BAMMA 26 Preview


BAMMA 26 takes place at the 3 Arena, Dublin on Saturday with the action expected to begin around 5pm. Most of the fights will be streaming live on the BAMMA Youtube channel

Main Event: Flyweight title – Rany Saadeh v Andy Young

The 23 year old German Saadeh has been dominant since signing for BAMMA in 2013 with four wins in the promotion including a victory over Shajidul Haque at BAMMA’s Night of Champions in November. While he is primarily a grappler his striking has come along well in recent fights, he looks relaxed and fluid on the feet. Once he closes the distance though he really shines with some great clinch takedowns and a suffocating top game. Andy Young, representing Next Gen NI is no stranger to title fights, having won three in various British promotions over the last year. One of those was a stoppage against the then unbeaten Luis Gonzalez. While Young’s record does not seem impressive at first quite a few of his defeats have been at bantamweight and he has been outsized so there is more to him than meets the eye.He has been a regular on the British and Irish MMA scene for years now and this is a great opportunity for him to win a more prestigious championship. Prediction: A close and competitive fight but ultimately Saadeh DEC

Main Card

Alan Philpott v Aaron Blackwell: Philpott is BAMMA’s current Lonsdale champion and has picked up two excellent wins on BAMMA’s last two Dublin shows, a close split decision over Regis Sugden then a late stoppage of Nathaniel Wood in February. His most recent fight was a defeat in Japan to the undefeated Daichi Takenaka in the main event of a Vale Tudo Japan show. Philpott has always been a good grappler but he has made good strides in his striking in recent fights with his jab causing Wood a lot of problems in their fight. Blackwell is a veteran who had his first fight all the way back in 2003 and has competed against some notable names in British MMA such as Brad Pickett and Terry Etim. Since 2011 he has put together a very impressive seven fight winning streak. Both of these fighters are relatively well rounded and this should be a well matched and competitive fight. Prediction: Philpott SUB

Paul Redmond v Chris Stringer: While Redmond is returning from an unsuccessful stint in the UFC, Stringer is returning from a three year hiatus and both will be looking to return with a bang. “Redser” became known on the local scene for his aggressive style and his ability to pull off rare leglock submissions. He got a short notice opportunity to fight at featherweight in the UFC and he took it but unfortunately was released after two defeats. He is back at lightweight now to make another run towards the big show .Stringer has had some big fights himself in his career, including a fight against UFC veteran Rich Clementi but suffered a run of three defeats in a row in 2012/2013 so will be hoping he can turn the tide now he has returned. Eight of Stringer’s wins have come by submission so we could be treated to some fun grappling exchanges between these two. Prediction: Redmond SUB

Peter Queally v Joe McColgan: It was initially due to be Kiefer Crosbie fighting McColgan but now Queally steps up to the plate. Queally was close to getting a short notice bout against Tim Means at UFC 202 but he could not secure a visa in time. Being that close will surely give him extra motivation to go out here and put on an impressive performance and try to finish McColgan. McColgan gained the nickname “The SBG Hunter” while in the amateur ranks due to beating a couple of opponents from the gym on Clan Wars and Cage Contender cards. In November he made his professional debut and choked out Tom Hogan in the final round. Prediction: Queally DEC

Preliminary Card

The preliminary portion of the card features many Irish fighters, some who are only new professionals and some who are more established. Amongst the experienced names are Charlie Ward who already has four professional fights on his ledger, and his on a three fight winning streak. He will be up against Romania’s Ion Pascu who has been around the European scene since 2008 and is a veteran of 20 fights.

Two more experienced names pop out from the preliminary card, Johnny Dargan the taekwondo expert who trains out of SBG Ireland will take on Darragh Kennedy who has an 0-2 record and John Redmond, the Team Ryano student who overturned a four fight losing streak in his last outing when he beat Modestas Bukauskas at Cage Warriors 77.

The main focus of these prelims though is to shine a light on some of the younger professionals in Ireland. SBG Ireland has a particular strong presence here with Blaine O’Driscoll, Ben Forsyth, Richie Smullen and Sinead Kavanagh all with less than three professional fights under their belts.

Ryan Curtis has looked incredible so far in his professional career. One quality that he has shown in abundance is poise. Both of his opponents have come out of the blocks in a very aggressive manner looking to close the distance and land big shots, but Curtis looked comfortable in the storm and was able to fire back his own shots. He finished both opponents via ground and pound in the opening round. He will be fighting Shamsul Haque who has a 7-8 record and is currently on a two fight winning streak.

Next Generation NI prospect Rhys McKee is another young fighter who has had an impeccable start to their professional career. After a very impressive amateur career he made his professional debut at BAMMA 22 against John Redmond, he dropped to lightweight after that to take on Alex Masuku at BAMMA 24 and he finished both fights impressively. He continued at lightweight in his third fight, he travelled to Britain to take on Shaun Luther and finished him in the second round with a stunning knockout. McKee is returning to featherweight, which is the weight he fought at in his amateur days. Attempting to hand McKee his first defeat will be Tommy McCafferty, a former kickboxer. He began his career with a run of six victories but has suffered two straight defeats so really needs a good showing here to get things back on track.

Finally, in the opening fight of the night is SevereMMA’s own Yogurty Dave Fogarty. He had an excellent showing in the IMMAF World Championships in the summer and is a fan favourite as both a fighter and a photographer so BAMMA were delighted to get him on to the card. He will fight Barry Hanna in an amateur flyweight fight.

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