Well BAMMA 22 is finally in the cards. Since the very moment the event, BAMMA’s debut in Ireland, was announced Irish MMA filled with anticipation that a big name show, not named the U-F-C, was finally coming to town and in the 3Arena.
It was an opportunity for Ireland’s rising stars and local veterans to fight in a big arena in front of thousands. It became a night filled with some big upsets for and against some of Irish MMA’s most well known fighters.
The biggest was probably Rhys McKee (pictured above left) beating John Redmond (above right). McKee was called upon as a very late notice replacement, stepping up in weight and, if that wasn’t enough, he was making his professional debut. Redmond was a long established professional, training partner to UFC fighters and had competed against the countries top fighters at middleweight and welterweight for many years.
Many rolled their eyes when this fight was matched as it was seen as an easy fight for Redmond. The betting agents had him as a 1/10 (-1000.00) favourite to win. But McKee set the tone early on in the fight catching a kick from Redmond and landing a couple of punches, one of which buckled Redmond momentarily.
The pair then traded punches, both finding success. Redmond then clinched up and used his size advantage to push McKee against the cage. A trip takedown followed but that was the beginning of the end for ‘Johny Jitzu’ as McKee worked his way to get his back and sunk in the rear-naked choke forcing Redmond to tap out.
One of Redmond’s old rivals Chris Fields was also a betting favourite (2/5) heading into his co-main event fight against France’s Christopher Jacquelin (21/20). However, the SBG fighter succumbed to a second round submission silencing the many thousands in attendance and shocking those watching at home, many of whom expected a Fields win here.
Rising prospect Karl Moore suffered defeat for the first time in his pro career losing to Scotland’s Paul Craig. Moore had been long tipped to make a splash on the international stage with many heralding as near-future UFC signing.
Moore won the first round easily enough and apart from two body kicks early on he didn’t really suffer much damage. Then in the second round he found himself caught in a standing guillotine and then tapped when they went to ground.
A learning curve for Moore here. He is still growing as a fighter actually looked really good in this fight before finding himself with Craig’s arms locked around his neck. The UFC talks were a little pre-mature but he certainly still has that potential.
Elsewhere on the night late replacement and debut fighter Mark Andrew found himself down two rounds heading into the third against Sean ‘The Machine’ Tobin, a former top amateur turned very promising professional. Tobin had completely dominated the first two with his wrestling. In the third Andrew went for broke and threw everything he had at Tobin, which stunned the Corkman and put him on the back foot. Tobin reverted back to his wrestling but got caught in guillotine shocking those watching. Just a reminder that you can’t rule anyone out.