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By: Tom Strong, MMATorch UK Contributor
The British Asscociaton of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) returns to London, Saturday 5 April at the Copper Box Arena with their latest installment, BAMMA 15, which will feature three titles on the line.
Headlining the main-event card will be two heavyweight debutantes in the Oli Thompson vs. Gzin "The Albanian Psycho" Selmani bout. Ex-UFC fighter Thompson (12-5) started his career as a "Strongman" competitor, going on to win Britain's strongest man in 2006 and then qualifying for the "Worlds Strongest Man" in 2008. Making his MMA debut in 2009, Thompson went onto win the UCMMA heavyweight title before being signed with the UFC. His career in the UFC didn't take off, as he was subsequently released after losses to Shawn Jordan and Phil De Fries.
His opponent, Gzin Selmani (3-1), is the polar opposite. At just 19 years of age, and with only four pro MMA fights behind him, it will be interesting to see how he handles a veteran like Thompson. Selami hasn't seen the third round in any of his four fights, and with Thompson only going to the decision once in his twelve wins, this surely isn't going the distance.
Colin "Freakshow" Fletcher makes another welcome BAMMA appearance on this card when he faces hard hitting American Tony Hervey. Fletcher (9-4), best known for his time on TUF Smashes series where he could be seen mostly dressed as a clown, went onto reach the lightweight final, only to lose to his fellow teammate Norman Parke.
Fletcher is more than just a "freakshow," he's a very highly talented fighter. Though while he was with the UFC we didn't see the best of him, since signing with BAMMA last year Fletcher is starting to show the fans just how talented he is. Coming off a first round defeat to Mansour Barnaoui, in one of the best first round fights I've ever seen, he still looked very impressive. Fletcher will be eager to get back to his winning ways.
Tony Hervey (16-15) Has been in the cage with fighters such as Takanori Gomi, Pat Curran, and a fighter both men have competed and lost to in Mike Ricci. With eleven of his sixteen wins coming via KO/TKO, Hervey will be anxious to keep the fight standing and away from the mat, where Fletcher excels, and where six of his fifteen defeats have come via submission.
Hervey broke his three fight skid last time out, earning a split decision win over Curtis Demarce back in November 2013. Both fighters have completely different styles of fighting, and this will be a fight not to miss.
There will be three BAMMA titles on the line this Saturday night as well. The first will be for the vacant British Middleweight title when recently signed Andy De-Vent takes on Harry McLeman.
The 35-year-old De-Vent (10-8) is undefeated at middleweight and is currently riding a four fight winning streak. His latest win was a first round TKO victory over Andrew Punshon in April 2014. Harry "Mad Mac" McLeman (6-2) has won both of his fights under the BAMMA banner, with victories over Matt Hallam and Matt Howard at BAMMA 13 and 14, respectively.
In the next title bout, Wayne Murrie (17-5-1) will be putting his British welterweight title on the line when he faces Leon Edwards (5-1). Murrie made his debut at BAMMA 15 in December, defeating Michael Johnson inside the first round via submission to capture the welterweight title. His opponent, Leon Edwards, holds an impressive record, with his only blemish a disqualification against Delroy McDowell due to an illegal knee. Since then, he's gone onto a three fight winning streak defeating Jonathan Bilton, Adam Boussif, and Wendle Lewis, finishing all three opponents inside the distance.
This is the fight I'm most looking forward to on this card. Tom "Fire Kid" DuQuesnay vs Teddy Violet for the world featherweight title. Two Frenchman will go head to head to win the vacant title. DuQuesnay (8-1) is a very exciting young prospect. At just 20 years of age and fighting at 145 lbs. he has frightening speed and possesses devastating knockout power, finishing his last two opponents via TKO, including a thirty-four second knockout over Scott Hunt to end his undefeated record.
His opponent and fellow Frenchman Teddy Violet (8-0) is undefeated in his eight pro MMA fights, with five of his eight victories coming in the way of submission.
*MMATorch will covering BAMMA 15 live from the Copper Box Areana on Saturday. Follow me @strong_tea and @mmatorchdan for all the action as the event unfolds.
BAMMA 15 CARD:
• Oli Thompson vs. Gzin Selmani (HW)
• Colin Fletcher vs. Tony Hervey (LW)
• Tom DuQuesnay vs. Teddy Violet - World Featherweight Title.
• Wayne Murrie vs. Leon Edwards - British Welterweight Title.
• Andy De-Vent vs. Harry McLeman - British Middleweight Title
• Ali Arish vs. Ryan Scope (WW)
• Jack Grant vs. Jefferson George (LW)
• Andy Craven vs. Richard Edwards (FW)
• Alex Montagnani vs. Nathan Jones (WW)
• Benny Carr vs. Jacek Toczydlowski (WW)
• Nathaniel Wood vs. Ed Arthur (BW)
• BAMMA 15 WILL BE AIRED LIVE ON 5* WITHIN THE UK, AND AXS-TV IN THE US. For more information on this event go to www.bamma.com
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