Christmas comes early for North East fight fans, as we’re just weeks away from a huge co-promotion from Bellator and BAMMA in Newcastle.
The Metro Radio Arena plays host on December 15, with a big card put together to entertain those in attendance.
And of course, there’s plenty of regional talents showcased on the card, including Sunderland’s hugely-talented Ryan Scope headlining BAMMA’s side of the card.
Scope, one of the most naturally-gifted mixed martial artists the North East has ever produced, is 9-1 and coming in off the back of his sole defeat to date. That was a Fight of the Year contender against Lewis Long back in February.
Scope hopes to bounce back and showcase his huge talent and potential on such a big show as he goes in against French veteran Mickael Lebout who had three fights in the UFC back in 2015.
Also on the card is Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers.
His decision to become a professional mixed martial artist received a lot of publicity, but two fights in ‘The Joker’, as his MMA moniker goes, has shown he’s anything but once that cage door is locked.
It’s two wins from two for the reality star so far, the last a Wembley Arena first-round knockout which former boxing world heavyweight champion David Haye said any fighter would be proud of.
No opponent is announced for Aaron yet; but after proving his skill against two novice opponents, the hope is that Aaron has a step up in this one to really test him.
Roll up, roll up. Everybody’s favourite MMA clown Mr Freakshow Colin Fletcher also gets a big slot on the card.
If you’re not familiar with Washington’s former Ultimate Fighter finalist then prepare yourself for a hugely entertaining ring walk, and then a war to follow.
Colin loves the sport and he loves to entertain the crowd, but despite what Dana White might think, he takes it very seriously too.
Always willing to test himself against the best, France’s Anthony Dizy (10-2) is the opponent on this occasion.
Also on the card,and one I’m looking forward to seeing back in the cage is Bishop Auckland’s ex-UFC star Curt ‘The War’ Warburton.
Curt has been out of the cage since losing to now-UFC star Steve Ray in 2014 – the last time a huge MMA show came to Metro Radio Arena.
I can’t wait to see him back in, this time against 8-6-1 Warren Kee.
And if one fight screamed Knockout of the Night contender then the all-North East heavyweight clash between Tony Mustard and Darren Towler would be it.
It’s Sunderland vs Newcastle for a bit of interesting flavour to this clash of giants in what could be a blink and you’ll miss it affair.
Two names to also look out for on the card: Adam Proctor and Justin Burlinson.
Both are two fine prospects in the North East who in years to come have the potential to go all the way to the UFC.
South Shields’ Proctor, who is coached by ex-Cage Warriors world Champion Alex Enlund, goes in against Nathan Jones. Burlinson in his professional debut and fighting out of the busy and talented Dungeon gym in Sunderland goes in against Josh Plant.
Rounding up the local fighters on show, Josh Abraham looks for a sixth straight win against undefeated Lerone Murphy.
Also on BAMMA’s side of the card, top British prospect Fabian ‘The Assassin’ Edwards (Birmingham) looks for a third straight pro win against Louis King to continue his hype train.
Meanwhile, at lightweight Northern Ireland’s Rhys Mckee takes on London’s Kams ‘Shin Panther’ Ekpo.
As if BAMMA’s excellent card wasn’t enough, Bellator will also have their own card on the show.
Not much has been announced from them so far, but former UFC bantamweight star Michael McDonald, who went as high as number seven in their world rankings last year, is expected to make his Bellator debut in Tyneside.
The California fighter is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, but that has never stopped him throwing leather – making him a popular fan-favourite.
During his time with the UFC he challenged for an interim title, he twice won Fight of the Night awards as well as one Knockout, two submission and one performance of the night awards.
Also slated to appear is Canadian female star Valérie Létourneau, with the American Top Team talent also making her Bellator debut.
After competing in The Ultimate Fighter, she had six fights in the UFC and challenged for the UFC strawwight title against the at-that-time feared champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She managed to take her the distance.
Finally, although not yet certain which side of the promotion he’ll be on yet, there’ll be more heavyweight action as Sunderland’s former UFC giant Phil De Fries is also set to appear.
How could you not be excited by such a mammoth bill! It should be a Christmas cracker.
BAMMA Newcastle takes place on Friday, December 15 at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle and tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster.
Source : Chroniclelive