The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts has announced three main card bouts for the March 28 card at the Blackpool Winter Gardens, including the main and co-main event.
Main event: Martin Stapleton Vs. Jeremy Petley (Lightweight)
Reset for BAMMA 19, the main event was originally set for BAMMA 17 in December of last year, but was derailed as Petley sustained an injury. Martin “50 Cal” Stapleton (15-4) trains out of SBG Manchester under Karl Tanswell, and made his was to BAMMA as a veteran of Bellator MMA, making him one of the leading lightweight contender in UKMMA. The 31-year-old made a successful debut at BAMMA 17 against late replacement Sebastien Fournier, and claimed victory in the first round with a rear-naked choke submission.
Stapleton commented: “This Fight with Petley should’ve happened in December, it was tragedy it didn’t happen in front of a Manchester crowd, but by March I’ve made 4 months worth of more improvements and will show why I’m too much for anyone in this division.
After this Fight it’s simple, Mansour Barnaoui better get watching some tape of me because I’m coming for him next. I’m gonna make him 5lbs of gold lighter!”
Having recently signed a multi-fight deal with BAMMA, London Fight Factory’s Jeremy “Ninja” Petley (10-5-1) returns after suffering an injury shortly before BAMMA 17. His last appearance in the BAMMA cage came with a unanimous decision victory over Richie Downes at BAMMA 11 in 2012, but the 29-year-old most recently lost a split-decision to UFC veteran Andre Winner at Europa MMA in March of last year. The loss to winner brought an end to Petley’s run of five straight victories.
Petley stated: “After recovering from the injury, I’m looking forward to getting back down to work and making a stamp in this lightweight division. I’ll be making it very clear in this fight that I am coming after that title, I will have that belt around my waist.”
Co-main event: Ashley Grimshaw Vs. Orestes Bertran (Featherweight No.1 Contender Bout)
Ashleigh ‘Cruiser’ Grimshaw (16-8-1-2NC) brings 12 years of professional experience, and fights out of the renowned Team Titan. The 33-year-old Londoner is returning after a ‘No Contest’ result from his title fight with Tom ‘Fire Kid’ Duquesnoy at BAMMA 16 last September, when Grimshaw suffered an accidental kick to the groin that rendered him unable to continue. However, Grimshaw is undefeated in his last seven contests, and was last victorious upon his return to BAMMA last year with a dominant win over Dragan Pesic via an Arm-triangle choke in the opening round.
“He is just another victim in my eyes,” explained Grimshaw. “It’s nothing personal, I have respect for him, but he will inevitably be broken by the pressure and levels I bring into the cage.”
Brazilian Orestes Betran (16-4) is a 31-year-old fighting out of HJJT & Iron Gymnasium in Londrina, Brazil. With experience at bantamweight, but now set to compete in BAMMA’s featherweight division, the 31-year-old has gone 7-1 in his last eight fights.
“It’s an honour to be apart of a great organization like BAMMA,” explained Betran. “I look forward to performing in front of the great UK fans.”
Jack McGann Vs. Marc Diakiese (Lightweight)
With his human wrecking ball destruction of Kayvan Fallah at BAMMA 17, 21-year-old Jack McGann announced his arrival in the BAMMA Lightweight division. McGann (7-0) fights out of the world famous Wolfslair Gym under the tutelage of his father and founder of Wolfslair, Anthony McGann. The young prodigy brings a devastating run of seven consecutive finishes with six knockouts and one submission, all in the opening round.
McGann stated: “There’s a saying in our industry “you eat what you kill”, and I am very hungry. It’s a performance based business and I intend to perform to the best of my ability. I will train as always for a long, fast paced fight, but on the night I will be seeking to finish from the get go.
Marc is a very classy and talented fighter with a lot of hype. I will have to bring everything in my arsenal to break him. This fight for me will set out the rest of my career, if I can dominate Marc like I have the rest of my opponents, then for me there’s no obstacle I cannot overcome. I give full respect and admiration of the fighter Marc is.
I am focused on his abilities and my coaches have studied him thoroughly. This has the makings of a truly great fight. I’m not looking for points or the decision of the judges, I intend take him out!”
Also undefeated and with two victories in BAMMA, South Yorkshire’s Marc Diakiese (6-0) was originally slated to face Kane ‘The Danger’ Mousah, however Mousah was unable to compete due to a long standing knee injury, and ‘Bonecrusher’ went on to face and defeat Vince O’Neil in a hard fought decision at BAMMA 17.
“I’m currently enjoying the best training camp of my career out at All Stars in Sweden,” explained the 21-year-old. “I have a lot of respect for Jack McGann as a fighter, and although I knew we would meet at some point, I thought it would be a little further down the line at BAMMA.
However, with this in mind I have complete confidence in my ability, and my aim is to eventually win the BAMMA British title. I am looking forward to a hard fight and I’m sure we won’t disappoint the BAMMA crowd.”
Ticket sales are expected to be announced soon.