Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren talks to Kingdom MMA 'I would have never sold the UFC'

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Three more bouts Headed For The BAMMA 20 Prelims‏

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



BAMMA have today announced three more exciting bouts for the BAMMA 20 Prelims on the 25th April at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham.

Tickets on sale now: http://bit.ly/BAMMA20

Jefferson George vs Rick Selvarajah
Nathias Frederick vs Anthony Holmes
Harry Marple vs Chris Astley

Jefferson George Vs. Rick Selvarajah (Lightweight Bout)


Jefferson "Shadow Demon Blaximus" George returns to BAMMA for the first time since his decision loss to the now BAMMA Lonsdale British Lightweight Champion Marc "Bonecrusher" Diakiese at BAMMA 16. The hugely talented Morefire Icon Jiu Jitsu fighter from Luton is looking to get another win on his BAMMA record, after his BAMMA Matchmaker Award winning "fight of the year" at BAMMA 15 against Jack Grant.

Rick Selvarajah will be making his BAMMA debut at BAMMA 20. The Premier MMA fighter has also signed a multi fight deal with the promotion. The fighter based in Harrow, Middlesex trains under Chris Foran and brings a very exciting and explosive fan pleasing style. Currently his pro record stands at 6-0 with the majority of those wins coming via way of submission. He was undefeated as an amateur with a 7-0 record and he also holds a 4-1 record in Kickboxing/Muay Thai as well. Selvarajah is excited to be making his BAMMA debut against the equally talented George.



Nathius Frederick Vs. Anthony Holmes (Middleweight)


Nathius Frederick fights out of the UTC gym in Birmingham and is making his pro debut at BAMMA 20. 2-1 as an Amateur with both of his wins coming via way of TKO, he will be looking to making an impressive debut in front of his home crowd in Birmingham.

Anthony Holmes was originally set for his pro debut at BAMMA 18 in Wolverhampton until the bout was cancelled after several opponent pull outs. The Ludus Magnus fighter from Doncaster went 3-0 as a amateur and is also looking to to put on a show for the Birmingham crowd on April 25th.



Harry Marple vs Chris Astley (Welterweight Bout)


Highly touted "Dirty" Harry Marple is making his BAMMA debut in April after his first pro victory in October of last year. Going 8-0 as an amateur the Team Kaobon fighter from Cannock has won the majority of his bout via submission.

Chris Astley is the latest Trojan Free Fighter to make his way into the BAMMA arena. Coached by Paul Sutherland, Matt Ewin and Marc Allen to name just a few. Looking to bounce back from his loss in his last bout in June of 2014, Astley is excited to get the opportunity to face Marple on such a huge platform as the Barclaycard Arena.

You can Follow Jefferson George and Rick Selvarajah on Twitter @DEMONBLAXIMUS & @R_SelvarajahMMA @BAMMA

Steven Ray talks to Kingdom MMA after signing for the UFC

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



UFC® has confirmed that Scottish mixed martial artist, Steven Ray, has signed with the organisation and will make his Octagon® debut against Polish fighter Marcin Bandel, when the UFC heads to Krakow next month.

Ray, a former Cage Warriors world champion, steps in after Jason Saggo, who was originally slated to face Bandel on April 11, was forced to pull out after rupturing his Achilles tendon in training.

With the uncertainty over the future of Cage Warriors and being champion there, Ray recently made a big social media push for a UFC signing backed by hundreds of his fans. In the end, his dream has turned into a reality

"Being signed to the UFC has always been my main goal as it's the biggest and best MMA promotion in the world. It feels surreal and for the next few days I'll probably wake up and be in shock." 

Ray has also long documented the struggle he faced to train hard enough at his desired level...

"I have had to make many sacrifices along the way such as moving away from family and friends, missing my kids birthday (due to taking fights or fight camps in Canada) and going through financial hardship. I really couldn't have done it without the support" he added.

Although the odds are seemingly stacked against him on short notice, the Scotsman is looking forward to the challenge of rising up the ranks and becoming a household UFC fighter and realises the biggest tests are to come "Now it’s time to try and rise up through the rankings and cement my place in the UFC. It’s tough to get to the UFC but much harder to stay there long-term."

He added "I’m only 25 and feel that my best years are ahead of me and that I can improve much more.
See you in Poland!"

 Stevie Ray thanks the following for getting him to where he is today

"I really couldn't have done it without the support i've had which includes everyone who has ever sponsored me and my current ones (Geo KO Art, Dynabright, Society Bars, Arena Strength & Fitness, Fitness Factor, Badboy, Funkygums, Sports Therapy Scotland, Xbrain). My management On Top Athlete Management, my friends and family, all my coaches and team mates for the time they have invested in me.
A big thank you to Cagewarriors for releasing me from my contract and all the happy memories from being on their events and giving me the opportunities to fight for their prestigious Lightweight world title.
All the fans, a big thank you!


UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2 is the first UFC event ever to take place in Poland. The stacked fight card will culminate in a five round heavyweight rematch between Brazil’s Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga and Croatia’s Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2 will be available on free to air channel, Pick TV, in the UK and is available to view on Sky (152), Freeview (11) Freesat (144) and Virgin Media (123) plus on UPC CH 133 in Ireland.


Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2 are available now via www.eventim.pl.

UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2
April 11 Krakow, Poland

Featherweight Bout
Rocky Lee VS Taylor Lapilus

Lightweight Bout
Stevie Ray VS Marcin Bandel

Women’s Strawweight Bout
Aleksandra Albu VS Izabela Badurek

Heavyweight Bout
Anthony Hamilton VS Daniel Omielanczuk

Welterweight Bout
Mickael Lebout VS Sergio Moraes

Welterweight Bout
Leon Edwards VS Seth Baczynski

Middleweight Bout
Garreth McLellen VS Bartosz Fabinski

Main Card

Women’s Strawweight Bout
Maryna Moroz VS Joanne Calderwood

Welterweight Bout
Sheldon Westcott VS Pawel Pawlak

Light Heavyweight Bout
Jan Blachowicz VS Jimi Manuwa


Heavyweight Bout
Mirko Cro Cop VS Gabriel Gonzaga

Thursday, 26 March 2015

John Shink tells Kingdom MMA that FCC 12 opponent Aaron Robinson is a "the final step"

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



In the current MMA climate, many consider the flyweight division at any level to be boring but, for the UK MMA scene, this is the total opposite. Not only do we have a quality bunch of professional flyweights but, the amateur rankings are home to some real top talent. Saturday's fight at FCC 12 at the Bolton Macron Stadium see's amateur flyweight champion Aaron Robinson (3-2) defend his title against John Shink (6-0) in a fight which pits the two very best amateur flyweights against each other to see who is number one.

We caught up with Shink to get his thoughts ahead of the fight and much more.

Hi John, thanks for taking the time to speak to us during fight week, how has preparation gone for this fight?

Shink: I approach each fight the same way with a few tweaks at the end on camp depending on the style of the fighter. I feel really good.

In your last fight, you finished one of the brightest UK amateur flyweights in Connor Hitchens, how did it feel to put away such a talented youngster and cement yourself as one of the best amateur flyweights in the country?

I was sure that I could get the job done so I just had to prove it. I wasn't at my best on that day so it was more of a relief. As for the best amateur flyweight, It feels good but I'm looking to be the best flyweight at pro level.

You train at Morefire BJJ as well as Kaang Raang in Dunstable if I'm correct, how do you balance training at both gyms and can you tell us a bit about what  training entails day to day at both gyms?

I alternate between each gym on a daily basis. I do strength and conditioning every morning before I train in the evening. A typical Thai class starts with a drill to warm up our hands and leg. Then we get on to drilling techniques and spar at the end. Jui jitsu has a similar structure too.

You're fighting at FCC 12 this weekend against the FCC amateur flyweight champion Aaron Robinson, have you watched much footage of your opponent? If so, what do you think his strengths are and weaknesses you can exploit?

I've watched his fights and he has decent hands, good movement. But he his easy to take down. He hasn't fought for a while so he could have improved. My coaches will find out his strengths and weaknesses while we fight on Saturday.

The fight is widely considered as the two best amateur flyweights going at it to be crowned the best in the country, how does that make you feel?

I feel I already am the best. There can only be one, so I like that competitive feeling knowing there's no other that can take my place. Aaron is just the final step.


You've fought on many shows winning many titles but how much would it mean to you to win the FCC title?

FCC is a great MMA promotion with exciting fighters. Winning the FCC belt would mean a lot to me as I would be one of their champions. Also I would be taking it from the current champ. The feeling of achieving my goal cannot be described. But I know I will be very happy.

We understand you are turning pro in June, can you talk us through that move and also why you took this fight so soon after winning your last rather than just wait for the pro fight?

I didn't get injured during my fight with Connor and I want as many fight experience as I can in order to prepare me for pro. There are not many people at our weight class to fight and if I was to continue at amateur level I wouldn't be getting any challenging fights so it makes sense to turn pro.

What can those in attendance on Saturday expect from you?

I hope to put on a show and give the audience what they want, an exciting fight in all aspects!


