BAMMA returns to Dublin’s 3Arena tonight and we take a look at 5 of the most exciting Irish prospects who will display their talents at the show.
Cowley takes on Liverpool’s Jay Moogan in what will be the only amateur contest on the card. Despite this status, however, it’s a fight that will garner plenty of attention due to the fact that it represents Cowley’s first foray into MMA.
The Dublin native is a vastly experienced and highly-accomplished Muay Thai fighter who has won national and Four Nations titles. He is also the Irish champion in Caged Muay Thai(CMT). The brutal conclusion to his last fight in the latter discipline, against Aaron Browne, went viral and was even featured on Inside MMA in the U.S.
Cowley made the decision to transition to MMA last year due to the fact that the booming sport offered greater financial opportunities than his own. He began training under the guidance of John Kavanagh at Straight Blast Gym and has become a regular sparring partner of UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
When we spoke to him last September, Cowley was still in the very early stages of the adaptive process but he was anxious to get his feet wet. However, he said he would await Kavanagh’s approval before jumping in.
“John said he will tell me when the time is right,” said Cian. That time has obviously arrived.
Kavanagh is a really exciting prospect. The former national boxing champion has serious power in her hands and seems to be developing a penchant for the spectacular.
During last year’s IMMAF World Amateur Championships, Kavanagh demonstrated her punching prowess with this devastating one-punch KO of Lindsey Lawrence.
The bantamweight went on to take the silver medal at the Las Vegas based tournament.
Following that success, Kavanagh made the decision to turn professional and she did so in September by absolutely obliterating Hatice Ozyurt in just 17 seconds at BAMMA’s last card in the Irish capital.
Tonight Kavanagh takes on 29-year-old French bantamweight Zarah Fairn Dos Santos, who currently sports a record of 3-1.
Gallagher has long been touted as a potential future superstar by those who closely follow the Irish MMA scene and by his coach, John Kavanagh.
According to a 2015 interview with SevereMMA, the 19-year-old from Strabane in County Tyrone has been training in MMA since he was just 12 and dropped out of school at the age of 15 in order to dedicate himself to the sport full-time. This commitment to learning his craft led Gallagher to a fantastic amateur career that culminated in a victory at the IMMAF World Amateur Championships in Las Vegas last year. Unfortunately, the youngster was forced to withdraw after the first-round of the competition with an injury.
The submission specialist made his professional debut last October and dispatched Denis Ahern inside the first-round.
He emulated this feat in his second bout when he forced Declan McAleenan to tap-out to a guillotine in the opening stanza at Chaos Fighting Championships 15.
Gallagher takes on 31-year-old Gerrard Gilmore in a featherweight contest tonight. The Northern Irishman has a record of 2-1. His most recent bout ended in a submission loss to Alex Leite.
“The Nuke” was one of the stars of RTE television’s recent MMA documentary, “The Fighting Irish”, and the youngster’s cocky persona had many comparing him to his teammate Conor McGregor.
Stylistically speaking there are also some similarities between Tuke and the UFC superstar. The lanky prospect’s stand-up mirrors McGregor’s in it’s relaxed fluidity and movement. He also utilizes many of the same kicking techniques that Conor has perfected, most notably the spinning side-kick to the body.
However, unlike his fellow Dubliner, Tuke seems to favour the grappling game, as he secured his first professional win via submission and 2 of his 4 amateur victories came via the same route.
Tuke’s opponent has an identical record to his own. Northern Ireland’s Mark Andrews is 1-0 as a professional and that victory came via guillotine induced submission over Sean Tobin at BAMMA 22.
Both men made their debuts at bantamweight but this will be a featherweight contest.
Over the last couple of months Queally has become a very familiar face to MMA fans internationally, due to his numerous appearances alongside SBG teammate Conor McGregor in pictures posted to the UFC fighter’s social media accounts.
Solid work tonight at SBG! pic.twitter.com/kppvIxYD9u
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 22, 2016
With a win tonight, however, he may insure that he becomes even more recognizable.
“The Showstopper” recently told the42 that he felt on the cusp of a UFC call-up. “To be honest, I’m prepared for whatever but I think a big performance here could do it,” said the 7-2 welterweight.
Queally’s opponent at the 3Arena event will be England’s Nathan Jones. The ominously nicknamed “Mr. Bag and Tag” is 9-4 as a professional, but is currently riding a 5-fight winning streak. All of Jones’ career wins have come inside the distance, and he could prove a real threat on the ground as he has logged 8 submission victories.
You can catch BAMMA 24, which is headlined by a middleweight title fight between Cheick Kone(c) and John Phillips on Spike TV from 10 p.m, but you can also watch the preliminary action, which will feature several of those mentioned above, via the Lonsdale Facebook page starting at 7 p.m. Just follow the link in the tweet below.
— Lonsdale (@lonsdale1960) February 22, 2016