BCMMA 20 preview: Everything you need to know
- Credit: Archant
One of the region’s premier MMA shows, BCMMA, celebrates its 20th event this weekend with a bumper card in Colchester. MARK HEATH previews the action.
Now affiliated with UFC feeder show Cage Warriors, some of the very best amateur and pro fighting talent from Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and beyond will be going to war.
Here’s what you need to know...
WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE?
BCMMA is renowned as one of the best shows in the country. It’s now affiliated with Cage Warriors as one of its academy shows – meaning that those who thrive on BCMMA are very likely to make the step up to Cage Warriors, which is widely seen as the home of the best fighters in Europe. BCMMA 20 will be held at the Charter Hall in Colchester on Saturday, with the first fight set for 4.30pm.
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HOW MANY FIGHTS?
You’d be hard pushed to find a show anywhere which packs as many fights into a show as BCMMA. Saturday will feature a staggering 38 fights - and they are all likely to be of an excellent standard. If you’re going or watching it on the live stream, don’t just rock up fashionably late for the main card – get there early and cast your eye over potential stars of the future.
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TITLES ON LINE?
Oh yes. If you want to see fights for all the marbles, Saturday has got you covered – there’s SEVEN belts on the line. Johan Segas – more on him later – defends his amateur featherweight belt against the much-respected Mantas Smailys, while Jake Moore and Jonathan Parthaugen battle for the amateur bantamweight belt.
Romain Delort and Fraser Cook clash for the amateur middleweight belt, Cindy Ferreira and Charlotte McIntyre compete for the amateur featherweight strap, Dalius Sulga and Jamie Ward dispute the amateur welterweight crown and Ciaran Mulholland and Jack Eglin go for amateur flyweight glory.
There’s one pro title on the line, and it’s a big one - Emrah Sonmez and Dominic Dillon fight for featherweight superemacy.
The aforementioned scrap between Sonmez and Dillon tops the bill, and it gives stoppage machine Sonmez (7-1) the chance to become a ‘champ champ’ in BCMMA.
Already the lightweight king, he’s stepping down to tackle Norfolk’s Dillon in what looks a very tasty match on paper – a knockout merchant in Sonmez against a skilled BJJ player in Dillon. Fascinating.
Colchester’s promising pro middleweight prospect James Webb (1-1) welcomes Henrik Lie, from Norway’s famed Valhall Gym, to the paid ranks in another potential barnburner.
Before that, BKK Fighters’ atomweight Wendy McKenna (1-1) looks to pick up the second win of her pro career against Samantha Jean Francois.
FIGHTERS TO WATCH
Away from the main and co-mains, there’s a heap of other exciting talent on the card. Ipswich lightweight Adam Spalding is 4-2 as an amateur and faces Sigmund Hollerud in an interesting clash.
And the aforementioned Johan Segas made headlines across the globe earlier this year when he knocked out the uber-talented Joe Harding with a headkick while Harding was mid-showboat dance. Even UFC boss Dana White tweeted about it.
It will be interesting to see how the unbeaten but perhaps limited Segas (4-0) handles the very talented grappler Smailys (10-1) in their title clash.
Sulga, too, is one to keep an eye on - slick and skilled, he’s always good to watch.
With promoter Jack Mason - himself a pro fighter and something of a legend of the UK MMA scene – also the head coach at Colchester’s BKK Fighters, these shows always boast a decent turnout of fighters from that powerhouse gym.
This one is no different. Along with McKenna, Sulga and Spalding, Ben Iotton, Ajay Coffey and Charlie Falco will all be fighting in front of their home fans.
HOW DO I WATCH IT?
Your best bet, of course, is to head over to Charter Hall and watch the action in person. Tickets, starting at £30, are available at www.bcmma.co.uk.
If you can’t make it, there’s also a live stream of the action at www.mmatv.co.uk for £6.99.