Worldwide MMA Preview – ICE FC, CES, BAMMA, BCMMA and more

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We have a fairly busy weekend of MMA this week, including a card from BAMMA, regional action from America, Primal MMA’s Ryan Curtis making his pro debut in Manchester and Drogheda MMA’s Paul Byrne fighting in Essex.

The first action of the weekend takes place Friday as Irishman Ryan “Chaos” Curtis who trains under Irish MMA legend Owen Roddy makes his professional debut against Reece Street at ICE FC 6 in a bantamweight bout.

Also on Friday, CES MMA presents an event from Rhode Island. It has proven to be a good breeding ground for UFC talent in the past with the likes of John Howard, Tateki Matsuda and Charles Rosa passing through on their way to the big leagues. The next fighter hoping to join them is CES welterweight champion Chuck O’Neil. He lost his only UFC fight, a 2011 decision to Chris Cope at the TUF 13 Finale but has been on a good run since and will look to improve upon his 15-6 record against the 12-5 Dominique Steele who is 6-1 in his last seven fights.

On Saturday the action begins in Britain. BAMMA 21 from Birmingham is headlined by a man who will be familiar to Irish MMA fans from his bout with Chris Fields, Cheick Kone. Kone improved his record to 11-1 with that victory and will now fight 12-9 Andy Devent for the BAMMA middleweight title. Elsewhere on the card I am very interested to see heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall (3-0). He fights out of Team Kaobon and with the dearth of young talent at heavyweight he is definitely one to look out for. He is up against 8-3 Stuart Austin on Saturday on the preliminary portion of the card which airs live on Facebook.

Irishman Paul Byrne puts his perfect record of 4-0 on the line at BCMMA 11 when he tussles with 4-6 Tye Palmer for the promotion’s middleweight crown. Byrne has finished all his fights by way of TKO and could be one to keep an eye on in the future for Irish MMA fans.

Sunday sees the 20th iteration of Absolute Championship Berkut from Sochi, Russia. It is headlined by a lightweight clash between 10-1 Eduard Vartanyan and 8-1 Amirkhan Adaev. Those aren’t the only impressive records on show on this card. It also features 19-1-1 Sergey Khandozhko fighting at welterweight against 6-3 Albert Duraev. Another fight of interest to me is the flyweight clash between 6-0 Oskar Dolchin and the 23 year old Ukrainian Ruslan Abiltarov who has been very active in his young career and has built up a 17-5-1 record for himself.

Also worth noting this weekend is that former UFC heavyweight title contender Jeff Monson fights on Monday in Romania against local favourite Alexandru Lungu. The giant Lungo is also a veteran, having begun his career a decade ago with a fight in PRIDE FC and has a 10-3 record. At 44 years of age and with an MMA record of 55-23-1 Monson has been around the block and back again in his long career but the volume of his fights is truly staggering. His fight on Monday will be his sixth contest of the year and he last fought on Saturday 6th of June where he was beaten by TKO by Evgeny Erokhin. It is not a good look for the sport for one of its veterans to be travelling the world fighting at this frequency. From Romania he will head to England where he is expected to take on Paul Taylor at Budo FC 10 on the 5th of July.