a seven fight win streak and hasn’t lost since facing McGregor back in December 2012. He is certainly worth taking a punt on and in my eyes is one of the best European fighters not to be signed to one of the major European promotions. There is some very early talk about the prospect of a partnership between BAMMA and Bellator and if true could be a good leverage tool to get “Buki” to join the promotion. Regardless of whether or not he is signed to BAMMA you should definitely keep tabs on this exciting 155lber.
Ben Manuwa (Semi-Pro)
The younger brother of UFC Light Heavyweight Manuwa has begun to make a name for himself on the UKMMA semi-pro scene. A featherweight fighter fighting out of Lions Pride MMA young Manuwa is keen to break away from his brothers shadow and make a run in the sport on his own. With BAMMA looking to stage more shows next year and take on further regional shows it would be an excellent opportunity for Manuwa to fight on a big stage. With an open wide Featherweight division at BAMMA and Manuwa likely to make the switch to professional in the coming year or so it would be interesting to see how he would slot into the promotion. BAMMA is the stage he used to make his name in Europe and within the next few years it’s a very real possibility that Ben will do the same. I also think that BAMMA would be able to offer Manuwa a higher level of opponent which in my opinion is very important to a young up and coming fighter.
Just an opinion piece so as always open to your feedback/comments on facebook at facebook.com/whoatv or on twitter @mmanarchy