Check Ireland off the list of countries Bellator MMA has yet to hold an event in, with the announcement that the Scott Coker-led promotion is set for action at the heart of Dublin’s docklands on Dec. 16.
Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii emanates from the state-of-the-art 3Arena, and will be headlined by a heavyweight fight pitting King Mo Lawal (19-5, 1 NC) against Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1). Ireland will also have one of its brightest prospects on the card as well, as the pride of Strabane, James Gallagher (4-0) returns home against a yet-to-be-announced foe.
Tickets for “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” start at 35€ and go on sale at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.ie and the 3Arena Box Office on Friday, October 14, with a special presale on the 12 & 13. The event can be seen free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition, Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion BAMMA will be holding BAMMA 27, alongside Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii in an effort to showcase some of the world’s leading MMA athletes from both organizations. “BAMMA 27” will be headlined by a bantamweight title fight pitting Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) against Alan Philpott (16-8), as well as a featherweight title fight featuring Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) against former Bellator MMA competitor Martin Stapleton (18-4).
“When thinking of a country that respects, understands and yearns for quality mixed martial arts action, Ireland immediately comes to mind,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said. “I’m very excited for this event, with ‘King Mo’ versus Ishii in the main event, and I cannot wait to be inside the 3Arena when ‘The Strabanimal,’ James Gallagher takes center stage, it’s going to be a madhouse. With that being said, I’m pleased to be bringing this action to Dublin alongside a promotion like BAMMA and David Green, who has been a good friend for years.”
BAMMA CEO David Green added: “It’s going to be the biggest and boldest MMA show in Ireland this year, as fans get the chance to get up close and personal with MMA superstars from both promotions.
“King Mo” returns to the cage for the second time in 2016, and first time at heavyweight since his Rizin Grand Prix heavyweight tournament victory. A winner in seven out of his last eight fights, Mo yearns for an opportunity to meet the winner of Liam McGeary versus Phil Davis at “Bellator 163,” on Nov. 4, but instead of remaining inactive, the 35-year-old now looks to test himself against Ishii. A former Strikeforce champion, Mo has his sights set on adding Bellator gold to his mantel.
Ishii is a 29-year-old powerhouse Judoka who earned Gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing after defeating the best the world had to offer in the +100 kg division. Now fully focused on mixed martial arts, the Japanese star has competed in his home country almost exclusively throughout his 21-fight professional career and will be fighting three days ahead of his Dec. 19 birthday when he meets Lawal on Dec. 16 in Ireland. With half of his victories coming before judges’ scorecards, it’s worth noting that four of Ishii’s defeats have come at the hands of some of greatest the sport has to offer such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Mirko Cro Cop and Fedor Emelianenko.
Perfect through his first four professional fights, the 19-year-old Gallagher is one of the brightest stars in all of “The Emerald Island.” Hailing from nearby Straban in Northern Ireland, “The Strabanimal” moved away from home at age 15 to join coach John Kavanagh at Straight Blast Gym (SBG), where he now trains alongside the best fighters in the country including Connor McGregor. Having made his Bellator debut in London this past July when he beat Mike Cutting in London, Gallagher will look to make it five straight to start his career in front of a raucous home crowd. Please note: Gallagher was scheduled to appear at Bellator 164 in Tel Aviv Israel on Nov. 10, and will no longer be competing on that card. A replacement for him will be named shortly.
Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii Main Card:
- Heavyweight Main Event: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (19-5, 1 NC) vs. Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1)
- Featherweight Main Card Bout: James Gallagher (4-0) vs. TBA
BAMMA 27 Main Card:
- Bantamweight World Title Bout: Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) vs. Alan Philpott (16-8)
- Featherweight World Title Bouut: Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) vs. Martin Stapleton (18-4)
- Featherweight Main Card Bout: Dylan Tuke (3-0) vs. Sean Tobin (4-2)