    


Ashley Reece speaks to Kingdom MMA of pro debut "Every second I'm in that cage I'm going for the finish"

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



Ashley Reece who currently trains out of Team Monkey MMA Academy in Manchester under Ozzy Haluk, has had a fantastic amateur career going 7-0 which included capturing the FCC amateur lightweight title and successfully defending it on numerous occasions.

This Saturday at FCC 12 at the Bolton Macron Stadium, he makes his much anticipated professional debut taking on Ian 'Willy' Williams (3-1). The man they call 'The Beast' has regularly touched base on how rough of a weight cut he has in the lead up to a fight but this time he says turning professional has made the weight cut easier for him "This weight cut has been the easiest one I've ever done , since I've turned professional I've taken things even more serious than I did my amateur career!" 

Last time out, he faced Anthony O'Connor in what was easily fight of the night at FCC 11. Reece struggled early on but battled through to secure a dramatic rear naked choke finish. The sluggish start could be attributed to the tough cut Reece explains "The last fight I was in a horrible situation even before the fight started . I was very sick before the fight with stomach acid problems and lost 2kg vomitting 2 hours before the fight . My coach  wanted to pull me out but I had put in all of that time and  effort to get to fight night , I just wanted to fight even if i wasn't 100% . Anthony o Connor was a quality opponent and he really put the pressure on me the whole fight!. 
It really does speak volumes of his character in the way he battled on and managed to win, especially given that amateur's aren't paid like pro's. It's a symbol that Reece has taken his fight career serious all the way through.  

Fast forward to this Saturday and the MMA Monkey fighter realises his opponent Ian Williams has the experience edge with four pro fights but that hasn't fazed him "He does look experienced and I have trained extremely hard for this fight. I hope that come fight night we will be able to both bring the best out of each other" Said Reece.

With regards to the experience that Williams has, some people may see this is a risky fight for the debutant as some UK MMA fighters who turn pro are often are matched with a relatively easy opponent the first time out but not 'The Beast'. This is something he says head coach Ozzy Haluk has installed in him and the rest of the team from day one " My coach has never been a fan of giving us false confidence. If I go and steamroll somebody that isn't a threat then I see it as a waste of time . Alot of the fighters who fight idiots or journeymen usually get found out sooner or later!" If that line doesn't give you an idea of Reece's attitude and character then nothing will.

When quizzed on the prospect of winning the promotions professional lightweight title (previously held by Brendan Loughnane but now vacant) Reece stays grounded and focused on Saturday by stating "I'm just looking to beat as many people as possible , if I have earned a title shot with my wins then ill take it with both hands but until then I am 100% focused on Ian Williams". Grounded indeed, but if Reece continues his war path through the professional ranks you can bet your house he will be capturing that belt in the not too distant future.   

"I want to have a better professional career than I did as an an amateur. I'm looking to win as many titles as possible and stay undefeated!" Adds Reece.

His message to everybody for Saturday is simple. "Look for me to be better than I ever have been and for every second I'm in that cage I'm going for the finish. I'm a massive fan of bonuses so ill be gunning for one of them too"

Reece is hungry for the contest at FCC 12 in what should be an enthralling battle and if he can reproduce his amazing amateur performances, there's every chance he becomes one of the top UK lightweights in the coming years.

Catch him against Ian Williams at FCC 12 this Saturday at the Bolton Macron Stadium. You would be crazy to miss this debut.

Ashley would like to thank the following in the lead up to this fight:

" Id like to thank my Head coach Ozzy Haluk who has been coaching me since the beginning, were still gaining momentum everyday. Id like to thank my girlfriend for putting up with me over the years , she has made alot of sacrifices so I can achieve my goals . Id like to thank my family for continually supporting me" 

I thank All of the guys I train with at team monkey : Khalid,pav,javonne,junior , Sheldon, Andreas,Sean, Connor ,Paul ,  Hassan , Sian, hez and all the boys at proper gym 

Id like to thank my striking coaches Liam gray , mark van kyte and Eric noi of Oldham boxing club for all the help , 

My strength and conditioning coaches Zoran and Sean for beasting me at 6am when others are sleeping .

finally all.of my sponsors, Guds and Sandra at longlegs , Steve at Almighty Fightwear , Martin at peaceful hooligan and the main man Chris Simon of monkey nutrition ! Hope I haven't forgot anyone and if I have then I'm sorry ....

I also want to dedicate this fight to my cousin amy who has turned extremely ill over the weekend and ill be going  go visit her as soon as my fight is over!"


  

BAMMA SIGNS LONG-TERM DEAL WITH SPIKE TV

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



BAMMA, have announced details of a major long-term broadcasting deal with Viacom on their newly launched Spike UK channel.

This landmark deal will see all BAMMA events broadcast live on the SPIKE TV UK platform and Channel 5. The first BAMMA event to be broadcast under the new deal will be BAMMA 20 live from the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday April 25th.

MMA has gained a significant following in the UK and across the world, with the popularity growing at an enormous rate. The sport fuses influences from various combat sports and martial arts, comprising wrestling and striking disciplines which see the fighters battle both on the ground and whilst standing.

Regarding the deal, Marie-Claire Dunlop from Spike had the following to say: "For the launch of Spike in the UK, we are delighted to have BAMMA on board as part of our ‘Fight Night’ sports offering. Featuring the very best of British and going out live on Saturday nights, Spike will be the UK’s exclusive home of this must see entertainment.”

BAMMA CEO David Green said: "We are delighted to confirm a long term partnership with the newly launched Spike UK channel. Spike are a powerhouse in the sport of MMA, and we believe that they are the perfect strategic partner to further grow the sport of MMA and the BAMMA brand. This deal will offer BAMMA an unrivalled reach to the domestic TV audience, and continues BAMMA's position as the most watched MMA events in the UK.”

Official BAMMA partner Lonsdale has been synonymous with British combat sports since its launch in 1959. A spokesperson for Lonsdale said, “Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the world so as the suppliers of MMA clothing and equipment the association with BAMMA and Spike TV was a natural fit.”

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

BAMMA confirmed as new channel on ESPN Player

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__


Special three-event promotion for fight fans across Europe

-Exclusive pay-per-view content on ESPN’s live streaming service

ESPN Player will be providing fight fans across Europe live coverage of the BAMMA in a three event special promotion. As a new channel on ESPN’s live streaming service, BAMMA 19, BAMMA 20 and BAMMA 21 will be broadcasted live to subscribers across all of Europe (excluding the United Kingdom).

BAMMA is a form of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), thus follows the regulatory rules of US state athletic commissions – the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. In BAMMA, two fighters battle in an 8-sided cage using various techniques and disciplines including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Olympic wrestling and Thai boxing in an attempt to seal victory by stoppage (either knockout or submission), or by the judges’ decision if a fight lasts the distance.

BAMMA 19 will be broadcasted live on ESPN’s live streaming service on March, 28, 2015 from Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England. Two belts will be on the line – Jack McGann will take on Marc Diakiese for the Lonsdale British Lightweight Title and Andy De-Vent will try to overcome Conor Cooke for the Lonsdale Middleweight crown. Both McGann and Diakiese are in the fledgling stages of their MMA careers and are unbeaten going into their bout.  Andy "The Lions Paw" DeVent will face off against Irishman Conor "Da Crook" Cooke - who is looking to earn the first title of his career.

Charly Classen, Vice President, ESPN EMEA said:
  “Further to the agreement with EFC for upcoming events, BAMMA is a fantastic addition to ESPN Player. MMA is growing rapidly and we are delighted to provide a platform for even greater expansion - by bringing live and on-demand action of Britain’s biggest fighting franchise to European audiences.”

Ashley Bothwell, BAMMA MD, added:
“ESPN is renowned the world over in the sports broadcasting arena, and we are delighted that three BAMMA events will now be available across Europe on the ESPN Player.  This service offers our European fans an exclusive opportunity to watch all the intense BAMMA action live.”

ESPN Player’s coverage of the events includes all undercard fights (the events are usually around 4 hours in duration). Packages include a BAMMA Event Pass, a BAMMA Double Event Pass and a BAMMA Triple Event Pass, starting from €7.99. For all pricing and other information visit ESPNPlayer.com.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Undefeated Bantamweight Pannie Kianzad signs with Invicta Fighting Championships

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



Undefeated bantamweight Pannie “Banzai” Kianzad (7-0-0) has signed with Invicta Fighting Championships. Sources have confirmed the new addition to Invicta’s roster.

The 23-year-old Swedish star recently captured the inaugural Cage Warriors Fighting Championship Women’s Bantamweight title this past November with an impressive 5-round unanimous decision victory over Eeva Siiskonen.

Since making her debut in 2012, Kianzad’s aggressive striking style as well as a dynamic personality have made her a rapidly growing star on the European/UK MMA scene in particular. Strong wrestling and powerful knee strikes have highlighted the undefeated Swede’s performances.

She now joins the expanding Invicta FC bantamweight division featuring Tonya Evinger, Irene Aldana, Miriam Nakamoto and Kelly McGill.

