On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Irish journalist Peter Carroll broke the news that Bellator MMA will hold it’s first ever event in Ireland on December 16th at Dublin’s 3Arena.
Carroll also revealed that the show will be something of a collaborative effort between the American promotion and top British organisation BAMMA – a frequent visitor to the Irish capital.
— Peter Carroll (@PetesyCarroll) October 10, 2016
According to Bellator MMA president Scott Coker(via the42.ie), BAMMA will run it’s card first and Bellator will follow with it’s own offering.
On Wednesday, the cards began to take shape, with Bellator officials announcing that the charismatic ‘King Mo’, Muhammad Lawal(19-5), will headline Bellator 169 alongside Japan’s Satoshi Ishii(14-6-1) in a heavyweight contest.
Lawal, a former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion and the winner of last year’s RIZIN heavyweight tournament, is one of the biggest stars that Bellator has at it’s disposal. However, the American veteran is coming off of a loss to former UFC fighter Phil Davis in his last bout, which took place at 205lbs. Before that setback, Lawal had won seven consecutive fights.
Ishii, an Olympic gold medallist in Judo, will also be looking to rebound from a defeat – back to back defeats in fact – when he faces Lawal.
In June the 29-year-old lost a unanimous decision to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson at a catchweight of 225lbs. Prior to that he was stopped by Jiri Prochazka of the Czech Republic in the quarter-final of the aforementioned RIZIN heavyweight tournament.
It was also confirmed that SBG Ireland’s James Gallagher will compete at the event, but his opponent has yet to be announced.
Gallagher, who made a successful debut for the promotion in July, was originally scheduled to fight Israel’s Kirill Medvedovski at Tel-Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena in November, but he has been pulled from that bout.
BAMMA has also announced a number of fights for it’s portion of the show – entitled BAMMA 27.
The highly touted Tom Duquesnoy will defend his BAMMA bantamweight strap against Alan Philpott, Ronnie Mann and Martin Stapleton will face off for the vacant BAMMA featherweight title, and undefeated SBG Ireland prospect Dylan Tuke will tackle Sean Tobin in another featherweight contest.
SevereMMA are also reporting that SBG Charlestown representative Ryan ‘Chaos’ Curtis will battle fellow unbeaten prospect Dominic Wooding in a bout for the vacant BAMMA Lonsdale title at flyweight.