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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Luke Barnatt Vs Jason Miller Announced for Venator

by Luke Henaghan

In a strange but definitely interesting turn of events it has emerged that Luke Barnatt - newly crowned champion of Italian promotion Venator FC, will be defending his title against none other than Jason “Mayhem” Miller.

Miller has been absent from the sport of MMA since his release from the UFC back in 2012 following back to back losses against Michael Bisping and CB Dollaway, and since then has made headlines for all of the wrong reasons due to several run ins with the law. Despite this, Mayhem has remained a fan favourite and his relentlessly energetic and likeable personality alone is enough to have earned himself a soft spot in the hearts of most MMA fans. Not that he needs it, as his long and storied career has seen him achieve wins over the likes of Sakuraba, Tim Kennedy and Robbie Lawler.

Luke Barnatt’s run in the UFC following the Ultimate Fighter was rather unforgiving. Following very impressive performances in his first two fights in which he achieved back to back stoppages, many saw him as one of the most promising young UK talents in the UFC. However following three consecutive decision losses (two of which were split decisions), Barnatt was controversially released from the UFC.

For Luke, a win over a truly world class veteran like Miller would really help him build a strong case to justify being re-signed to the UFC. If he can get through Mayhem and defend his Venator belt a couple more times, he may just get the attention of the UFC brass and pick up where he left off in the world’s top organisation.

For Mayhem, well… I think Mayhem’s just genuinely happy to be fighting someone. 

Eaton ruled out, Pritchard in against Bouland at BCMMA 14

by Ben Heather @benheather

Following an injury in training Corrin Eaton has been forced out of his fight at BCMMA 14 against Brian Bouland. This would have been Eaton's debut at 135lbs as he was looking to make it back to back victories following a very impressive showing at BCMMA 13 in December.

Eaton had this message for his fans:

"I'm not sure how to word this but here goes... I'm devastated to say I have to pull out of my fight, due to a injury that I can't shift. I had a great camp out at American Top Team and learned so much - mentally, I was 100% ready for this fight but I came home with an injury I can't resolve before February 20th. 

I would like to apologise to my coaches, team, fans, my opponent and of course, BCMMA. Words can't describe how gutted I am after everything I have done to prepare for this fight - I tried my hardest not to give in but I have to think of the long term effects of fighting with an injury.
To everyone who has already bought a ticket - firstly I'm very grateful, and secondly if you would like to come see me for a refund that's fine, I fully understand and will happily give it you! I'll still be going to the show to support my brother Luis Gonzalez who will be fighting -  so if you would still like to see a great night of MMA, you can hang on to your ticket and share my company for the night!

Again, sorry to everybody and thank you for your support #devastated"

With the news coming that Eaton could not fight BCMMA have acted swiftly and Jamie Pritchard has agreed to step up on just over a weeks notice to take the fight. Pritchard, fighting out of GYM 01 comes in to the fight with a 6-3 record and has won his last three.

Pritchard has previously fought on some of the top shows in the UK including a big win over Phil Raeburn last time out at Cage Warriors 67. Having always stopped his opponents when he has won Pritchard will be looking to continue this next Saturday as he now takes on Brian Bouland.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Barnatt and Maguire get new opponents as BCMMA 14 pro card is finalised

by Ben Heather @benheather

BCMMA have been forced to reshuffle the pack due to a couple of drop outs on the BCMMA 14 card which takes place on February 20th in Colchester's Charter Hall.

Firstly Mehrdad Janzemini was forced out of his interim title fight against Thomas Robertsen due to an ACL injury. This led BCMMA to offer Manuel Garcia Nieto the chance to step up and face Robertsen for the interim title. Nieto had been originally slated to face UFC vet John Maguire.

Maguire will now square off against Aymard Guih (9-5-1). Guih may well be known to fans of UK MMA having previously competed for both FCC and Cage Warriors in the past couple of years.

The other change on the pro card sees Luke Barnatt (9-3) step in to the cage on UK soil for the first time in two years a he now takes on the M-1, KSW and Cage Warrors vet Charles Andrade (29-26). Barnatt was set to face off against Rafael Silva who is now fighting for ONE Championship on the same day instead.