Kianzad currently trains out of Rumble Sports in Copenhagen, Denmark.

A date and opponent for Kianzad’s debut have not been set, but we could expect to see her in the Invicta FC cage as early as July.

VIDEO: - UFC 189 Aldo vs McGregor World Tour Embedded Vlog- Episode 3

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

On Episode 3 of UFC 189 World Championship Tour Embedded, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and challenger Conor McGregor go Hollywood in Sin City. Their day starts with custom suits and talking toilets, then moves on to sound stages, body doubles and a live shoot on the Las Vegas Strip. UFC Embedded is an all-access, behind-the-scenes video blog following the stars of July's UFC 189 on their World Championship Tour. Tickets for UFC 189 are on sale Friday, March 27 at 10 am PT at UFCFIGHTWEEK.com.

UFC Fight Night 62 Maia vs LaFlare Review

by Ash Cooper @LUFCCooper


Despite all the injuries and short notice matchups, UFC Fight Night 62 was a good, entertaining event. It was a night for finishes, with nine of the twelve bouts avoiding the judges scorecards. It was also a good night for the Brazilian fans, with the majority of local fighters winning, and terrific BJJ skills were showcased in seven submission victories.

In the main event, grappler Demian Maia ended Ryan LaFlare's 11 fight unbeaten record, in a one sided tie. Maia was able to take LaFlare down with ease, and scored a takedown in every round. Despite being much more decorated on the ground, Laflare was able to frustrate Maia, and defended well off his back.

Maia was able to control the fight on the ground for all five rounds, but never looked like finishing the fight despite having many opportunities to submit LaFlare. Maia mounted LaFlare several times during the fight, and had a tight arm triangle locked in towards the end of the fourth round. LeFlare was able to escape though and scrambled well to get back to his feet. More dominant than impressive, Maia was able to dominate the fight from start to end and despite tiring in the final round, never took any damage. All five of LeFlare’s UFC fights have now gone to a decision.

In the co-main event of the evening Erick Silva was able earn another first round stoppage victory, by tapping veteran Josh Koscheck with a nasty guillotine choke. This marked the first time Silva was able to win two fights in a row in his UFC career. After dropping Koscheck early with a left hook, Silva was aggressive right from the start and was able to lock a tight guillotine choke in against the cage, forcing Koscheck to tap.

It’s now five losses in a row for former title challenger Koscheck, who will speak to Dana White about his future in the UFC. Koscheck started the fight aggressively and was able to land a few nice shots against the cage, Silva was too fast for Koscheck though and was able to tag him often. Koscheck has now been stopped in his last four fights, three of them in the first round.

Leonardo Santos extended his unbeaten run to nine fights by submitting Tony Martin in the second round. Santos was far superior on the ground, and was able to take Martins back right at the beginning of the second round. Santos was patient with the choke, and despite Martin defending well at the beginning he was left with no option but to tap.

Amanda Nunes made it three straight first round finishes by stopping Shayna Baszler. Nunes hurt Baszler early with a kick to the body, and continued to punish her with brutal kicks. Baszler was sent to the canvas by a powerful leg kick, and Nunes jumped all over her finishing the fight with a barrage of hammer fists.

Blackzillians star Gilbert Burns was able to snatch victory with 40 seconds of the fight remaining. Alex Oliviera seemed to be having the perfect UFC debut, winning the first two rounds with ease, out-striking Burns and causing his left eye to swell badly. Burns needing a stoppage to win the fight, took Oliviera down early in the final round. Burns was trying desperately to lock in an omoplata, Oliviera escaped the attempt but was unable to stop Burns transitioning from one attempt to another. Burns was finally able to lock in an armbar after a tight triangle attempt. Burns showcased terrific BJJ skills and a good chin as he ate plenty of uppercuts in the first two rounds. Alex Oliviera was submitted for the first time in his career.

In the first fight of the main card, Pepey was able to earn a performance of the night bonus, by submitting Andre Fili in the first round. Pepey used a flying triangle attempt to set up his submission, and despite Fili’s best efforts to wriggle free Pepey was able to finish the submission. Pepey pushed the pace from the beginning of the fight, and was very patient with his triangle to finish the fight.  Fili has now been submitted twice in his UFC career.
 

VIDEO: - UFC 189 Aldo vs McGregor World Tour Embedded Vlog- Episode 2

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__

 Episode 2 of the UFC 189 World Tour embedded series. Aldo and McGregor arrive in Vegas.

Monday, 23 March 2015

UK MMA Media Roundtable: How Far Can Tom Breese Go In The UFC?

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



Following the announcement today that the UFC have signed one of the UK's top prospects Tom Breese (7-0), Kingdom MMA thought it would be a good idea to put the question "How far can Tom Breese go in the UFC"? to some of the top UK MMA media.

Alex Dillon- @ADillon__ 

Tom Breese has showcased unreal talent on the UK circuit. His impressive undefeated record of seven wins with six subs says it all, this guy comes to finish. He has locked in many rear naked choke's and i fully expect him to carry that streak into the UFC, he's a real star. The fascinating thing is, he's been a pro since 2010, had a greatly experienced amateur career before that, a gruesome ACL injury which required surgery and is still only 23. Furthermore, the Birmingham native fights and trains out of the legendary Tristar gym in Canada under coaches Firas Zahabi and Eric O'Keefe alongside two of the best welterweights in the world, Georges St. Pierre and Rory Macdonald. People may question his small number of wins and inactivity recently but he makes up for it  by training at such a renowned gym and one things for sure, if he wasn't ready, I seriously doubt Tristar would send him into the deep end like that. I believe Breese can be one of the UK's great hopes of a title in the future if he can carry his impressive performances over to the UFC ranks.


Brad Wharton- @MMABrad48

Heading to the UFC with just seven professional bouts worth of experience is a tough ask at the best of times. Thankfully over the past few years Tom Breese has endured the worst of times - a severe injury at a critical point in his development - and emerged unscathed. While he may lack the cage time of fellow UFC acquisition Nicholas Dalby, Breese's high-level training set-up will leave him no less prepared. Whispers indicate that he can hang with the best, but then they always do. The proof of the pudding is in the eating; Tom Breese has never looked anything less than capable of chewing up any man put in front of him. There are too many variables to accurately predict how far someone can or will go, but I envision a long and storied career in the top flight for this young man.

Andreas Georgiou- @andremgeorgiou

To gage how far Tom Breese can go you have to look past the fighters on the UFC's roster and more towards why Tom has been signed despite his long injury lay off.
The kid's a talent no doubt, a career threatening injury but he came back and although he looked like he was still adjusting in his first CW fight back, the glimmer of specialness is still there.
Training at Tristar with Zahabi, GSP and Red King he has done what a lot of UK talents often fail to realise. Moving to a world camp. He's a superb striker and an even better grappler. If you ever wanted to pin hopes on a British champion, "Fearless" is your man.

Steve Severe MMA- @SteveCA_MMA 

Tom Breese is one of the most dedicated athletes you could ever come across. His passion for the sport is unquestionable, and his talent has long been spoken about in UKMMA circles. He has persevered through injury and come back to the sport as if he never left. Tom has the tools and the youth to have a long career in the UFC. I would suggest he can crack the top 15 in his first 18-24 months and from there who knows how far he can take it!



  

The UFC sign top European welterweights Tom Breese and Nicolas Dalby

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



In what is some exciting news for European UFC fans, the organisation has today announced the signings of two welterweight prospects from the continent. Both now formerly of Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, Dalby (13-0) was the organisations welterweight champion and made quite a name for himself on the European circuit so it's no surprise that he has finally been snapped up. His last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Mohsen Bahari at Cage Warriors 74.

For some time, Tom Breese (7-0) has been touted as one of the biggest prospects to emerge on the UK MMA scene and with six submission victories from seven fights, you can see why. Originally hailing from Birmingham in the UK, Breese now trains and fights out of the world renowned Tristar gym under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi home to UFC superstars such as George St Pierre and Rory MacDonald.

Tom had the following to say on his signing and what fans can expect from him:

"I've always known I would be a UFC fighter, my goals are much higher but I take it one fight at a time. Just focusing on improving. People can expect a fighter that's always looking for the kill standing or on the ground"

Stay tuned to Kingdom MMA for details on the two fighters upcoming fights.

Make sure to follow our social media channels:

Twitter: @KingdomMMA

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KingdomMMAuk

Youtube: www.youtube.com/KingdomMMATV 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Warrior Fight Series announce WFS 3 set to take place at the York Hall

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



Warrior Fight Series (WFS) have today revealed that their next show on May 23rd will be coming to the home of combat sports in the East End of London, the York Hall.

The infamous 1200 capacity venue has played host to some of the greatest boxers in British history, such as Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe, Michael Watson, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Carl Froch, since it’s opening in 1929.

The York Hall is renowned for bringing a great atmosphere for boxing and has not featured MMA for many, many years. It is with great pleasure that WFS 3 will be able to showcase what mixed martial arts is about at the most iconic fight venue London has to offer.

