Every Wednesday, The MMA Corner’s Duncan Price will bring a view of the MMA world from across the pond in England, covering well-known British fighters within the UFC and Strikeforce, and also looking at significant events put on by British promotions within the borders of the United Kingdom.

BAMMA 7 Gets a Main Event

The BAMMA 7 card, set for Sept. 10, gained an exciting main event this week with the addition of a bout between Britain’s own Tom “Kong” Watson and UFC veteran Frank Trigg.

Fans had been clamouring for this fight following BAMMA 6, where Trigg quickly and impressively beat John Phillips and Watson defeated wily Pride veteran Murilo “Ninja” Rua.

According to Liam Fisher, Head of Business Development at BAMMA:

“Watson said he was open to fighting Trigg if the fans were interested in the match-up …and the fans were definitely interested. The fans wanted it, so we made it happen. After Trigg’s impressive performance against John Phillips and Tom sending Ninja Rua into retirement, this is going to be a very interesting fight to watch.”

Watson has admitted via Twitter that he is suffering from an injury and is unlikely to be able to get more than one week’s solid training in before he meets Trigg in September. However, he seems to feel that this is more than enough preparation to gain the victory over an opponent he refers to as “an old man who calls himself ‘Twinkle Toes’.”

Trigg, of course, will be looking to prove he can still compete at the top level of the sport. Although no longer considered good enough to compete in the UFC, he certainly remains a good draw on the international circuit.

In addition to the planned Kong vs Trigg fight, BAMMA also announced another bout that may be tapped for the co-main event spot, as Strikeforce veteran Joey Villasenor meets former Cage Rage welterweight champion Che Mills.

Villasenor will be looking to get back in the win column after three consecutive losses, but he will face tough opposition in the form of Mills, who has won his last four fights and 12 of his last 14.

This brings the BAMMA 7 card to five officially announced fights. This is really shaping up to be a great night of mixed martial arts action and I am pleased to announce that I will have the honour of covering the event for The MMA Corner.

Andre Winner cut from the UFC

Bad news for The Ultimate Fighter 9 runner-up Andre Winner on Monday, as it was announced that he had officially been cut from the UFC.

Winner had fought recently against the fast-improving Anthony Njokuani. Although he was nearly knocked out early, Winner showed his bravery and battled through rounds two and three en route to a loss via judges’ decision. Unfortunately, this was his third straight loss in the UFC, bringing his overall record in the promotion to 2-4, which subsequently signalled the end of his run in the world’s largest MMA organization.

Winner’s manager Wad Alameddine indicated to multiple sources that his fighter would be looking to get back into the cage soon, with several regional and national UK events a possibility.

Winner has always been a solid if unspectacular fighter. I have my doubts as to whether he will make it back into the UFC, but I’m sure he will be a top-billed star for many British and European promotions for many years to come. Perhaps in the future, if the UFC or Strikeforce diversifies into local territories with smaller events, it’s possible they could come knocking for Winner once more.

Paul Daley talks Woodley and Marquardt

Paul Daley (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

Paul Daley spoke recently about his upcoming Strikeforce bout and future foes on ESPN’s weekly UFC Podcast.

Speaking via ESPN.co.uk, Daley said of Woodley:

“The guy’s got eight fights, the hardest one against Tarec Saffiedine. So he really shouldn’t be coming out with that type of talk before he faces me. Showtime and Strikeforce see a lot of potential in him, so all his opponents will have been carefully handpicked. He fights Galvao who’s a pure jiu-jitsu guy, he fights another guy who’s not very good at anything, and then he fights Saffiedine who is of equal experience, but doesn’t have Woodley’s wrestling background.

“So his opponents were handpicked and geared towards making him a Strikeforce star. I’m the spanner in the works. There’s a point in every fighter’s career when promoters says, ‘We’ve done our best, now you’re gonna have to deal with this.’ It’s up all to Tyron now, his managers have done their best, this is the fight where we’ll see what he’s made of.”

Daley is clearly of the opinion that he is being used as a stepping stone for the highly-touted Woodley, but I actually believe that if “Semtex” wins in a convincing fashion he will indeed be rewarded with another shot at the welterweight title.

Daley did not stop there with his opinions though, as he also discussed a potential future bout with Nate Marquardt, should Strikeforce sign the former UFC star.

Again speaking via ESPN.co.uk, Daley said:

“I’d love to fight Nate Marquardt, he’s a tough guy and he’s got a big reputation. But whether the UFC chooses to send him across to Strikeforce, I’m not so sure. What would that say about them? He’s banned from one organisation, but he can fight for another.”

“If you get injuries or if you struggle to make weight, there’s obviously something in your training you need to adjust. If you’re repeatedly having injuries, maybe it’s time to stop fighting. If you’re struggling with weight, change your diet and be more disciplined. Growth Hormone helps you with this, it enables you to train harder for longer without getting injuries. I just think it’s a load of BS to be honest with you.”

To a certain extent, Daley needs to be careful where he goes with his criticism for Marquardt. He condemns Marquardt for his use of growth hormone, and rightfully so, but we should not forget that Daley was cut from the UFC after throwing a punch after the fight had ended, and has not made weight in five of his last 12 fights.

If Zuffa decides to give Marquardt a second chance under Scott Coker’s management in Strikeforce, a potential bout between Daley and Marquardt would be a tantalising prospect for all UK fans, especially if it is for the Strikeforce welterweight title.

Cage Warriors 43 Review

This past weekend, the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship promotion continued their run of highly successful live shows when they returned to London for Cage Warriors 43. In addition to those who attended, people from all around the world were able to view the event courtesy of improved TV coverage and additional live streaming on several prominent websites.

Mason (l) and Paraisy (Cage Warriors Fighting Championship)

In the main event, Bellator veteran Norman Paraisy won a fairly evenly contested bout, that is right up until his knee connected with Jack Mason’s chin. The first two rounds were pretty cagey, it seemed at times that neither combatant wanted to lose by going all out to win. Going into the third, it looked like it was anyone’s fight to take. Both men came out firing, but it was the Frenchman Paraisy who was ultimately successful, as he knocked Mason down, and effectively out, after landing a clean flying knee late in the round. Mason immediately fell to the ground and Paraisy finished him off with some vicious ground-and-pound.

In the co-main event, Joseph Duffy got the judges’ nod over Frances Heagney in a hard-fought three-round battle. Towards the end of the fight, Duffy looked like he may be able to stop his opponent, but Heagney showed his grit and managed to last until the final bell. Duffy looks to be one of the most promising lightweights in the country and Cage Warriors will surely look to heavily promote this talented youngster.

Other notable winners included Brad Wheeler, Andreas Kraniotakes and Brett Sizeland.

This was another strong showing from the established UK promotion. They are hot on the heels of BAMMA and, with the help of additional TV and internet exposure, Cage Warriors remain a force to be reckoned with on the British MMA scene.

Top Photo: Tom “Kong” Watson (Lee Whitehead/BAMMA)