Speaking to Kingdom MMA "Bigslow" Luke Barnatt told us what he knew about his new opponent and what, if anything it changes in his preparation for the upcoming fight.

"I know the guys name... On such short notice it's very difficult to find stand ins, so I'm extremely happy that Jack Mason and BCMMA managed to find me someone for the event. I haven't really taken much notice of the opponent change. The whole idea behind me having this fight is to work and develop my skills in the areas I need to develop and to keep collecting W's, so I'm doing just that."

Barnatt also told us how his preparations had gone for the upcoming fight, who he had been working with and how his camp for this fight had differed from hi previous camps.

"Camp have been extremely short for this fight as I'm used to doing 12 weeks camps for big events like for my UFC fights.. But now I'm out of the UFC I'm looking to get back to competing every month like I did before my stint in the UFC.

"Camp has been solid but I honestly feel most of the hardwork was already done from my camp for Venator FC on December 12th with only 9 weeks between fights I just rested up over Christmas and got back to work here in Spain... I have been working diligently on my BJJ with Santeri Lilious who is a master on the ground.. The youngest black belt from Finland aswell as Roger Gracie's Youngest black belt.. He has a very active competition schedule and I train with him daily.. So I'm feeling improvements to my game constantly But the main change to my camp this year has been the addition of MGM Muay Thai coach and Spain's National Thai boxing coach in Rafi Zouhair.. We're working together to bring back my devastating Thai style that brought me into the limelight back in 2013 with vicious finishes and constant pressure."

"So that's what I'm looking for back on home soil.. Another exciting finish in style for my hometown fans."

The finalised fight pro card for BCMMA 14 can be found below.

Featherweight Title Main Event

Stephen Martin (5-3) Vs. (c) Steve Aimable (8-2)

Welterweight Bout

Aymard Guih (9-5) Vs. John Maguire (20-8)

Bantamweight Bout

Brian Bouland (4-1) Vs. Corrin Eaton (4-2)

160lb Catchweight Bout

Aldric Cassatta (10-5) Vs. Sean Carter (10-3)

Flyweight Bout

Nicolas Leblond (2-1) Vs. Luis Gonzalez (5-1)

Interim Welterweight Title

Manuel Garcia Nieto (27-19) Vs. Thomas Robertsen (3-0)

Middleweight Bout

Charles Andrade (29-26) Vs. Luke Barnatt (9-3)

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Daley destroys Uhrich in Bellator MMA 148 headliner

by Jack Sear @jack_sear

In the early hours of the morning, Paul “Semtex” Daley picked up his fifth straight victory after knocking out American Andy “Stunner” Uhrich, in the main event of Bellator MMA 148.

Daley (38-13-2), who turns 33 next month, was able to easily shrug off Uhrich’s  (11-6) attempts to grapple, before face-planting his foe with a slick right uppercut at the two-minute mark of the opening stanza.

With the win, Daley keeps his perfect Bellator MMA record intact and picks up his quickest stoppage in almost five years. Uhrich, meanwhile sees a three-fight win streak snapped and loses via knockout for the third time in his career.

Daley now boasts nine wins in his last ten outings, including four inside the Bellator MMA cage. Whilst many fighters with that type of momentum would elect to compete for a title, Daley has his sights set firmly on avenging a previous loss to his nemesis Josh Koscheck next.

The two first met back in May of 2010 at UFC 113, where Koscheck used a wrestling-centric game plan to stifle “Semtex” and earn a unanimous decision victory. The bout is remembered though for Daley’s infamous post-fight punch on the American, which led to his subsequent release from the UFC.

Koscheck, who was supposed to headline the event before withdrawing due to an injury, is yet to feature for Bellator MMA since being signed last year.

The highly anticipated rematch could serve to be a feature bout on Bellator MMA’s recently announced UK debut, which is currently scheduled for July 16th at London’s O2 Arena.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Ten Title Bouts Scheduled for Shock N' Awe 22

By Jack Sear

Shock n’ Awe promoters Brian Adams and Gareth Johnson have once again set the benchmark for regional promotions in the UK, by scheduling a total of ten title bouts for the forthcoming Shock n’ Awe 22 event.

