BAMMA 24 – Preview and Predictions


Cheick ‘The Sniper’ Kone (c) Vs. John ‘The White Mike Tyson’ Phillips

BAMMA’s latest trip to Dublin is headlined by a title fight between two of Europe’s finest knockout artists. Cheick Kone will be familiar to fans of Irish MMA as he knocked out Chris Fields with a thundering right hand at BAMMA 18 which was Fields first fight after his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. After that fight he won the BAMMA middleweight title with a stoppage of Andy DeVent. Kone was last seen competing in Switzerland against Lahat Faye which he won by disqualification after Faye refused to continue after an elbow. Kone is a tall and rangy striker with an emphasis on kicks and knees. Kone’s most potent weapon are his knees. He throws them any chance he gets, stepping in to close the distance, as a counter to a takedown and most successfully in the clinch. He throws with massive power which was really evidenced in his wins over Fields and DeVent, DeVent was left covering up with back to the cage often in that fight and he eventually paid for it. Kone is not much of a grappler but he is decent at using the cage to get back to his feet if he is taken down and he does have a win by triangle choke earlier in his career.

John Phillips is a veteran of the UK scene with a decade of experience fighting for promotions such as Cage Rage, Cage Warriors and BAMMA. He also had a fight with Ireland’s Chris Fields and he submitted Fields with a guillotine in a fight that he had been losing. Phillips fought Fields’ SBG teammate Charlie “The Hospital” Ward last year and was victorious with a massive knockout in a back and forth fight. He went on to win another fight that night against Austrian Markus Di Gallo. Phillips loves to wade forward and throw power shots but this has exposed him to takedowns in the past and has cost him fights. He should have no worry of a takedown coming from Kone here.

Prediction: While both of these men are feared strikers, one of them may look to expose the grappling weakness of their opponent by taking this to the ground, here I would give to the edge to Phillips due to his experience in the game, having fought good grapplers such as Jesse Taylor. Ultimately I believe this fight will take place standing and the reach and power of Kone will be too much for Philips. Kone KO

Tom ‘Firekid’ Duquesnoy Vs. Damien ‘The Rage’ Rooney

Frenchman Tom Duquesnoy will make his bantamweight debut in the co-main event against Damien Rooney. Duquesnoy was named as the #1 featherweight prospect by MMA website BloodyElbow in 2015 and they said he “is arguably the best prospect in all of MMA, regardless of weight class.” He has won two more fights since then and it now looks almost certain that he will be fighting in the UFC sooner rather than later. Duquesnoy has an 11-1 record in his four years as a professional MMA fighter. He has a background in Combat Sambo which has given him a very well rounded game for his age and experience. Duquesnoy headlined BAMMA’s last trip to Dublin where he won a contentious split decision against Brendan Loughnane.

Damien Rooney is a mainstay of the lighter weight divisions in the UK and Ireland. He has fought Ireland’s UFC flyweights Neil Seery and Patrick Holohan. Rooney’s fight was a decision defeat to Shajidul Haque which came in late 2014 so he has been out of action for a while. He will be looking to get this to the ground, Rooney has six submission wins in his career and Duquesnoy’s only defeat was a submission loss against Makwan Amirkhani so it looks like Rooney’s best avenue to get a victory

Prediction: Duquesnoy should put on a show here, he will be looking to impress after his close fight Loughnane and I can see him getting the finish. Duquesnoy KO

Nathan ‘Mr. Bag & Tag’ Jones Vs. Peter ‘The Showstopper’ Queally

Peter Queally is hoping to be the latest SBG representative to fight in the UFC and he can go a long way to accomplishing that goal with a win on Saturday. Queally has a 7-2 record but has travelled far and wide in his short career in order to get fights. He initially made waves as an amateur with a quick head kick KO. As a professional he has yet to produce anything as flashy with all of his wins coming via decision. Queally’s last two fights have been in Italy and Poland, before that he plied his trade in South Africa so he is not afraid to travel and fight on enemy turf. Queally has a great pressure game, he clinches against the fence and adds takedowns to short strikes. From the top he is good at mixing strikes with guard passes to outwork his opponent.

While Nathan Jones’ record of 9-4 does not seem particularly impressive on paper but he is riding a five fight winning streak. So far he has only competed in the UK and in his last fight he won the Warrior Fight Series welterweight title against Matt Robinson. Jones has secured eight of his nine wins by submission which should make for an interesting scrap against Queally.

