Rany Saadeh poses on stage with BAMMA Flyweight title before BAMMA 26 fight with Andy Young. All (c) BAMMA 2016. Not to be used reproduced unless prior written permission is given.

With another successful defence of his BAMMA Flyweight title in Dublin, options are plentiful for 125lb Kingpin Rany Saadeh.

Following his second title defence; a hard fought decision win over Andy “Taz” Young at BAMMA 26 on Saturday night, the Flyweight division in the UK and Ireland must now present Saadeh with new challenges.

Over the past three years Saadeh has carved out his place as the best Flyweight in Europe, dispatching of all comers in their quest to dethrone him from the number one spot.

Rany Saadeh knees Andy Young in intense fight at BAMMA 26.
All (c) BAMMA 2016. Not to be used reproduced unless prior written permission is given.

Wins over Danny Missin, Mahmood Besharate and even Shaj Haque, have shown exactly why the German fighter is one of the best 125lb fighters outside the UFC.

Saadeh’s September 10 clash with Young was one of his most fierce to date, with the Northern Irish fighter taking the champion to the limit.

Although Rany had his hand raised, the visibly marked face of the Flyweight Kingpin demonstrated Young’s worth. If these two were to face off again in the near future, I doubt there would be many complaints.

But what other options is the BAMMA champion presented with?

At BAMMA 26, SBG Charlestown’s Ryan Curtis put himself on Saadeh’s radar, with a shutout performance over Shamsul Haque. Living up to his nickname “Chaos,” Curtis piled the pressure on Haque from the start, out striking and out grappling his South Shields foe in a fairly one-sided affair.

The rangy striking mixed in with his smothering style makes Curtis a huge prospect at 125lbs, despite only having four professional fights under his belt. Dublin proved that not only does he have the crowd support, but the skills to back-up his popularity, as well.

Of course, there also remains the proposed debate between Saadeh and Pietro Menga, both having a very legitimate claim to the UK’s top spot.

Pietro Menga (left) and Rany Saadeh celebrate his title defence at BAMMA26.
All (c) BAMMA 2016. Not to be used reproduced unless prior written permission is given.

They clashed on the local scene in 2012, with Menga securing victory through a third round armbar. It was a significant win for the “Pitbull,” but one which would shape a less than likely friendship between the pair.

Now, training together at The MMA Academy in Liverpool, the duo are referred to as the best of friends, with Menga a regular in Saadeh’s corner team.

Although the element of friendly competition remains between the two, there is ultimately little chance of them squaring off again, regardless of the interest.

Meanwhile, Menga continues to shape his own path, with his next fight rumoured to be taking place outside of the UK.

Birmingham’s Chris Miah; for a time, was considered the next legitimate test for Saadeh, with both fighters originally set to face off at BAMMA 20 and BAMMA 23 before falling through. But after a loss to Jarred Brooks in Russia and a rumoured move up to 135lbs for Miah, BAMMA may have to look elsewhere for Saadeh’s next challenger.

Another major British Flyweight prospect with a shout is 2014 IMMAF World Championship amateur competitor, Jamie Powell. The undefeated 24-year-old has a strong wrestling game and is considered a big fighter for the weight class.

He made his BAMMA debut at BAMMA 21 in June 2015, claiming a submission win over Arnaud Dos Santos.

In July, the Avaddon MMA fighter toppled Owen Gayle at BCMMA 16 to win the promotion’s Flyweight crown, showing yet another sign that he is ready to face Europe’s premier 125lb fighter.

Warriors Fight Series 6. Saadeh
Dom Wooding, WFS Documentary screenshot.

Elsewhere, an outside name making a huge amount of noise in the South of England, expect Dominique Wooding to join the Flyweight title picture over the next 12 months.

Tipped as the next big thing in UKMMA, Wooding has yet to even celebrate his 21st birthday but has already positioned himself as the posterboy of London based promotion Warrior Fight Series. The “Black Panther” made a major name for himself on the amateur scene and has transferred that success to make a 3-0 start as a pro. Unsurprisingly, all three of his wins have come by knockout.

Thus, despite Rany’s allure to test his ability among the best in the UFC, the domestic challenges for his title belt remain abundant for now. With BAMMA 26 counterpart Young still relevant and a whole host of British and Irish talent in chase, it looks like it could be an interesting several months for BAMMA’s rejuvenated Flyweight division.