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12th Oct 2016

Bellator teams up with BAMMA to showcase the likes of James Gallagher, Dylan Tuke and Alan Philpott

'King Mo' is also coming to town

Darragh Murphy

Bellator and BAMMA have joined forces for the perfect pre-Christmas gift for Irish MMA fans.

December 16 represents one of the most significant dates in Irish MMA history as it is the night on which two of the world’s most recognisable mixed martial arts organisations come together to display some of the greatest talent on these shores, as well as one of the most dangerous heavyweights competing in global MMA.

Confirmation came on Wednesday that Bellator and BAMMA decided to unite in the co-promotion of an event the likes of which Ireland has never seen before.

It will be the first time that Bellator, universally perceived as the most competitive rival to the UFC, sets up shop in Ireland and they’re bringing the heat with their main event, a heavyweight contest between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammad Lawal and Satoshi Ishii, a Japanese Judo stand-out.

‘King Mo’ will be hoping to get straight back in the win column after failing to carry his Rizin momentum into his May clash with Phil Davis, a bout he lost via unanimous decision, while opponent Ishii is fresh from a split decision defeat to one of the legends of the sport, ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

And despite already having a fight booked next month in Israel, undefeated SBG prospect James Gallagher has also been confirmed to fight on the Bellator portion of the event.

‘The Strabanimal’ faces Kirill Medvedovsky at Bellator 164, hoping to make it two from two under the Bellator banner, but he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to compete in his employer’s first visit to Ireland although he awaits an opponent.

“I’m pleased to be bringing this action to Dublin alongside a promotion like BAMMA and David Green, who has been a good friend for years,” Bellator president Scott Coker said. “When thinking of a country that respects, understands and yearns for quality mixed martial arts action, Ireland immediately comes to mind.

“I’m very excited for this event, with ‘King Mo’ versus Ishii in the main event, and I cannot wait to be inside the 3Arena when ‘The Strabanimal,’ James Gallagher takes center stage, it’s going to be a madhouse.”

Gallagher’s teammate Dylan Tuke will also be competing on the night as BAMMA’s Dublin featherweight also puts his perfect professional record on the line against Limerick 145lber Sean Tobin.

Headlining the BAMMA part of the card will be a bantamweight title fight between Tom Duquesnoy and Ballymena’s Alan Philpott.

Duquesnoy has been on the UFC’s radar for some time but the Frenchman will have his work cut out for him judging by Philpott’s showing in victory over Aaron Blackwell in September.

The BAMMA featherweight title will also be on the line when Ronnie Mann crosses paths with Martin Stapleton in the 3Arena.

“It’s going to be the biggest and boldest MMA show in Ireland this year, as fans get the chance to get up close and personal with MMA superstars from both promotions,” BAMMA CEO David Green said.

Tickets for BAMMA 27 and Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii go on sale at, and this Friday, with tickets ranging from €35 to €145.