Reality TV star Aaron Chalmers made his professional mixed martial arts debut at the Genting Arena, Birmingham on BAMMA 29.
The signing of MTV‘s Geordie Shore cast member was surrounded by controversy and dismay from fighters and fans alike with the idea that he had been gifted a chance ahead of hard-working amateurs.
The drama continued when at the weigh-ins, Chalmers seemingly missed weight by an astonishing 15lbs.
However, after speaking to MMA Plus, Chalmers confirmed that both him and his opponent Greg Jenkins were handed different contracts regarding weight categories.
Elaborating on the weight issue, Chalmers insisted: “I was told the fight was welterweight. He was told it was lightweight. So there was a mix-up in the build-up”.
The Newcastle native walked out to a hostile crowd in Birmingham and wasn’t well received in the beginning. However, come the start of the first round, Chalmers came out firing, throwing numerous punches and kicks in the immediate exchanges.
He then went on to show his well-rounded game when he executed a slick takedown and got into full mount against Jenkins where he landed a high volume of strikes.
Chalmers seemed to slow down in the onslaught but then produced a beautiful submission, forcing Jenkins to tap with an Americana, crowning the celebrity as the victor at just 2:09 into the first round.
— BAMMA (@BAMMA) May 12, 2017
Aaron Chalmers opens up about his MMA debut
Despite the lack of experience and arguably poor standard in opponent, there can be no doubt that Chalmers exceeded general expectations and that he put on an impressive display.
A question on the minds of many was Chalmers’s true intent, and if anything, that question was certainly answered.
“I didn’t do this to shut anyone up, I did this for myself,” affirmed Chalmers.
“I am on top of the world. I’ve proven to myself that I could do it. I didn’t care what anyone said, people on Twitter. I had a gameplan in there and I stuck to it and did the job.
“Fair play to Greg. He came and was offensive from the off but on the day, on the night, I was the better fighter. It doesn’t come better than a first round TKO.”
With Chalmers’s MMA preparation being kept, by and large, a secret, the Geordie Shore man maintained that even though there was very little public footage of his training at Birmingham-based UTC, he left no stone unturned for his debut.
“I never showed any clips of me training before the fight,” he said. “I had a Muay Thai background but that’s all anybody knew. Nobody knows what I’ve been working on behind the scene at UTC for 8 weeks. Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, takedown defence, I do it all. In the cage you can not be one-dimensional.”
Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/eQ53Drm8OW
— Aaron Chalmers (@AaronCGShore) May 12, 2017
Aaron Chalmers – A success story for ‘Shore’?
Regarding the future of Chalmers, he explained how he plans to “take a holiday, chill for a bit and go straight back to UTC, wait for the call from BAMMA for the next one.”
Whilst it was a clear success for Chalmers himself, BAMMA may have struck gold also, in the signing of the renowned Geordie.
Not only do they have a man with such a huge following, they have a man who’s drive and determination is clear. And whilst it is a bit too soon to comment on his ability, he ticked all the boxes required on his debut.
After losing the likes of Tom Duquesnoy and Marc Diakiese in the last year, BAMMA needed to stop the rot and find a new cash-cow. And though some see it as BAMMA selling out, the signing of Chalmers will no doubt bring a lot of attention to the brand.
BAMMA have a moneymaker, a high profile personality and most importantly, someone who will grant them extra exposure. Tie this in with the newly announced Dave TV channel deal, it has been an incredible month for BAMMA.
Whether people like or dislike Chalmers, it can be argued that any attention is good attention. Whether people watch in hope of a loss or win, it boosts BAMMA’s viewership and offers something different compared to other organisations.
As for Chalmers, he has silenced the critics, has achieved his goal and deserves any plaudits that come his way. When the pressure was on, he rose to the occasion. We now wait with baited breath for the next fight announcement.