CRAIG JOHNS BREAKS THE FIRST RULE The Joker set to star in Christ­mas cracker

Sunday Sun - - Boxing -

CHRIST­MAS comes early for North East fight fans, as we’re just weeks away from a huge co-pro­mo­tion from Bel­la­tor and BAMMA in New­cas­tle.

The Metro Ra­dio Arena plays host on De­cem­ber 15, with a big card put to­gether to en­ter­tain those in at­ten­dance.

And of course, there’s plenty of re­gional tal­ents show­cased on the card, in­clud­ing Sun­der­land’s hugely-tal­ented Ryan Scope head­lin­ing BAMMA’s side of the card.

Scope, one of the most nat­u­rally-gifted mixed mar­tial artists the North East has ever pro­duced, is 9-1 and com­ing in off the back of his sole de­feat to date. That was a Fight of the Year con­tender against Lewis Long back in Fe­bru­ary.

Scope hopes to bounce back and show­case his huge tal­ent and po­ten­tial on such a big show ow as he goes in against French veteran Mick­ael Le­bout who had three fights in the UFCC UFC back in 2015.

Also on the e card is Ge­ordie e Shore star r Aaron Chalm- ers

His de­ci­sion to o be­come a pro­fess- sional mixed ed d mar­tial artist ist t re­ceived a lot of f pub­lic­ity, but two wo o fights in ‘The Joker’, ker’, ’,’, as his MMA mo­nioni- ker goes, has shown own n he’s any­thing but t once that cage door r is locked.

It’s two wins from m two for the re­al­ity ty star r so far, the last a Wem- bley Arena first-round -round d knock­out which ch for- mer box­ing world ld heav- yweight cham­pion am­pion n David Haye said aid any y fighter would be proud d of.

No op­po­nent nent is s an­nounced for Aaron yet; ; but af­ter prov­ing ng his skill ll against two novice vice oppo- nents, the hope pe is that t Aaron has a step up in this one to re­ally test him. Roll up, roll up. Ev­ery­body’s favourite MMA clown Mr Freak­show Colin Fletcher also gets a big slot on the card.

If you’re not fa­mil­iar with Wash­ing­ton’s for­mer Ul­ti­mate Fighter fi­nal­ist then prepare your­self for a hugely en­ter­tain­ing ring walk, and then a war to fol­low.

Colin loves the sport and he loves to en­ter­tain the crowd, but de­spite what Dana White might think, he takes it very se­ri­ously too.

Al­ways will­ing to test him­self against the best, France’s - n

A n t h o n y Dizy (10-2) is the op­po­nent on this oc­ca­sion. oc­ca­sion

Also on the card, and one I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing back in the cage is Bishop Auck­land’s ex-UFC star Curt ‘The War’ War­bur­ton.

Curt has been out of the cage since los­ing to now-UFC star Steve Ray in 2014 – the last time a huge MMA show came to Metro Ra­dio Arena.

I can’t wait to see him back in, this time against 8-6-1 Warren Kee.

And if one fight screamed Knock­out of the Night con­tender then the all-North East heavy­weight clash be­tween Tony Mus­tard and Dar­ren Towler would be it.

It’s Sun­der­land vs New­cas­tle for a bit of in­ter­est­ing flavour to this clash of gi­ants in what could be a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ af­fair.

Two names to also look out for on the card: Adam Proc­tor and Justin Burlin­son. - d . Aaron Chalmers cel­e­brates vic­tory af­ter his Wel­ter­weight fight against Alex Thompson

Both are two fine prospects in the N North East who in years to come have t the po­ten­tial to go all the way to the UFC.

South Shields’ Proc­tor, who is coached by ex-Cage War­riors world Cham­pion Alex En­lund, goes in against Nathan Jones. Burlin­son in his pro­fes­sional de­but and fight­ing out of the busy and tal­ented Dun­geon gym in Sun­der­land goes in against Josh Plant.

Round­ing up the lo­cal fighters on show, Josh Abra­ham looks for a sixth straight win against un­de­feated Lerone Mur­phy.

Also on BAMMA’s side of the card, top Bri­tish prospect Fabian ‘The As­sas­sin’ Ed­wards (Birm­ing­ham) looks for a third straight pro win against Louis King to con­tinue his hype train.

Mean­while, at lightweight North­ern Ire­land’s Rhys Mckee takes on Lon­don’s Kams ‘Shin Pan­ther’ Ekpo.

As if BAMMA’s ex­cel­lent card wasn’t enough, Bel­la­tor will also have their own card on the show. Not much has been an­nounced from them so far, but for­mer UFC ban­tamweight star Michael McDon­ald, who went to num­ber seven in their world rank­ings last year, is ex­pected to make his Bel­la­tor de­but.

The Cal­i­for­nia fighter is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, but that has never stopped him throw­ing leather – mak­ing him a pop­u­lar fan-favourite.

Dur­ing his time with the UFC he chal­lenged for an in­terim ti­tle, he twice won Fight of the Night awards as well as one Knock­out, two sub­mis­sion and one per­for­mance of the night awards.

Also slated to ap­pear is Canadian fe­male star Valérie Lé­tourneau, with the Amer­i­can Top Team tal­ent also mak­ing her Bel­la­tor de­but. Af­ter com­pet­ing in The Ul­ti­mate Fighter, she had six fights in the UFC and chal­lenged for the UFC strawweight ti­tle against the at-that-time feared champ Joanna Je­drze­jczyk. She man­aged to take her the dis­tance.

Fi­nally, there’ll be more heavy­weight ac­tion as Sun­der­land’s for­mer UFC gi­ant Phil De Fries is also set to ap­pear.

How could you not be ex­cited by such a mam­moth bill! It should be a Christ­mas cracker.

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