Warrior Fight Series will be hosting their third show since their insertion onto the domestic UK MMA scene in June of 2014. After the runaway success of the first and second, they are back and moving on to bigger things with the announcement of not only a new venue with a larger capacity, but some awesome fights to match including many top ranked fighters.

Professional MMA


Matt Robinson Vs Nathan Jones - Welterweight Title

Matt Robinson brings a record of 5-4 and in his last fight he stopped Matt Holland via Triangle Choke to take his win streak to 2. He fights out of Pound 4 Pound gym and all but one of his wins have come by way of submission.

Nathan Jones fights out of Combat Company and Team Titan, bringing a record of 7-4. In his last fight he defeated Oliver Sines via TKO, which took his win streak to 3. All but one of his wins have also come by way of submission so we can expect a very close fight on the ground.

Wayne Bourne Vs Barry Ryan – Middleweight

Wayne Bourne is an independent fighter who has yet to register a win in the professional ranks with a record of 0-2.

Barry Ryan brings a record of 1-0 and fights out of Pound 4 Pound.

Unified Amateur Rules MMA


Jake George Vs Jack Duffy – Welterweight

Jake George is a 16-year-old prospect that has recently joined Team Titan and will be making his Unified Amateur Rules debut after competing multiple times as a no head-shot amateur. His opponent Jack Duffy will be looking to upset the party for the up and comer.

Kemp Salmond Vs Zeki Faulds – Welterweight

Zeki Faulds fought on the first WFS show back in June of 2014 where he defeated John Reid via TKO. He will be looking to make a statement when he takes on Kemp Salmond as the amateur welterweight champion Mark Harris looks on.

Liz Grainge Vs Louise Hiller – Women’s Bantamweight

This is the first ladies bout that Warrior Fight Series has hosted and what a fight it is. Grainge fights out of Semtex Gym whilst Hiller fights out of New Wave Academy. Both ladies are making their debut and are sure to put on a show for the fans.

Freddie Allen Vs Ryan Mairs – Lightweight

For anyone who has seen Freddie Allen fight before, you know this man brings a war. Ryan Mairs has proven he’s got the skills to get the win, though, as seen in his last fight at WFS 2 where he defeated Rob McAdam via Decision.

Daniel Pearce Vs John Bumstead – Light Heavyweight

The big boys are in town as Pearce and Bumstead do battle in a light heavyweight fight that is sure to get the fans on their feet. This is one that we can expect a finish in, with both guys standing toe to toe.

Luke Walmsey Vs Louis Scriven – Bantamweight

Another intriguing fight on the card is Walmsey vs Scriven. Both guys turn up to fight and are sure to blow the roof off of the York Hall on May 23rd.

More details will be announced soon regarding other fights on the card including a host of professional and amateur fighters from around the country.

(WFS) Warrior Fight Series 3 will take place on May 23rd at The York Hall, Old Ford Road, London, Bethnal Green, E2 9PJ.

First 3 BAMMA 20 Prelims Announced

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



BAMMA have today announced the first of the prelim bouts for 'BAMMA 20: McDermott Vs Lazarz' on Saturday 25th April at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, in what is set to be one of the biggest MMA events in the UK this year. Tickets are on sale now at http://bit.ly/BAMMA20

Prelims:

Regis 'The First' Sugden Vs. Ant 'Submission Magician' Philips
Jack Grant Vs. Warren 'Relentless' Kee
Tim 'The Serbian Yeti' Menzies Vs. Jacek 'Jack of Spades' Toczydlowski
Regis 'The First' Sugden Vs. Ant 'Submission Magician' Philips (Bantamweight)

Regis 'The First' Sugden is now 2-0 in BAMMA after dispatching Manuel 'Sugar' Billic with a slick Triangle choke at 4:18 of the first round at BAMMA 18. Now training on a regular basis with the likes of 'Judo' Jim Wallhead & Dan 'The Outlaw' Hardy, Sugden continues to go from strength to strength. He now looks to take on a more experienced opponent in Ant Phillips, Sugden is still confident of the victory:

"Get ready for fireworks and a highlight reel knockout, BAMMA 20... let's have it!"

Black Country Combat fighter, Ant 'Submission Magician' Phillips is looking to get back in the win column at BAMMA 20 against rising star Sugden. After taking on Mike Grundy in his BAMMA debut at BAMMA 16, the Birmingham based Phillips drops to the Bantamweight division.

Jack Grant Vs. Warren 'Relentless' Kee (Lightweight)


After an injury to Kee cancelled the bout for BAMMA 18, Grant and Kee are set to finally collide at BAMMA 20. Jack Grant holds a professional record of 7-2-0 with 6 first round victories and a history against solid competition. Jack Grant fights out of the Fight Ministry, Grimsby and is looking to bounce back from his last performance at BAMMA 16 where he lost a decision to Alexei ‘Boom’ Roberts.

Jack said: "I don't think Bamma have had the pleasure of seeing my 'A' game. Mistakes made in 2014 and lessons learnt. The dynamic offensive style will be there this year but behind a much more measured and controlled Jack Grant."

"I'm not going to dwell on my last performance and I ask not to be judged on it! I'm looking forward to fighting anyone that's put in front of me and I can promise that I will show what I'm capable of."

Back from injury that sidelined his return to BAMMA in Wolverhampton, Warren Kee has a pro record of 7-3 and was last seen at BAMMA 11, where he faced Tom Breese for the Lonsdale British Title. Kee is from Cambridge and trains out of Tsunami Gym (Home of Former BAMMA Star Luke 'Bigslow' Barnatt), Elite TC and KVT.

"I'm fully recovered now and the fight is back on. Jack Grant is my opponent on BAMMA 20, he looks a good well rounded fighter so I am looking forward to the 25th April showdown, it's my hand that will be raised in victory on the night."

Tim 'The Serbian Yeti' Menzies Vs. Jacek 'Jack of Spades' Toczydlowski (Welterweight)


Tim 'The Serbian Yeti' Menzies was set to face Galore Bofando at BAMMA 18, until an illness to Bofando caused the bout to be cancelled. Coming off the back of his win against Nathan 'Mr. Bag & Tag' Jones at BAMMA Fight Night: Chadwick Vs. Pascu, Menzies brings with him a lethal ground game alongside well balanced striking, Menzies has spent time abroad training alongside the likes of Chris Camozzi in preparation for his next fight.

Team Titan fighter Jacek 'Jack of Spades' Tocyzdlowski makes his second appearance on a BAMMA event after his debut against Benny 'Brutal' Carr at BAMMA 15. Picking up the TKO win in just 1:32 of the first round, the Polish born Toczydlowski record now stands at 5-5. Training in London at Team Titan, Tockzydlowski had the following to say on the upcoming BAMMA 20 bout:

You can follow Regis Sugden, Ant Phillips, Jack Grant, Warren Kee, Tim menzies & Jacek Toczydlowski on Twitter at @regissugden @AntPhillipsMMA @JackGrantMMA @RelentlessWK @TimMenzies11 @Tockzydlowski & @BAMMA

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Grundy & Aspinall bouts added, Betran out of BAMMA 19

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



BAMMA have announced that Orestes Betran has been injured and is out of the bout against Ashleigh Grimshaw on the BAMMA 19 card, a replacement will be announced shortly.

Mike Grundy Vs. Damian Stasiak in a Featherweight bout & Tom Aspinall Vs. Satish Jamia in a Heavyweight bout has been added to the BAMMA 19 fightcard.

BAMMA 19 is to be held on 28th March 2015 at the Blackpool Winter Gardens and tickets are on sale now.

Mike Grundy Vs. Damian Stasiak (Featherweight)


Commonwealth bronze medallist and Kaobon head wrestling coach Mike Grundy returns once more after a 1st round Barabo Choke victory at BAMMA 18 against Mamadou Guyeye. With all his victories coming via the Barabo Choke, he will looking at his next victim in the shape of Poland's Damian Stasiak.

"I'm excited to fight again so soon after my last win on BAMMA 18. Looking forward to getting another impressive win on my‎ record."

Fighting out of Lodz Poland, Damian Stasiak brings a 7-2 record to BAMMA and is currently on a 4 fight win streak. Winning four of his seven victories via Rear Naked Choke, the bout could fast turn into a battle of the submission specialists.

Tom Aspinall Vs. Satish Jamia (Heavyweight)


Team Kaobon Heavyweight Tom Aspinall returns at BAMMA 19 after signing a five fight contract with the promotion, joining the fast growing BAMMA Heavyweight Division. After a record 0:49 second Heel hook win over Ricky King at BAMMA 18, Aspinall is looking at improving his 2-0 record against Satish Jamia and moving on towards the currently vacant BAMMA Heavyweight title.

"I'm looking forward to fighting my first international opponent. I respect him, but when the door closes, that all goes out of the window as I will be looking to put all my hard work in to practice and finishing him"

Satish "The Crazy Indian" Jamia enters BAMMA 19 with a 3-3 record. With the majority of his wins coming in the second round, the Team Schreiber fighter from The Hague in Holland is looking to add the Heavyweight Prospect, Aspinall to his win record.