Atop the stacked fight card is a rematch between Pro Systems MMA head coach Ryan "The Great" White (10-7) and former Bellator competitor Przemyslaw “Misiek” Mysiala (17-9). The two
first tangoed nearly a decade ago, when Mysiala handed White his first loss as a pro, stopping him via strikes in the second round. The contest will be for the Shock n’ Awe 205lb title, which has been vacated by Roman Ship who will turn his attention to the Shock n’ Awe Heavyweight title earlier on in the evening.

The event’s co-feature sees Commonwealth Gold Medalist in Judo Brett “Lil Ninja” Caswell (8-1) compete against 33-year old Frenchman Iurie Bejenari (2-0) for the vacant Shock n’ Awe Flyweight Championship. Many will look at the experience difference between these two and will likely deem the result to be a forgone conclusion, however Bejenari is the IMMAF Flyweight World Champion and possess very heavy hands, so it should definitely serve as a solid test for Caswell.

Also on the bill, the aforementioned Roman Shipp (3-0, 1NC) will attempt to join Scott Pooley and James Pennington as a Shock n’ Awe multi-weight champion, when he takes on Simas Norkus (3-3) on April 16th. Shipp - who is originally from Russia but now resides in Oxford - won the promotion's Light-Heavyweight title last year after dispatching of Ryan White courtesy of some hellacious ground and pound.

Bantamweights Jamie Pritchard (6-3) and Mark Platts (10-11) are also scheduled to compete for Shock n’ Awe gold, as they battle for James Pennington’s former belt. Neither man has competed since mid-2014, however prior to their respective hiatuses were ranked amongst the countries best at 135lbs.

Also on the card, female powerhouse “Meatball” Molly McCann (1-1) will look to get back on track following a controversial loss in Brazil this past November. McCann will now look to capture the inaugural Shock n’ Awe Women’s Strawweight strap in her fourth appearance for the Portsmouth-based promotion, as takes on Valerie Domergue (1-0) of France.

An intriguing bantamweight contest that may also serve as a number one contender’s bout will see Cage Warriors veterans Scott Pooley (6-5) and Martin Sheridan (7-6) clash. Given that both are out-and-out finishers (neither have won via decision), this bout will be a guaranteed front runner for a post-fight bonus.

Following on from his stunning sub-sixty second stoppages of Sam Spokes and Terry Brazier, the ultra-deceiving 39-year old Darren Hession (1-0) will step into deep waters as he faces off with the vastly more experienced Christophe Picaut (7-3). Picaut, 37, who trains alongside the aforementioned Bejenari and Domingue at the MMA Factory in Paris, will compete for the first time outside of his native France as he looks to put an end to his two-fight losing streak.

The amateur portion of the card features a number of potentially entertaining scraps; however the pick of the bunch is undoubtedly between Elliott Hoye and Aaron Laleye. The two young guns will compete for the vacant Shock n’ Awe Amateur Flyweight title after former champion Mark Wade relinquished the belt as he plans on making the jump to professional MMA.

Shock n’ Awe 22 is scheduled for Saturday April 16th at The Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.

Professional Bouts

Light-heavyweight title bout: Ryan White vs. Przemyslaw Mysiala 
Flyweight title bout: Brett Caswell vs. Iurie Bejenari 
Heavyweight title bout: Roman Ship vs. Simas Norkus 
Bantamweight title bout: Jamie Pritchard vs. Mark Platts 
Women’s Strawweight title bout: Molly McCann vs. Valerie Domergue 
Bantamweight bout: Scott Pooley vs. Martin Sheridan 
Flyweight bout: Owen Gayle vs. Spencer Hewitt 
Lightweight bout: Alan Tallis vs Luke Kew 
Middleweight bout: Darren Hession vs. Christophe Picaut 
Strawweight bout: Jade Barker vs. Sophie Langford

