(The fight card for this weekend’s BAMMA event, at the LG Arena)
BAMMA have officially released their final fight card for their third event at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England.
Cited as being one of the greatest line-ups UK MMA has ever seen, it includes former UFC fighters Matt Horwich, Dave Lee, Zach Light, Seth Petruzelli and War Machine (formerly Jon Koppenhaver), the latter pair also being products of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. More impressive than a list of former UFC fighters, however, is the solid matchmaking that has been done in order to provide intriguing match-ups that will satisfy both casual and hardcore fans.
Matchmaker Jude Samuel told FIGHT!:
“It’s a pretty amazing card. The hard work has paid off in the delivery and it’s going to be a really exciting night and one not to be missed. Thanks to all the fighters, managers, agents, wives and girlfriends for helping us to make this happen.”
The pull out of Alex Reid almost jeopardised the main event, with Tom “Kong” Watson releasing a statement venting his frustration with the Celebrity Big Brother winner, but in stepped Team Quest’s Matt Horwich in a bout that actually has more significance for Watson’s career. The former IFL middleweight champion Horwich defeated Benji Radach to claim the title after a successful run in the now defunct promotion. He has a fearsome wrestling and submission game, holds wins over the likes of Mike Pyle and Krzysztof Soszynski and went to the judge’s scorecards with Ricardo Almeida and Dan Miller in the UFC. Meanwhile, Watson has been training diligently over in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Greg Jackson’s camp – one of the most successful in the whole of MMA. He showcased his improvements when he sent Travis Galbraith crashing face-first to the canvas in his MFC debut and he will be hoping for a similarly emphatic victory when he returns to fight on British soil.
Samuel noted that the support for Watson was likely to give him the home advantage.
“The headline fight is for the BAMMA middleweight title and Tom’s toughest test to date in taking on Matt. I think the support Tom has in the UK is immense and it’s good to see the UK supporting all our guys.”
It’s not the only clash that pits Brit vs. American though, as Ryan “The Great” White takes the step up in competition when he faces “The Kimbo Killer”, Seth Petruzelli. Making the journey over from Florida, Petruzelli also brings with him a reputation as a big-hitter with a three fight win streak and ten knockout wins from his eleven victories. Whilst White is the underdog, he will favour the role and look to make his name resound around MMA forums worldwide with a victory at the event.
There are many other great contests on the agenda with another two title fights taking place.
Burnley’s Rob Sinclair will defend his lightweight crown for the first time against Daniel Weichel in what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Following the domestic fight of the year with recent UFC signee Paul Sass, Sinclair rebounded with a first round stoppage of Nathan Beer to claim the belt. Fiercely proud of his status as the champion, he’ll be looking for a similar result against the tough German Daniel Weichel. Riding an impressive five-fight win streak with names such as Ivan Mussardo and Daniel Sharifi on the list, the former welterweight is looking to make an impact at 155lbs.
Alan Omer returns after his fourth round victory over Paul Reed when he takes on the undefeated youngster Mark Adams. Adams comes highly touted and will look to stretch his record to 6-0. Now fighting out of the successful Kaobon gym in Liverpool, Omer represents the Portsmouth native’s biggest test to date. Both men are hardy, with good submissions and promising futures, but this bout will determine which one is destined to take the next big step. Jeff Lawson and Dave Lee duke it out for the number-one contender slot, with Lawson establishing himself at featherweight after his TUF stint and Lee on a real hot-streak. Other highly-ranked featherweights Paul Reed and Ashleigh Grimshaw will duke it out in a bid to get their names back in the mix for the belt. Whilst both respect the tough task ahead, neither has been subdued with their opinions and interviews with FIGHT! can be found here and here.
Former Team Punishment fighter Zach Light will take on the outspoken and controversial War Machine in an all American tilt. Both men are looking to get their fighting careers back on track after setbacks, although the nature of these are wildly different. Welterweights John Maguire and Simeon Thoresen both hold eleven wins with just a single defeat and a win for either of the rising 170lbers will see them make waves in the European rankings.
Two more rising prospects in Carl Noon and Mike Ling go to war at middleweight and Billy Harris meets Neil Seery at flyweight. Martin McDonough and Mike Wood round off the card.