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16th Dec 2016

As if we needed reminding, Tom Duquesnoy is most definitely the real deal

What a run!

Darragh Murphy

Tom Duquesnoy is officially one of the best fighters that’s not contracted to the UFC.

But we already knew that.

However the more casual fight fans who may not keep up with the European fight circuit as voraciously as they do with UFC events may be somewhat unaware of the Frenchman’s increasingly impressive body of work.

Duquesnoy (14-1, 1NC) recorded his fifth straight win under the BAMMA banner when he put his bantamweight title on the line against Ballymena 135lber Alan Philpott in the main event of BAMMA 27 on Friday night.

While one of the most respected coaches in global MMA, John Kavanagh, watched on from cageside, another who can lay claim to that honour walked Duquesnoy to the cage as Greg Jackson proudly paraded one of his more unheralded charges in front of the 3Arena crowd.

Last minute instructions were issued and Jackson set Duquesnoy, a two-weight world champion, loose in an undeniably competitive first round.

There was little between Duquesnoy and Philpott in the striking exchanges throughout the opening five minutes of the bantamweight contest, with both men showing visible signs of damage as they took to their stools for refuelling and refocusing.

Alan Philpott in action against Tom Duquesnoy 16/12/2016

Neither would have found themselves in panic mode but Duquesnoy looked to have settled into the second stanza more comfortably and started finding a home for his jab, which was beginning to penetrate Philpott’s guard more frequently.

Duquesnoy’s pursuit of the right uppercut on the break did not prove fruitful but the same cannot be said for the left knee-right elbow combination which led to the beginning of the end for Philpott.

Alan Philpott lands a punch on Tom Duquesnoy 16/12/2016

A trademark of Jackson/Winkeljohn fighters, the combo stunned Philpott and Duquesnoy smelled blood.

As he pounced, he happily took the back that was offered to him but, showing every ounce of experience, he did not rush proceedings.

He calmly worked and allowed Philpott to attempt to defend and tire himself out.

Punches and slicing elbows rained down from Duquesnoy and that vital gap showed itself.

Duquesnoy sunk his forearm under Philpott’s chin and there was no option but to tap as the unstoppable freight train that seems destined for UFC stardom continued on its relentless journey.

Fight fans certainly seemed to believe that the Octagon was the next logical destination for the ‘Fire Kid’ whose flame has never shone more brightly.