Prediction: I think due to the fact that all of Queally’s victories are by decision and half of Jones’ losses are by decision it makes sense that this fight goes that way. Queally DEC

Paul Byrne Vs. Andy ‘Lions Paw’ DeVent

Paul Byrne is looking to rebound from the first loss of his career. He succumbed to the ground and pound of Ronan McKay at Clan Wars 23 in Belfast in November. Before that fight Byrne had produced some sensational finishes and he will be trying to recapture that form. The last time BAMMA came to Dublin Byrne finished Conor Cooke with a brutal head kick in the first round, before that he managed to come back against Tye Palmer to finish him with knees and punches after spending most of the first round on his back. His takedown defence seems to be his biggest problem right now but with six KOs in his six wins it is no wonder that opponents try to put him on his back.

DeVent will definitely be looking to take Byrne down and control him from top position. DeVent is coming off a first round defeat to Cheick Kone so is also in need of a win. The common opponent is Conor Cooke who DeVent submitted in the first round at BAMMA 19. DeVent has had an inconsistent career but he is very experienced and is capable of causing Byrne problems, especially on the ground.

Prediction: After a punishing and close first round I think Byrne will start to pull away and win the fight. Byrne KO

‘The Housewives Choice’ Chris Fields Vs. Dan Konecke

Chris Fields has been around the scene for a long time and gained greater notoriety from appearing on Season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter. He is a former Cage Warriors middleweight champion but his career has not been going very well in the last few years. Despite this he remains a fan favourite. Fields hasn’t won since 2012 but he has fought excellent competition and is always exciting to watch. Fields uses his reach to employ a kick based striking game. He was due to fight Andy Clamp but an injury ruled him out.

Dan Konecke is German born but fights out of England. He has 3-6-1 record that has been accumulated fighting in Britain with one bout in Finland. Konecke has decent skills in all areas but doesn’t stand out in any one phase of the game.

Prediction: Fields should have too much experience and too much quality for Konecke. Fields KO

Preliminary Card

The preliminary portion of this card features a number of Ireland’s top young MMA prospects and this is a big opportunity for them.

Alan Philpott (14-7) takes on Nathaniel Wood (8-2) for the Lonsdale bantamweight title. The Lonsdale championship is essentially a British title, reserved for younger fighters to compete for before stepping up to take on the cream of the crop in BAMMA.

A number of the younger SBG Ireland fighters will be looking to impress here and make a name for themselves. Myles Price and Brian Moore have been around a bit longer than the others, they will take on Mario Saeed and Mick Brennan respectively.

Out of the younger crop you have James Gallagher, Dylan Tuke and Sinead Kavanagh who have already stood out in their young careers.

James Gallagher has been around a lot longer than his 2-0 record indicates as he competed successfully as an amateur many times. He was due to make his professional debut at BAMMA 22 but was forced to withdraw through injury. He racked up two first round submission wins in the final months of 2015 to begin life as a professional. He will take on the 2-1 Gerard Gilmore.

Dylan “The Nuke” Tuke did make his professional debut at BAMMA 22, and he picked up a first round submission win. He was due to fight Neil Ward at bantamweight but decided to move up a weight class and he will now be taking on fellow 1-0 fighter Mark Andrew. Andrew also made a successful debut at BAMMA 22.

Sinead Kavanagh also made her debut at BAMMA 22. She made quick work of Hatice Ozyurt and finished her within a minute. Kavanagh got the final of the IMMAF 2015 amateur world championships which made people sit up and take notice. She is a former amateur boxer and has devastating power.

Perhaps the most exciting fighter to compete at BAMMA 24 is Cian Cowley. Cowley is a decorated Muay Thai kickboxer with a wealth of experience fighting all over the world. He is unique as a convert to MMA from Muay Thai in that he is still so young. At only 24 years of age he has plenty of time to work on rounding out his game in SBG and that gym is the perfect place for him to be. His debut will be an amateur fight against Wales’ Jay Moogan. It will be interesting to see how Cowley adapts to his new sport.

What? – BAMMA 24: Ireland v England
Where? – 3arena, Dublin
When? – Saturday 27th February 5pm
How to watch? – Undercard is on BAMMA’s facebook page. Main Card is on Spike TV

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