Follow Mike Grundy & Tom Aspinall on Twitter @MGWRESTLING @Tom_Darcechoke @BAMMA

UFC Fight Night 62: Maia vs LaFlare Betting Guide

By Will Martin 





So after a fun filled UFC 185 where the UFC crowned 2 new world champions they now move on to beautiful Rio De Janeiro in Brazil for a fight night headlined by the undefeated New Yorker Ryan LaFlare and Veteran Submission specialist Demian Maia. I'm going to throw a few bets out there that you may fancy but as always, go with your own gut feelings so lets get the ball rolling with a parlay to start off with.

Bet 1  odds at 6/1

Leonardo Mafra 8/13
Kevin Souza 8/13
Andre Fili 1/3
Gilbert Burns 2/9
Ryan LaFlare 4/6

So here is my Parlay bet for this weeks event is a nice looking bet at odds of 6/1 mixing in a couple of Americans with a few Brazilians as well but we start on in the Lightweight Division as Leonardo Mafra looks to take out Cain Carrizosa and get his 1st ever UFC victory. The main reason I have sided with Mafra is his pressure that he puts on and that coupled with an opponent who I don't really see as a UFC fighter per say Cain will look to take this to the ground but I don't think he has enough in his wrestling arsenal to keep Mafra there for long periods so if I had to pick a finish I would go with Mafra for it.

Moving on to what I think is the best fight on the card as Kevin Souza takes on Katsunori Kikuno in what should be an all out stand up brawl where I think Souza stops Kikuno and does it early. From the outset, this fight for however long it lasts, should be thoroughly entertaining but Souza has a really long reach advantage and has a lot of power strikes to go with it and with Kikuno's lack of striking defence, this should leave opening's for Souza to take him out as when Kikuno gets hit, he doesn't take it well and try's to fire back which leaves his chin in the air so Souza via TKO.

On to a match up im really looking forward to as Team Alpha Male standout  Andre "Touchy" Fili faces streaking Brazilian Godofredo Pepey in a featherweight encounter. Starting off with Fili who I really think is about to start putting his name out there in this division but he does have a potentially tough match up with Pepey here who in his last 2 fights, has shown his ever improving striking skills along with his Jiu-Jitsu, which has always been prominent. With Fili I just feel he has faced the better opponents and I don't think he gets caught on the feet as he is the better Striker this will go to the judges and Fili will get the nod.

One of the best prospects in all of MMA in my eyes is Gilbert Burns as he faces an opponent in Alex Oliveira who has only stepped up on a few weeks notice. Burns who was poised to face a big step up in competition  in former Strikeforce champion Josh Thompson but with his injury, he faces a competitor who really shows him no problems although Oliveira has power, he leaves to many opening's and Burns will exploit that either with his striking or his vastly superior ground game.

If we have made it this far to the final fight of the night I have sided with the unbeaten prospect in what for me was the toughest fight by far to choose between but I went with Ryan LaFlare but all in all, not by much. The only way I feel Maia has a chance in this fight is if he gets this to the ground in round 1 and gets the submission but he has only won 1 time by submission in the last 6 years but i feel that LaFlare is savvy enough to fight at range and keep his distance from Maia as he will look to shoot on him and lets remember, Maia is 37 years old and starting to look every bit that age and has a gas tank which will be lucky to be intact after the 1st round so its a LaFlare victory for me.

Bet 2 odds at 13/1

Andre Fili via Decision 23/10
Amanda Nunes via KO/TKO EVS
Erick Silva via KO/TKO 23/20

Looking at Method Bets for this weekend's fights and if I am being honest I don't see too much but this is one that I did like the look of. All starts off with Fili who I think has a big chance off stopping Pepey but im going go with him to get it on points.

Moving on to what should really be a white wash for Amanda Nunes as she faces off with the sliding Shayna Baszler if this gets outside round one I will be greatly surprised as we saw in Baszler's last fight against Bethe Correia, that all the years of tough fights have started to take there toll on her and Nunes who comes out quick should get the early finish.

The last fight in this treble is Erick Silva to Knockout Josh Koscheck in what should be his final ever participation in the octagon he is stepping in here on 2 weeks notice for Ben Saunders who got injured only 3 weeks ago. Koscheck fought at UFC 184 in which he looked a shell of his former self and got submitted by Jake Ellenberger in 2 rounds. With this match up I just don't see how he stops Silva. Now Silva lets be honest has been fed some wins in the UFC and when he has faced anybody with a bit of grit he has been beaten but I don't see him losing this and in fact I think he knocks Koscheck out.

Bet 3 Odds at 26/1

Leandro Silva Via Decision 15/8
Francisco Trinaldo via Decision 15/8
Tony Martin via Decision 9/4

I always put a few quid on a 3 decision victory's and for this weekend these are the 3 fights I have chosen to go to the judges.

So there is a few bets I like for this weekend and if your betting, good luck.

Three fights to watch this weekend

By Ash Cooper @LUFCCooper




On the back of two quality pay per view events, the UFC returns to action this weekend live from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Former middleweight contender and number nine ranked welterweight Damian Maia will headline the event, in front of his home nation, where he will face the undefeated Ryan Laflare. Although big names such as Ben Saunders and Raphael Assuncao, have had to withdraw from the event due to injury, we are still in for an entertaining night of fights. Here are three fights you should be watching this weekend.

Damian Maia Vs Ryan Laflare


Maia returns to the octagon for the first time since May last year, and faces an up and coming prospect in Ryan LaFlare. Although undefeated and victorious in his first four UFC fights, Laflare faces a huge step up in competition. Maia is one of the most decorated grapplers in the UFC, with constantly improving striking and underrated wrestling skills.

For me this is classic grappler vs striker style matchup, Maia will be looking to get this fight to the ground as quickly as possible where he is far superior. Maia has only one submission victory out of his last five fights, so he will be keen to get Laflare to tap on Saturday. If Laflare is to have any chance in this fight, he must keep it standing at all costs. Laflare has good hands, which he showcased in his decision victory over John Howard. Although lacking real knockout power, Laflare will feel if he can keep the fight standing he can out-strike Maia, and maybe earn a stoppage victory as Maia has a questionable chin.

This fight is very intriguing and may not be as clear cut as people think. Octagon rust may be a factor for Maia who has been out of action for a while, and if Laflare gets his takedown defence right we could be in for a huge upset.

Erick Silva Vs Josh Koscheck


Taking the fight on just a few weeks notice, Koshcheck is really stepping into the lion’s den when he faces the always exciting Erik Silva in front of his home crowd. Silva is always entertaining and loves to start fights with a bang, finishing 11of his career victories in the first round, and with Koscheck on a four fight losing streak, blink and you could miss this one. A former top contender Koscheck has looked a shadow of his former self in his last three bouts, and will be looking to prove he still has what it takes to compete in the UFC.

Because of the frantic pace Silva sets early he has been known to gas, if Koscheck can survive the first round he should be able to use his wrestling skills to take down a tired Silva with ease for the remainder of the fight. This is a big ‘if’ though, as Silva has ferocious knockout power and a very good submission game. Silva will look to come out and blow through Koscheck as quickly as possible.

With Erick Silva involved you can always expect fireworks and this fight is no different, for me this is definitely a front runner for fight of the night.

Francisco Trinaldo Vs Akbarh Arreola


This fight is a must watch for grappling fans, with both fighters having very strong BJJ skills. Arreola has 17 victories by submission, and is coming off an impressive performance submitting UFC veteran Yves Edwards in the first round. BJJ brown belt Trinaldo has been submitted twice in his career, and Arreola may have a slight advantage if the fight goes to the mat. Trinaldo has power in both hands and will have the advantage in the striking department, but I believe this fight will be spent mostly on the ground.

Fans can expect to see multiple submission attempts in this fight and slick transitions, as both fighters will showcase their ground skills. Arreola has never been submitted in his 31 fight career, but faces his biggest test to date in Trinaldo this Saturday.

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UFC Fight Night 62: Maia vs LaFlare Preview

By Josh Hall @josh_hall66



Another card from Brazil this weekend, and one that has had a fair few changes since it's announcement. But that doesn't stop what should be an intriguing card with plenty of home country talent on show. Let's look at the main card!

Andre Fili v Godfredo Castro

Fili comes in to this fight with excellent form, losing just 1 of his 10 (to Max Holloway). Castro comes in 3-3 in his UFC career, and 2 of his last 3 fights he's finished spectacularly. This has every chance to be an explosive opening to the main card, as both like to strike and can easily take the other out.

Prediction: Fili by round 2 TKO

Shayna Baszler v Amanda Nunes

This is your typical 'boxer v submission artist' fight. Nunes comes in to this fight after losing to Cat Zingano last time out. I'm looking for her to use distance and her jab to set up her power shot. Baszler is a true WMMA veteran but comes in on a 2 fight skid. The only way she can win this fight and get back into the win column is takedown, takedown and takedown. She has an excellent ground game and should use it to her advantage.

