One of the premier European MMA organisations, BAMMA, has announced its latest show is to take place at The Copper Box Arena on April 5.

The Copper Box was one of the showpiece venues at the London Olympics in 2012 and, as such, has its place in English sporting legacy.

BAMMA is broadcast on various different channels and packages throughout the world and offers the fighters it promotes a level of exposure that many other promotions simply cannot.

In the United Kingdom, you will find it on 5*, which is a subsidiary of Channel 5. And it would seem that the executives at Channel 5 have been impressed with how MMA has done for them so far, given they announced a new deal to provide terrestrial coverage for several UFC events throughout this year, a deal which coincidentally starts with this weekend’s Fight Night card featuring Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa.

The BAMMA 15 fight card gathered momentum with the announcement that the event will feature a British welterweight title bout between Leon Edwards and the current titleholder, Wayne Murrie.

Murrie captured the title with a rear-naked choke victory over Michael Johnson in December 2013, marking his 13th victory in the first round. The fight took place on a night in which the welterweights were given the spotlight throughout the card, with the main event featuring Paul Daley. In addition to his title-winning effort last time out, Murrie has also faced top opposition in the past. He suffered a split decision loss to UFC veteran John Maguire.

Meanwhile, the challenger, Edwards, holds an official record of 5-1, with his only loss due to a disqualification because of an illegal knee in a fight that he was winning. To make things worse for Edwards, the disqualification came about when he found himself in a situation whereby his opponent was in the process of getting back to his feet from a downed position. This is a rule that is widely considered to be dubious at best, and so, in effect, Edwards is considered an undefeated fighter in the eyes of many as he heads into this title bout with Murrie.

Overall, both Edwards and Murrie tend to end fights early, so it would be a surprise if this one went to the judges.

In addition to this exciting title fight, BAMMA has also announced that the BAMMA 15 fight card will feature former British strongman titleholder and UFC veteran Oli Thompson.

Thompson is well on his way to rebuilding his career following his UFC exit and has gone 3-1 during that time, winning his last two fights by TKO.

His opponent, Gzim Selmani, fights out of the famed Golden Glory camp that has been the home of other great heavyweights, such as Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem. Selmani made his debut at age 18 and has amassed a MMA record that currently stands at 5-1.

Now, at the grand old age of 19, Selmani is already bigger in stature than his opponent, even if not quite yet in profile. He comes in at around 263 pounds and stands at 6-foot-3. To be this size at such an early stage of his career is a worrying proposition for the rest of the division,. If he develops anything like Overeem did during his time at Golden Glory, we might see a heavyweight prospect emerge from Holland once more.

Any fight at heavyweight provides a great deal of potential for a quick finish, but this one perhaps even more so given the finishing rate of both Selmani and Thompson. Thompson is the only one of the two to ever go to a decision, and he has done so on only three occasions during his 17-fight career.

At present, these are the only two matches slated for the BAMMA 15 card, but the roster of fighters that BAMMA has amassed offers many attractive match-ups that could take place if all things fall into place. The promotion has a mix of up-and-coming talent, such as Mansour Barnaoui, who has established himself as a top-quality fighter with victories over UFC veterans Colin Fletcher and Curt Warburton in his last two outings.

The real star attraction that BAMMA has at its disposal is, of course, Daley. The Strikeforce and UFC veteran had another highlight-reel knockout in his last outing against Romario Da Silva. Daley landed a vicious left uppercut that would have made Ryu from Street Fighter proud. The blow knocked Da Silva clean off his feet.

There are sure to be many more bouts added to the fight card in the next few weeks as BAMMA looks to kick off 2014 in style.

About The Author

Greg Byron
Staff Writer

Greg Byron started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after his brother introduced him to a local MMA fighter/coach when he was just 16 years old. Greg has trained for nearly a decade in both BJJ and MMA, competing in several grappling events within the UK. In addition to MMA, Greg possesses a law degree and works for a firm in northern part of England.