Worldwide MMA Preview – ONE, Shooto, BAMMA and Clan Wars

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There is action from Singapore, Brazil and Belfast this week in the world of MMA.

ONE Championship: Pride of Lions is due to take place Friday in Singapore. It was supposed to have two title fights at the top of the bill but the titles are no longer on the line and the main event is now in doubt. The rematch between Ben Askren and Luis Santos has been jeopardised because Santos missed weight today, Askren has asked that he not weigh over 190 pounds on fight night and the fight can still take place. Their first fight ended in a no contest after an Askren eye poke. It had looked to be a very competitive fight up until that point as Askren was struggling to get the Brazilian to the ground. Askren is a decorated wrestler who has compiled an undefeated record of 14-0 in MMA which has included capturing the Bellator and One welterweight titles. Santos is an incredibly experienced veteran who has been fighting in the sport since 2000 with over 70 fights.

The co main event was expected to be for Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke’s newly minted strawweight title but his Brazilian opponent Yago Bryan failed to make weight. Bryan is a young Nova Unaio product and his style of typical of the gym. He is well rounded with good combination striking and takedowns and he captured the Shooto Brazil strawweight title in his last fight which improved his record to 3-0. In contrast Dejdamrong is a combat sports veteran having been a Muay Thai practitioner for a number of years and winning many titles in that sport. Since transitioning to MMA with the help of Evolve MMA he has built up a 5-0 record exclusively in One and won their inaugural strawweight title by winning a decision against Roy Doliguez in May. It is quite rare for a decorated Muay Thai fighter to commit to MMA which makes it a joy to watch Dejdamrong in action, this fight should be fireworks.

Shooto Brazil will be live on UFC Fight Pass from Bahia on Friday night. It is headlined by a bout for the vacant bantamweight title and it will pit Rafael Sobral against Nova Unaio prospect Luciano Benicio. Benicio is 9-1 in professional MMA at only 23 years of age with a mixture of submissions and strike finishes on his record. His last bout ended with a choke against journeyman Eliel dos Santos in April. He previously defeated Sobral via TKO in 2014 so Benicio will be a big favourite in this one.

Personally I am quite excited about the presence of Marlon Sandro on this card. Sandro was considered one of the finest featherweights in the world ahead of his highly anticipated fight with Hatsu Hioki in Sengoku but he is now nearing the end of his career. Sandro was last seen in Korea where he drew with Soo Chul Kim and his last victory was a 2014 decision over Chris Horodecki in Bellator. This will be Sandro’s first fight in Brazil since 2007. He will be facing the rather inexperienced Wanderson Michel who has a 5-3 record.

On Saturday there is a stacked BAMMA card in Birmingham, England with multiple title fights. Martin Stapleton and Gavin Sterritt will contest the main event at lightweight. Sterritt is 6-1 with his only professional defeat coming in his first bout. His last two fights have been wins in Bellator and he was due to fight Brennan Ward before injury ruled him out. Stapleton is also a Bellator veteran and he also appeared on TUF. He is coming off a big win over Jeremy Petley in March.

At light heavyweight Marcin Lazarz will take on Paul Craig. Craig is 7-0 with his last win coming against Karl Moore at BAMMA 22 and he has finished all of his fights. Lazarz is 8-1 with his only defeat coming to Max Nunes. He recorded a decision victory over Brett McDermott in last outing.

The other title fights on the card are Ed Arthur and Shay Walsh at bantamweight, Rany Saadeh and Shajidul Haque at flyweight and Ruben Wolf and Thomas Denham at heavyweight with Denham being a replacement for Mark Goodbeer.

We round out the weekend in Belfast for Clan Wars 23 headlined by Paul Byrne and Ronan McKay. McKay has a win over Cathal Pendred back in 2009 but he hasn’t fought since 2013. He has win three straight, a run that includes victories over Henry Fadipe and Lee Barnes. SBG’s Paul Byrne is 6-0 with all finishes, the most recent being at BAMMA 22 against Conor Cooke.