Prediction: Nunes by unanimous decision

Tony Martin v Leonardo Santos

After starting his UFC career 1-2, the submission specialist Martin looks to add to his win tally by submitting the equally ground-adept Leonardo Santos. Santos has not lost in 8 fights and last time out beat Efrain Escudero by decision. Martin, meanwhile, submitted Fabricio Camoes in October. It'll be interesting to see whether we hit the mat early or try to compete in the stand up
.
Prediction: Martin by unanimous decision

Gilbert Burns v Alex Oliveira

A UFC debut is given to KO artist Alex Oliveira against the dangerous, and undefeated, Gilbert Burns. Being a knockout specialist, Oliveira will definitely  want this fight to stay standing, especially as Burns has a very good ground game. Mind you, he's pretty good standing, too. It could be a tough welcome for 'Cowboy'.

Prediction: Burns by unanimous decision

Josh Koscheck v Erick Silva

'Kos' is taking this fight on short notice to finish off his contract on his terms. The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner will bring the curtain down in Brazil with hopefully one last hurrah, and stop what is now a 4-fight skid. Unfortunately, Erick Silva won't have any sympathy for him and will be looking to put Koscheck down for good and claim a big name scalp.

Prediction: Silva by 1st round submission


Demian Maia v Ryan LaFlare

Maia and his world-class BJJ look to take away Ryan LaFlare's perfect record in the main event. After being schooled by Rory MacDonald, Maia bounced back with a decision victory over Alexander Yakovlev last time out. Maia will be eager to put on a show for his native fans against the American LaFlare. Having won all 4 UFC fights by decision, he'll be looking to keep this fight on the feet because Maia will eat you alive on the mat.

Prediction: LaFlare by unanimous decision

Friday, 13 March 2015

UFC 185: Pettis v Dos Anjos Preview

By Josh Hall @josh_hall66




They say everythings bigger in Texas, and this event typically lives up to that. With two title fights and a massive welterweight encounter heading the card, this certainly has the makings of a top PPV. Let's take a look!

Chris Cariaso v Henry Cejudo


After failing to make weight for his flyweight debut last year, Cejudo gets another chance on Sunday. The former Olympic Gold medalist absolutely annihilated Dustin Kimura (albeit at bantamweight) so it'll be interesting to see him at a lighter weight. Cariaso, meanwhile comes off a loss to Demetrious Johnson and looks to bounce straight back into the win colomn. Expect to see him keep the fight standing, although after Cejudo's last outing he'll be wise to be wary of the youngsters striking

Prediction: Cejudo by unanimous decision

Alistair Oveerem v Roy Nelson

Simple, this one. Both lost 3 of last 5. Both have explosive power, particularly Nelson. But Overeem has a very questionable chin. Simply put, first person to land a bomb will (probably) win.

Prediction: Nelson by knockout

Matt Brown v Jonny Hendricks

These two have things in commen, mainly they both come into this fight off of losses to Robbie Lawler. So now they're looking to throw themselves back into title contention. Both have knockout power, but Hendricks also has high level wrestling credentials that I expect he'll look at using to keep Brown subdued, if this fight doesn't descend into an all-out brawl before then.

Prediction: Hendricks by split decision

WOMANS STRAWWEIGHT TITLE BOUT
(c) Carla Esparza v Joanna Jedrzejczyk

The first defence of the strawweight title is the co-main event. The Polish challenger isn't known as a finisher, whilst Esparza has finished three of her last five. I believe that Esparza's history of high level competition will ensure we don't see an upset here.

Prediction: Esparza by unanimous decision

LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT
(c) Anthony Pettis v Rafael dos Anjos

Dos Anjos has looked impressive recently, especially in finishing Benson Henderson. Certainly it caught the attention of the human highlight reel that is

'Showtime'. Pettis has stopped in his last four fights Gilbert Melendez, Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. All that should tell you what kind of form the champ is in. he just looks unbeatable and dos Anjos will need to pull out a massive upset to bring home the belt.

Prediction: Pettis by submission

Three fights to watch this weekend

By Ash Cooper @LUFCcooper



UFC 185 will see UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis and Rafael Dos Anjos take centre stage in the American Airline Centre, Texas. Before that, we have a stacked weekend of great fights ahead of us. Here’s a look at the three fights you should be watching this weekend.

Matt Brown Vs Johny Hendricks- UFC 185


Both of these fighters will be looking to get back to winning ways, after both suffered close decision losses to current UFC Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. Both fighters have granite chins and love to stand and bang, for me this has fight of the night written all over it. A dominant performance from either Big Rigg or The Immortal will put them right back into title contention.

Former champ Hendricks has the heaviest hands in the division and can boast devastating knockouts over Carlos Condit and John Fitch. Although Matt Brown doesn’t possess the power of Hendricks, he is a very technical striker with great Muay Thai skills in the clinch, and also has KO victories against very skilled opponents. Brown was riding a seven fight win streak before his loss to Lawler, finishing six of his opponents and will have confidence in his striking to stand and trade with Hendricks.

I feel this fight is very close to call and fans can expect a real battle. Despite Hendricks being much more dominant in the wrestling department, I believe they will stand and trade until one of them is knocked unconscious.

Adriano Moraes Vs Asuka Mikami One Fc 25- Age Of Champions


One Fc returns for the first time in 2015, Friday March 13th in Malaysia. The headline of the event will see Flyweight champion Adriano Moraes defend his flyweight title against Asuka Mikami. Although both fighters are relatively unknown in the MMA world, both fighters have a good skillset, and are well versed on the ground with six of Moraes’ victories coming by way of submission.

Moraes is currently on a three fight win streak since the first loss of his career by decision at One Fc 20. Mikami hasn’t tasted defeat in his last twelve fights and will be extremely confident going into the fight, despite this being the biggest fight of his career to date. Both fighters are very skilled on the ground and I expect to see some slick submission attempts from both fighters. Mikami has better hands than the champion and will have the advantage should the fight stay standing.

I expect to see a very entertaining fight with both fighters looking to make a name for themselves. One Fc rules, which allow soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent, means we could be in for an old school Pride Fc battle.

Roy Nelson Vs Alistair Overeem- UFC 185


Always a crowd pleaser, hard hitter Roy Nelson returns to the octagon where he will face former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. Nelson will be

looking to bounce back from his first UFC knockout defeat at the hands of Mark Hunt. Overeem has also suffered knockout defeats recently but looked much improved in his last fight finishing Stefan Struve.

Both fighters have crazy knockout power and I don’t expect to see this fight go the distance. Questions have been raised over Overeems chin after some devastating knockout losses at the hands of Travis Browne, Ben Rothwell and Bigfoot Silva. Nelson will be confident that if he can land an overhand on The Reems’ chin he can put him to sleep.

This matchup sees the power of Nelson go head to head with the technical kickboxing style of Overeem and we can expect to see fireworks right from the outset. Both fighters will know a win can move them up the rankings back amongst the elite, and neither fighter can afford to lose.

BAMMA announce four huge main card fights for BAMMA 20, April 25th

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__




#BAMMA20 #WelcomeToTheNewAge

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

BAMMA have announced four main card fights set for 'BAMMA 20: McDermott Vs Lazarz' on Saturday 25th April at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham. In what is set to be the biggest MMA event in the UK this year, three Titles will be on the line with the event featuring a host of MMA superstars.

Main Card:

Light Heavyweight Title - Brett 'The Spartan' McDermott Vs. Marcin 'Bane' Lazarz
Colin 'Freakshow' Fletcher Vs Andre Winner
Bantamweight Title - Ed Arthur Vs Alan 'The Apprentice' Philpott
Flyweight Title Rany Saadeh Vs Chris Miah
Brett 'The Spartan' McDermott Vs. Marcin 'Bane' Lazarz (BAMMA Light Heavyweight Title)

With the light heavyweight title having been vacated, a huge career opportunity has opened up for either McDermott or Lazarz.

Brett 'The Spartan' McDermott stunned the MMA community with his KO of Oli Thompson at BAMMA 17. Now signed to a long term deal with BAMMA, the Barrow Mixed Martial Arts juggernaut is given the opportunity to fight for the belt at BAMMA 20. He had the following to say on the news that he would be battling for the title:

"It's an honour and a pleasure to be part of the BAMMA 20 fight card in Birmingham. Training has been going well and I'll be ready for the challenge of Marcin Lazarz, all 6ft 4 of him.  He's coming all the way from Poland so I know he's coming to the UK to fight and not make up the numbers, so all being well it should be a good battle and entertain the fans of MMA.  I just hope he knows I'm in it to win it"

Marcin 'Bane' Lazarz last fought at BAMMA in Newcastle against Max 'Power' Nunes at BAMMA 12. Despite coming off the losing end of the fight, he had Nunes rocked on several occasions and the bout was on a knife edge the whole way through. He has since gone on to win all his remaining fights, defeating the legend Ricco Rodriguez along the way to bring his record to an impressive 7-1. On returning to the promotion the Polish powerhouse had the following to say on his title shot against McDermott:

"Brett looks to me like a very strong & physical fighter with some good conditioning as well. Stylistically I think he is a all around MMA fighter. He's already been in the cage with some of the best UK fighters and I expect a very hard fight from him.  This will be a very good fight for the BAMMA fans and I expect to bring that belt home."