Amateur Bouts

Light-heavyweight title bout: Gareth Hales vs. Kane Evans 
Middleweight title bout: Kyle Grey vs. Jeremy Dingle 
Welterweight title bout: Ben Dyson vs. Luke Tanner 
Lightweight title bout: Chris Tallis vs. Piotr Bitels 
Flyweight title bout: Elliott Hoye vs. Aaron Laleye 
Lightweight bout: Alec Connelly vs. Liam Fulford 
Bantamweight bout: Dillin West vs. Nicholas Fielding 
Lightweight bout: Dan Quatermain vs. Philip Kite 
Bantamweight bout: Rees Kenny vs. Anton De Freitas 
Light-heavyweight bout: Alex Hinton vs. Ian Baker 
Featherweight bout: Ed Donnelly vs. Chris Heaney 
Bantamweight bout: Aaron Cronk vs. Rich Clarke

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Long Awaited Return of Cage Warriors

By Luke Henaghan

(Photo Credit - Dolly Clew)

The news that MMA fans around these parts have been waiting for is finally upon us. Cage Warriors is set for a 15th of April comeback show.

Arguably Europe’s biggest and best MMA promotion, Cage Warriors has produced some of the greatest names in the sport. Current UFC champions Conor McGregor and Joanna JÄ™drzejczyk both sharpened their craft in Cage Warriors before their rise to international fame. To the annoyance of the UFC, Conor has been known to boast of his (now vacant) Cage Warriors two-weight world championship “status” in interviews.

For years it has been a proving ground for many young regional fighters before their days of UFC stardom, such as Dan Hardy, Michael Bisping and Ross Pearson. In fact, most UK fighters that have reached the big time have spent at least some time under the Cage Warriors banner. This has led it to be considered on a par with most of the top shows in the world outside of the UFC.

The London based promotion’s aspirations have taken them far beyond these shores however - having held events in far flung places such as Bahrain, Denmark, the UAE, Chechnya and Lebanon. Their rise from a local show to an international promotion has been an achievement that no other UK MMA organisation has managed to emulate since.

Despite their unparalleled success, Cage Warriors have decided to undergo somewhat of a hiatus since the start of 2015 following the brief resignation and subsequent reinstatement of their much-valued CEO Graham Boylan. The ill-fated Cage Warriors 75 event was scheduled for 21st of March, but was postponed and eventually scrapped altogether. This led to many of their most prominent fighters and champions being signed by the UFC, and much of their roster had to find work elsewhere on the UK circuit.

However, this morning’s tweet from Boylan (above) has put any fears about the promotion’s future to rest. Their long-awaited comeback is upon us and hopefully this will see much of their roster flock back to Cage Warriors in order to make a name for themselves on the big show.

Many UK fans and fighters will be breathing a huge sigh of relief in light of this news, and the prospect of more Cage Warriors events yet to come personally has me rubbing my hands together with glee. This is surely a step in the right direction for our sport in this country.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Ross Pearson set to meet Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night 84

By Luke Henaghan

Ross Pearson won’t have to wait long for a chance to bounce back from last week’s decision loss against Francisco Trinaldo.

Today it has been announced that he is scheduled to face fellow knockout artist Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night 84 in Brisbane, Australia on the 19th of March. Both lightweights will be looking to make good accounts of themselves, having had mixed fortunes in recent fights.

Ross has generally alternated between wins and losses for the last couple of years. However his entertaining style combined with wins over high level competition have led to him being regarded as one of the top lightweights in the world, and his continuous acquisition of tough match ups reflect the faith that the UFC have in his skills.

Abel Trujillo is in a somewhat similar position to Ross, having also lost two of his last three fights. However unlike Pearson, Abel is currently in the win column courtesy of his first round submission win over Tony Sims earlier this month. He’ll be eager to use the more experienced Pearson as a springboard to earn his way into the top 15 of the UFC’s most competitive division.

This promising to be a seriously entertaining match-up between two truly dangerous strikers. Pearson is no doubt the more refined kickboxer, but Trujillo has proved that he carries the power to knock anybody out, and the determination to pursue said knockout relentlessly. Ross will most definitely have to be on top form to avoid losing two in a row for the first time in his career, but you can safely expect him to be the favourite coming into this one.