UK MMA Matches to Make: Bantamweight Division
Ricky Wright: Since the WEC and the UFC merged together the Octagon has played host to some of the fastest most exciting fights within the promotion. The people held responsible are those tiny little 135 pounders that inhabit the bantamweight division. Names like Cruz, Faber, Barao and Picket roll off the tongue when associated with fight of the night bonuses. In the UK the top ten quickly became a top twenty and is now pushing for a top thirty. The exciting thing about the bantamweight division in the UK is that a lot of the fighters have competed against each other which makes compiling the rankings that much easier.
My dream fight this week is between two fighters who've enjoyed success in the amateur circuit and are now making their fledgling steps into the world of professional MMA.
I first saw Belal "The Bengal Tiger" Miah fight no less than three years ago. That night he fought to a draw in the fight of the night against Marley Swindells. Since then I couldn't wait to see Miah to grace the cage again, unfortunately an injury kept Miah out of the cage since and every time I shook his hand it was wrapped in bandage.
Ladies and gentlemen the Bengal Tiger is back. I noticed his name popping up on the provisional Shock N' Awe card looking for an opponent under semi-professional rules. Every time the card got updated his opponent would remain TBC. It became apparent that Miah was a hard man to match. Last Sunday morning I logged onto Facebook to my surprise a brand new picture of Miah made its way on to my feed. One hand clenched in a celebratory fist pump while the other held up a winner's trophy. I investigated further to find out that he had taken a short notice fight on ITC under professional rules, it lasted 1:40 as Miah wasted no time at all picking up the submission victory making a statement on his return.
His dream opponent in my eyes is another British citizen who embraces his heritage with his nickname. Timur "The Beserk Turk" Mercanoglu. A man with the strength of a light heavyweight condensed into the frame of a bantamweight. He's made a fantastic start to his pro career thus far going two wins with no defeats finishing both opponents within the first round.
At present neither man feature in the top UK top ten, rightfully so as they've had just three professional fights between them. But by the end of the year I can guarantee that will change. Do me a favour and favourite this page because if these where to meet down the line eventually you can guarantee people will talk about the fight for years after, and you can say you read it here first.
Darren Rees: My bantamweight fight pick features Martin "Mr. Pink" McDonough (7-4) vs Damien "The Rage" Rooney (8-2-1)
Although it's been a while since we have seen Ireland's Damien Rooney in action, he is coming off a huge knockout victory over Mark Connor at Cage Rage Contenders 9 and always comes to fight.
"Mr. Pink" of Tillery Combat, Wales on the other hand has been far more recently active, coming off an impressive victory in his own right against Yassine Ouakil by armbar at VOK: Uprising 2. The reigning VOK Bantamweight champion is certainly another great looking up and comer that is extremely well rounded making this Celtic clash a fight worthy of anyone's money!
Steve Wickett: The UK Bantamweight fight I'd love to see is a fight that would headline any Cage Warriors card anywhere, anytime.
It'd be a bout for the promotion's Bantamweight title which instantly means the first fighter I'd throw into my match-up would be the Dinky Ninja Paul "Metabolic" McVeigh (18-7). McVeigh always comes to fight and never disappoints, most of his career victories have come on the ground but he's capable of winning a fight wherever and however is required to get his hand raised.
The man I'd like to see challenge McVeigh for his strap is man who has had a meteoric rise over the last eight months, GYM01's James Brum. After defeating current VOK Bantamweight champion last October at Shock N Awe 9, Brum received the call up from Cage Warriors and he hasn't looked back. After decimating Leandro Gontijo on his promotional debut at CWFC 46 in February he went on to dominate Thomas Back at CWFC Fight Night 5 in April. Both men were expected to provide Brum with stern tests, however Brum had other ideas and blitzed both via unanimous decision victories.
If those wins haven't propelled Brum to the top of the challengers I'll eat my hat! It's a match I'd pay good money to see and I'd bet good money that most of the UK MMA scene would do likewise!
Flyweight Matches: http://www.addictedmma.com/story-Blog_7839_UK-MMA-Matches-to-Make-Flyweight-Division.php
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Picture One: Ricky Wright by Charli Edwards, Little Red Creative.
Picture Two: Darren Rees by Renee-Lea Thackham, Combat Athletics Academy
Published by Steve Wickett - Wed, 20 Jun 2012 20:34