Colin 'Freakshow' Fletcher Vs. Andre Winner (Lightweight)


Recently signed to a long term 8 fight deal, crowd favourite Fletcher (11-4) takes his place in what many believe is a dream UK MMA matchup against Andre Winner. The Sunderland based all rounder, will once again bring the 'Freakshow' to Birmingham where he has had some of his most memorable battles against the likes of Mansour 'Tarzan' Barnoui, Tim 'Superhuman' Newman & Jason 'Daddy Cool' Ball. As ever Freakshow wasn't short of things to say about the bout:

"Im so excited to fight again for BAMMA i'm feeling better than ever!! I feel appreciated again and I wanna keep finishing top opponent's and heavily cement myself as one of the UKs most entertaining fighters in and out of the cage.  Welcome to MY New Age & come join the fun !!!"

Andre Winner (19-8) has been on something of a tear since his last appearance at BAMMA 10 in the main event against Rob 'C4' Sinclair. Going 5-1 including a victory over BAMMA 19's Jeremy 'Ninja' Petley, Winner has grand plans on his return to the promotion. Beginning with Freakshow, Winner expects to make a statement to the heavily stacked BAMMA Lightweight Division:

"Colin is a good person and fighter, i'm focused and driven, I'm looking forward to the fight.  In fact i cant wait, I owe Colin one, i'm going to win and it's going to be a dominant performance. And this isn't just talk.  I'm gonna do exactly what I say come April 25th.."


Ed Arthur Vs. Alan "The Apprentice" Philpott (BAMMA Bantamweight Title)


Ed Arthur has risen through the ranks of the Bantamweight division since his BAMMA debut against Ben 'Flubber' Rees in Birmingham at BAMMA 14. With a record that stands at 5-0 and the ink recently dried on his long term contract with the promotion, the "free spirited, fast talking & undefeated" Arthur looks to take the gold home with him come April 25th:

"This is just another day, just another win!! However this time I get to take home a belt! I'm going to make it look easy as always"

Alan "The Apprentice" Philpott (13-6) from Ballymena, Northern Ireland walks into his Bantamweight Title shot on a 3 fight win streak. Fighting out of Next Gen NI alongside BAMMA Lonsdale Middleweight contender Conor 'Da Crook' Cooke, Philpott has entered the promotion straight into the biggest fight of his career. Also recently signed with BAMMA, Philpott expects to extend his winning streak against Arthur:

"The time is right, the time is now, I am the next generation and the first BAMMA Bantamweight Champion!"

Rany Saadeh (c) Vs. Chris Miah (BAMMA Flyweight Title)


Rany Saadeh (7-1) returns to defend his Flyweight title for the first time since winning it at BAMMA Fight Night Liverpool against Jody Collins. The German standout has recently spent the majority of his time training out of Phuket Top Team and is expecting to put his newly learned skills on display against the surging Miah:

"I will do what I do best: dominate. I really don't see this fight going to the distance. I don't underestimate my opponent but I feel like I'm going to have a lot of fun in that cage. I love Birmingham and I invite everyone to watch me making big things happen and leaving the arena with the belt on my shoulder once more."

Chris Miah is coming off a KO of the night performance in his debut against Mick Gerrard at BAMMA 18 to earn his shot at the Flyweight title. With his unblemished record standing at 6-0 and fighting out of Pariah MMA in Solihull, Miah will have the hometown support come BAMMA 20. It's an England Vs. Germany clash at the Barclaycard Arena, and Miah had the following comments:

"I'm delighted to be fighting again on BAMMA so soon, the opportunity to fight for the BAMMA title in my hometown was too good to turn down. I'm proud to represent Birmingham. Credit to my opponent for fighting me here.  But the crowd will bring the roff down when my hand is held up in victory as the NEW BAMMA Flyweight Champion!"


You can follow them Brett McDermott, Marcin Lazarz, Colin Fletcher, Andre Winner, Ed Arthur, Alan Philpott, Rany Saadeh & Chris Miah on Twitter at @BebeMcdermott @Bane_MMA @Dr_Freakshow @AndreWinner @EdArthurMMA @AlanPhilpottMMA @RanyMMA & @ChrisMiah125

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Rob 'C4' Sinclair makes long awaited return at Bellator: Brooks vs Jansen, April 10

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__



The action-packed lineup for "Bellator MMA: Brooks vs. Jansen" continues to fill, and the latest round of additions includes a key lightweight matchup between two international contenders with a combined 50 career victories, as well as four intriguing preliminary contests.

The new matchups include a main-card lightweight contest of Marcin Held (20-3) vs. Alexander "Tiger" Sarnavskiy (30-2), as well as preliminary bouts of bantamweights Jared "The Jackhammer" Papazian (18-11) vs. Raja Shippen (14-9-1), middleweights Joey "Mexicutioner" Beltran (15-11) vs. Brian "The Professional Predator" Rogers (11-7), lightweights Saad "Assassin" Awad (17-6) vs. Rob "C4" Sinclair (12-2) and flyweights Jonathan Santa Maria (3-0) vs. Steve Ramirez (0-1).

Sinclair  of Predators MMA, Manchester, England, is 8-1 in his past nine appearances makes his long awaited return from a career threatening injury in a fight which will also be his Bellator debut. Ten of Sinclair's 12 career wins have come by way of finish, including nine knockouts, and he now will be looking to add to this as he takes on Awad, of San Bernadino, Calif.. His opponent is a Millennia MMA product who owns five wins under the Bellator MMA banner, four of which have come by stoppage. Fourteen of his 17 career wins have come by stoppage, including seven knockouts and seven submissions.

From purgatory to salvation – Rob ‘C4’ Sinclair

By Simon Rushton



September 15th, 2012. Wembley Arena. A date that should have been synonymous with the rise of arguably one of the most destructive fighters to grace UKMMA; Rob ‘C4’ Sinclair met Andre Winner in what should have been his elevation to the bright lights of America. Many whispers and rumours said that if Rob won this fight the UFC would have to sign him up. How could they ignore a fighter that had put away everybody in his way since his admitted self-defeat against Paul Sass?!

BAMMA10 came and Rob Sinclair came out victorious against Andre Winner, a former UFC alumni. We listened for the ‘phone ringing… nothing… Rob had a contract with BAMMA still and planned on defending his belt again. This time against Curt Warburton; training camp started and disaster struck. Injury. The fight was cancelled and rehab began. During the stint on the sidelines Rob did get a call from stateside; where the UFC missed a trick Bellator came calling and soon enough Rob was signed up on a multi-fight contract along with a number of other British fighters. Rob was to spearhead the British Invasion. He continued injury rehabilitation and was soon lined up to fight Rich Clementi in what would have been his toughest challenge yet.

Rehab was complete, the injury healed and Rob was looking at his best. Now before I continue I have to say that I am extremely grateful and fortunate in the sense that I can call Rob a friend. He probably calls me worse but at least it’s one sided and not none. Anyway, I was fortunate enough to train under Rob and spoke to him fairly regularly and I can honestly say that the Rob Sinclair leading up to this fight was the strongest, quickest, most destructive he had ever been and to finish it off his skillset was more rounded than it had ever been. The change? For once Rob could train full time; until signing up to Bellator Rob had always had to work full time and managed to train 2-3 times a week getting maybe an hour’s instruction under one of the finest coaches outside of Jackson’s MMA (Gav Boardman, Predators MMA). At this point he had a Boxing coach; a Muay Thai coach; fitness, strength and conditioning coaches (Dave Bell and Emma Fletcher of Sportesse-PT) and again, Gav Boardman. A guy Rob once said could take both him and his brother, Mick Sinclair, at the same time. Six weeks prior to the fight Rob had already made weight and then the nightmare happened.

Purgatory

In a routine training session on the 25th August, 2013 Rob dislocated his knee rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament; the injury was so severe that his knee was twisted almost facing in the wrong direction. The doctors went on record at this point saying that even after intensive rehabilitation Rob would have impaired walking and that he would definitely not play football or train, let alone compete, in MMA again. For a guy that has been a sportsman since almost as long as he has walked you can imagine the impact this had on him.

Fortunately, Rob was sent from our local hospital to Stockport known for being the best in the country for this type of injury. Surgery was the only option and on the 9th September, 2013 Rob had his first operation. He would have to let this heal for three months. The first week he was bed ridden; with a cast and knee brace covering ankle to groin. His muscles atrophied. He struggled straightening and bending the knee and had to keep working through painful and almost invasive rehabilitation. The cage on his knee stayed on lest any further damage occur.

