BAMMA London: Full Event Preview
BAMMA 34: The SSE Arena Wembley, London. 9 March 2018
BAMMA returns to London on March 9th, with an action packed card headlined by multiple world title fights at the SSE Arena in Wembley.
UNILAD will stream preliminary bouts from 7PM-9:30PM on their Facebook page, featuring some of BAMMA’s biggest names and fastest rising prospects, before ITV4 take over the reins to feature no less than three title fights from 9:30PM.
The main event will see Alex Lohore defend his welterweight world title against RDX champion Terry Brazier. The unification bout is not just a clash between two of Europe’s best welterweights, but a grudge match, between former friends and training partners who have become fierce rivals.
Brazier and Lohore are no longer speaking to one another and will battle to see which man is the best welterweight on the BAMMA roster.
Lohore was initially angered by Brazier’s decision to put glory above friendship and challenge for his welterweight championship. The Frenchman said: “I’m not going to be your friend anymore when you’re trying to bring down everything I’ve worked for.
“He’s got a title he’s not even defended. We could have both been champions and ruled the division together. I think he’s jealous, he’s seen the things that I can do, the progress I’ve made, and he want’s what I’ve got.”
Brazier sees things differently, he claimed the RDX title with a thrilling submission victory over Walter Gahadza at BAMMA 29 and believes he’ll add a second title to his mantle at Wembley. Brazier said: “I’m just going to find a way to win, I’m a fighter that’s what I do. I get in there and find a way to beat my opponent. I’m a real fighter, there’s too many athletes in this sport, and I go in there to fight.
“Well…if Alex is going to beat me, he’s going to have to knock me out, cold. That’s the only way to stop me coming forward.”
Brazier’s confidence is well founded, the Windsor based fighter has won seven straight fights, including his jaw-dropping comeback against Gahadza. Brazier showed incredible heart, picking himself up off the canvas, after he was dropped and swarmed with follow up shots from an on-rushing Gahadza who sensed an opportunity to finish. After narrowly surviving an almighty scare, Brazier caught the hard-hitting Londoner in an opportunistic bulldog choke for the biggest victory of his career.
The world champ has been just as impressive in recent fights, he’s finished his last five opponents and tasted defeat just once in his entire career. The 28-year-old is 14-1 as a professional and puts a ten fight win streak on the line against Brazier. He won the title with a stunning knockout of Nathan Jones and defended it against Richard Kiely, catching the Irishman in a leg lock, further highlighting his versatility as an elite mixed martial artist.
Both fighters are undefeated within BAMMA and both fighters are coming off stunning submission victories, something’s got to give on March 9th.
The event’s second title fight, is a showdown for the BAMMA interim heavyweight championship. Hometown fighter, Chi Lewis-Parry will be hoping to become the next breakout heavyweight star crowned at Wembley. Fighting in Wembley Arena just hundreds of metres away from Wembley Stadium where Anthony Joshua pulled off his remarkable 11 round triumph over Wladimir Klitschko, the undefeated heavyweight will hope for his own star making moment at Wembley.
Unsurprisingly these two massive athletes carry startling fight-altering power. Lewis-Parry has finished all six of his MMA victories in the first round and still holds an undefeated record.
Economou holds a substantial experience advantage over his opponent, having spent over a decade competing as a professional fighter. He’s amassed an 18-5 record having defeated notable MMA fighters throughout his career including: Linton Vassell, Ricco Rodriguez and Bob Sapp.
A third world title fight will see a rematch of an RDX championship bout from 2017. Tim Barnett finished Rhys McKee at BAMMA 28 in Belfast, a year ago to claim the RDX championship from the Northern Irishman. Barnett took over their first meeting in the dying seconds of the opening round to decisively finish what had been a close fight up until that point. The Englishman unleashed a series of punches and knees on McKee until the 22-year-old dropped to his knees against the cage, and hunched forward in a stance in which he was no longer able to defend himself. Just one year on they now face off for an even bigger prize.
McKee carried an illness into the bout and believes that was the key factor for the solitary loss on his professional record. He said: “I have re-watched and what I took from it is, that wasn’t me in there.
“There wasn’t anything to take from it, because I just wasn’t myself in there, look I hope Tim’s watching because it’s going to be a completely different fight.”
Barnett is unconcerned with any mitigating circumstances that may have affected his opponent, all his fights have ended in the first round, and he believes March 9th will be no different. He said: “It’s a fresh moment, that’s the past, if I’m looking back I’m not living for the now.
“No one’s ready for the energy I bring as a package, that’s why they’re not getting out the first round. Regardless of how they prepare, how much cardio they do, I bring a different kind of intelligence as a fighter.”
BAMMA 34’s final prelim is Kent Kauppinen’s promotional debut, the experienced middleweight will look to halt the momentum of one of the best prospects in Europe, the undefeated Fabian Edwards. Edwards is 3-0 as a professional having finished all three of his opponents. The Birmingham based prospect expects to fight for the middleweight world title in 2018, but to do so must get past Kauppinen who’s won six straight fights.
Elsewhere this deep card, containing 16 match-ups in total, has a mix of can’t miss prospects such as London’s own, Dominique Wooding and potential future star, Akonne Wanliss, looking to further establish themselves as top British Mixed Martial Artists. And London based fighters in need of marquee victories in front of their home fans such as BAMMA favourites: Nathan Jones and Gahzada.
For further info visit BAMMA.com