Sunday 18 August 2019

BAMMA 27 – Rhys McKee keeps rising on a good night for McGregor’s SBG team-mates

16 December 2016; Rhys McKee, left, in action against Jai Herbert during their Lonsdale Lightweight Title bout at BAMMA 27 in the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
16 December 2016; Rhys McKee, left, in action against Jai Herbert during their Lonsdale Lightweight Title bout at BAMMA 27 in the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Fergus Ryan

UK promotion BAMMA touched down in Dublin again for their 4th event in the 3Arena. Though they lost some shine with hometown favourites Paul Redmond, Ryan Curtis and Chris Fields all forced off the card, there was still plenty of appeal on the night.

Redmond was scheduled to fight for Bellator later in the night but was forced out due to an elbow injury. He did turn up at BAMMA to announce his next fight would be 24th February against Norman Parke. Fighting in Belfast both men will be looking to make a statement and hopefully take a step towards returning to the UFC.

Standout performances of the night came from Rhys McKee and Tom DuQuesnoy. McKee made short work of his opponent en route to a Lonsdale Title. 

Tom DuQuesnoy confirmed his class and retained his bantamweight title against a game Alan Philpott. DuQuesnoy is a dual weight champion, also holding the featherweight title. It’s fair to say he may be fighting on a bigger show sooner rather than later.

MAIN EVENT - BAMMA World Bantamweight Title

Tom Duquesnoy (c) defeats Alan Philpott

The best was saved for last as Duquesnoy and Philpott went to war in the main event. Both men traded heavy leather for the first round with Duquesnoy probably coming out best in the exchanges. The second round saw more of the same with Philpott landing better and more often. Midway through the round Duquesnoy landed a hard elbow dropping Philpott. From here the Frenchman transitioned well between back and full mount eventually sinking in a deep rear naked choke to coax a tap from the Northern Irish fighter.

Lonsdale Lightweight Title

Rhys McKee defeats Jai Herbert

Rhys McKee has built a big reputation for a young fighter and after dispatching Herbert early in the first it looks like the reputation is only going to get bigger. Herbert was doing well pushing the action and throwing up some troubling high kicks. McKee never looked phased and around one minute forty seconds into the fight landed four unanswered shots that sent Herbert to the canvas out cold. McKee followed up but it wasn’t needed, referee rightly stepped in to wave off the fight. Remember the name Rhys McKee is going places.

Nathan Jones defeats Walter Gahadza (Welterweight Bout)

A lacklustre affair, Jones came closest to winning the fight at the end of the second round. With Gahadza pinned in a crucifix, Jones reigned down elbows and punches. Though they didn’t appear to have much power you could make a case for stopping the fight due to the volume of strikes. Gahadza briefly rallied towards the bell but the judges scored in favour of Nathan Jones by way of split decision.

Terry Brazier defeats Niklas Holtze (Welterweight Bout)

Germany’s Niklas Holtze did his best to rally the local support coming into some Celtic Punk music and wearing some green on his shorts. Englishmen Terry Brazier didn’t fare so well getting a few boos as his name was read by the announcer. After trading low blows in the first the fight really got going in the second. Brazier did well early, while Holtze tried for a series of ankle locks later on in the round. Third round played out similar to the second. Judges saw it in favour of Brazier.

Richard Kiely defeats Keith McCabe (Welterweight Bout)

Team Ryano’s Keith McCabe got the faster start as he pressed the action against SBG’s Richard Kiely. After pressing Kiely against the fence McCabe dug for a takedown. Kiely defended well and once separated, back in the centre Kiely began to land some fast, stiff jabs. Growing in confidence he landed a hard knee to the ribs as McCabe stepped in, dropping the Team Ryano fighter. McCabe covered up and the referee sensibly stepped in immediately. Great debut from the Dubliner Kiely.

Kiefer Crosbie defeats Conor Riordan (Welterweight Bout)

By the middle of the first it seemed like a total mismatch. SBG’s Kiefer Crosbie was having his way with England’s Conor Riordan. Crosbie landed the stronger shots and wasn’t troubled when taken down. With under a minute to go Riordan caught hold of Crosbie’s leg and after a few attempts seemed to have a decent knee. The clock beat Riordan but Crosbie had a little wobble in his step going back to the stool. Early in the second Riordan again managed to grab a hold of Crosbie’s leg early in the round. The SBG man calmly defended and then slapped on a triangle choke as Riordan scrambled to improve position. The English fighter was forced to tap once the elbows began to compliment the choke. 

Blaine O'Driscoll defeats Neil Ward (Bantamweight Bout)

This had potential to be fireworks but played out more as a chess match. Rush Fight Academy’s Neil Ward came to strike while SBG fight Blaine O’Driscoll initiated all the grappling. Ward may have shaded the first with more striking. O’Driscoll took the second with grappling. With all to play for in the third O’Driscoll went for takedowns and succeeded. Ward always found a way to get back to his feet but only after giving up a score. Unanimous decision win for O’Driscoll.

Ian Cleary defeats Andy Lofthouse (Bantamweight Bout)

First round set the scene for this contest as SBG Charlestown fighter Ian Cleary dominated from bell to bell. The majority of the fight took place on the mat with Cleary comfortable in top position. Lofthouse seemed unable to stop Cleary from gaining full mount. Rounds two and three were a rinse and repeat of the first with Cleary spending most of the ten minutes reigning shots down from mount. There was a strong case for rounds two and three being 10-8, giving Cleary a lob-sided 30-25 win. In the end all three judges scored the fight a unanimous decision win for Ian Cleary.

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