I've talked about the physical impact of this injury; I think what hit Rob more and what he was least prepared for was the mental impact this would have on him. I keep repeating the word unfortunately and for a long period of time this was a word that came hand in hand with Rob Sinclair. It seemed disaster struck in every aspect of his life. At this time Rob’s – now fiancé – had just had a baby, at only 12 days old Rob had to watch others hold and play with his baby while he was on medication for pain control and severely limited in his movements due to the protection on his knee. He couldn't wash; he couldn't go to the toilet without help and he was restricted to his bed. His girlfriend had to wash him down and that was the nearest thing to a bath he could have for three months. The alpha male that was Rob Sinclair, the dominant and ultimately happy guy that was Rob Sinclair was broken. He had no means of income as he couldn't work; he could no longer walk his beloved English Bull Terriers and sadly had to re home them. The bad news didn't stop there for Rob unfortunately; the matriarch of his family, his Grandma who he was extremely close with, died. Four weeks later his Uncle died.
Deaths happen I realise and some families are closer than others but in the Sinclair clan there really is a tight knit community in its own. If Rob wasn't at rock bottom before he was now and soon his relationship broke down resulting in separation. Not only did Rob not have two of his closest family members but he now had to cope with the fact that his rock, Georgia, had to move out and he only saw his children at the weekend.

Salvation

The breaking of a man can be one of two things; his ruin or his salvation. Rob in early 2014 was a broken man with a mountain to climb. Throughout the remainder of the year Rob would tackle each day like a challenge, a game of Chess in fact. As a child prodigy Chess champion Rob employed the same mentality, only he could tell you whether it was conscious or subconscious, in dragging himself from the bottom right to the very top. Early 2015 and what we see now is a Rob Sinclair that has defied all professional opinion and is not only walking but running; he’s back training and he’s stronger, more flexible, has twice the confidence and importantly twice the ability he ever had prior to his injury. While some losses are irreversible, thankfully, some aren’t. Rob and Georgia are not only back together but engaged to be married and stronger than ever.

Not only did Rob find support from his friends and family but in his own words:

“The whole industry has been patient with me. Bellator gave me all the time I needed and extended my contract. My physio and strength and conditioning coach gave their time and efforts free of charge because they knew I had no money coming in. Without them (Emma Fletcher and Dave Bell of Sportesse-PT) my life… without them I’d be disabled. Words can’t express how I feel about these guys or what I owe them” 

This team built around Rob and told him when to train, how to train and when not to train. They reigned him in.

Rob also mentioned the support the likes of Glen Slater gave him not only throughout this time but from day one. When a lot of people didn't believe in Rob, Glen supported him (and his brother, Mick) through thick and thin, materially and emotionally. Glen’s not also kept the wheels on the Sinclair bandwagon – literally – but he also corners him and Mick. Then there’s Mike Clarke of Fight Lounge, Mike’s been a constant in Rob’s camp for a long time now and has found Rob opportunities not just in MMA but outside also when fighting was an option. It’s this support that has been integral to Rob and has helped him through some extremely dark times.

Would Rob ever fight again? The answer thankfully is yes and he’s due to fight a yet to be named opponent in the coming months reigniting the British invasion.

“I owe it to everyone that’s always followed me to take this fight in America. This guy, he’ll have to almost kill me to beat me. I won’t quit.” 

There was no bravado when he said this. If anything it was almost resigned; I've never before heard Rob talk like this. The Rob I spoke to this time isn't the same man I've spoken to before. He spoke of fear; he’s been out for over 2 years in total due to delays in fights and then injuries. He spoke of a fear that was akin to that he felt in his debut.

“After the first you know what’s coming.”

"I can’t lose this fight, if I lose I've still won, I shouldn't be in there you know. I've still won. He can beat me in the match but he can't beat me in anything else."

"If he thinks he can break me he ain't got a chance"

The fundamental change in Rob Sinclair is almost tangible; his approach and almost spiritual outlook to life in general has changed how he views things and it has not only made him a better fighter but importantly, a better man as well.

Rob, brother, we’re routing for you. If anybody deserves the fairytale ending it’s you. Go out there, destroy the Lightweight division and come home a champion.

To the Bellator Lightweight division I’ll echo the words I’ve seen a lot recently…

“Burnley’s gonna get ya.”

Rushy out.

UFC 184: ROUSEY V ZINGANO REVIEW

By Josh Hall @josh_hall66


Los Angeles, California. Hollywood, sunshine and the host of the first UFC PPV to have two Women's MMA bouts as the featured fights. Also on the card two longstanding welterweights looking to keep their place in the company and a lightweight trying to get himself into title contention. Oh, did I mention the main event was a title fight with the biggest star in womens MMA today? Well, let's see what happened...

Preliminary Card

Masio Fullen v Alex Torres
We opened the event with an entertaining brawl between two fighters from TUF: Latin America. Both came out swinging, with Fullen clipping Torres early on. But after Torres found his feet, he landed a blow that wobbled his opponent. Fullen countered beautifully, and after some more hard shots from both, Fullen dragged the fight to the ground. By the second though the pace had slowed. A clinch against the cage resulted in an exchanging of knees, but Fullen pulled ahead towards the end with a headkick. He continued the assault into the final round with a left followed up by knees, kicks and punches looking for the finish. Torres then ate a flying knee, and tried two attempts at a takedown, eventually landing the second before Fullen popped back up.
Result: Fullen by split decision

James Krause v Valmir Lazaro
Another hard fought fight here. Lazaro started by keeping Krause against the cage to negate his opponents length. From there he used leg kicks and body shots to open up Krause for the head strikes. Into the second round Lazaro's speed and striking variety forced Krause to turn up his speed and spacing of his strikes. A better round for the American but he still took some punishment. Into the last, Krause continued to land with overhand rights with Lazaro striking from all angles, with both mixing in failed takedown attempts. The judges were called in again, giving Lazaro the split decision.
Result: Lazaro by split decision

Derrick Lewis v Ruan Potts
Well, if I'm honest, this one lasted longer than I expected. Lewis came out stalking Potts. Throwing leg kicks, Lewis did damage before Potts got in close and clinched, with the South African eating a knee. Potts slipped on a high kick and fell backwards. Lewis was all over him, but Potts grabbed a leg and locked the submission in tight. Eventually the big American rolled through and drilled Potts with shots until the bell. Round two started and Lewis landed more heavy hands with Potts on the floor. Then Lewis dropped into guard, passed to half, mounted the outclassed Potts and finished the fight with ground and pound. Dominant display from Lewis.
Result: Lewis by TKO

Dhiego Lima v Tim Means
Means came out like a shot. Working with big knees and punches, Lima survived the early onslaught but looked overwhelmed. Then against the cage, Means landed a series of elbows followed by a big straight left that had Herb Dean calling the fight off. Impressive by 'Dirty Bird'.
Result: Means by TKO

Roman Salazar v Norifumi Yamamoto
Unfortunately this fight was called off halfway through round two because of an accidental eye-poke to Salazar. Until then, Yamamoto had started positively, looking to land early and mixing in kicks. In the second, Salazar landed a takedown but 'Kid' bounced up, then was accidentally poked in the eye. After the stoppage Salazar landed a left before eating a right-left combo. But then Yamamoto's hand scraped the left eye of his opponent, and John McCarthy, after consulting the doctor and asking Salazar if he could see, waved it off.
Result: No contest

Roan Carnerio v Mark Munoz
This was a great performance by the returning Carnerio. After stuffing a takedown attempt from Munoz, Carnerio used it to advance and take the back mount, slipping his arm under the chin and choking Munoz out cold within two minutes.
Result: Carnerio by technical submission

Main Card

Tony Ferguson v Gleison Tibau
Tibau threw an early front kick, but Ferguson had an answer for this and everything Tibau tried, sweeping him several times. After a flurry of shots from Ferguson, including a vicious right, the Brazilian shot for a takedown. After threatening several submission attempts, Ferguson took the back and locked in the rear naked choke for the win.
Result: Ferguson by submission

Alan Jouban v Richard Walsh
Walsh started by throwing body kicks early to the body, occasionally throwing the odd punch to the head. But then, an elbow to Walsh's temple turned the fight, Jouban flurrying with the punches until John McCarthy stepped in to end it.
Result: Jouban by knockout

Jake Ellenberger v Josh Koscheck
Not a classic. Koscheck looked very hesitant and nervous trying to strike after over a year off. The most persistent offense of the fight was the jab and overhand right of Ellenberger. The finish came as Koscheck went for a takedown, exposing his neck. Aellenberger synched in a front-naked choke that he modified into a north-south choke, and left Koscheck tapping furiously.
Result: Ellenberger by submission


Holly Holm v Raquel Pennington
The first round was evidently a feeling out period for Holm. The only real offense from either women was a takedown attempt by Pennington, which failed. Holm picked up the pace in round two, controlling the fight whilst being aware of any takedown attempts. Pennington landed a couple of fleeting shots during the round. The final frame was an improvement for Pennington, landing several good shots and causing Holm to bleed from the nose, but it was to little to late.
Result: Holm by unanimous decision

WOMEN'S BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE
(c) Ronda Rousey v Cat Zingano
Well, I'm sure no-one saw this coming. Ronda Rousey's supposedly toughest fight to date lasted all of 14 seconds. Zingano came rushing out and tried to land a flying knee, missed and Rousey tripped her, landing on top and grabbing the  left arm. She then quickly flipped her body over and pulled tight the arm, with Zingano having no choice but to tap. Can anyone stop Rousey?
Result: Rousey by submission