THE INCLUSION OF Northern Ireland-based fighter “Stormin’” Norman Parke in the new series of The Ultimate Fighter will provide a boost in profile for MMA in this country.
Lightweight Parke is now a confirmed member of the UK team, led by UFC veteran Ross Pearson, as they take on an Australian team led by George Sotiropoulos in a series dubbed “The Smashes.”
Despite only being 25, Parke is a well-known and respected fighter having competed locally in organisations such as Cage Contender and Immortal Fighting Championships.
His impressive 15-2 record boasts wins over Ali Maclean, who narrowly missed out on a place on last year’s TUF series, and most recently a KO against Stephen Coll in May of this year.
He is tipped to go far in this series and if he succeeds in gaining that highly coveted UFC contract, it would surely give a little hope to all local fighters that their hard work and dedication to the sport could prove fruitful in the long-run.
Support local MMA
This weekend sees one of the country’s fastest rising MMA promotions, Battlezone Fighting Championships, put on their sixth show in The Regency Hotel in Swords on Saturday night.
With a lack of UFC action over the past couple of weeks, BattleZone FC 6 provides a perfect opportunity to experience live and exciting fights showcasing some of Ireland’s wealth of MMA talent.
With the news of Norman Parke’s TUF casting still fresh in fighters heads, it no longer seems as if the UFC is out of reach for Irish fighters. It is shows like Cage Contender and BattleZone FC that provide a perfect platform to maintain the growth of grassroots MMA.
The main event of the evening pits a John Kavanagh student, Philip Mulpeter, against BJJ Cork product Richard “Souza” Gorey as they do battle for the BattleZone’s welterweight title.
Current champ Mulpeter is coming off the back of a victory in Ireland’s first five-round title fight, while the well-rounded Gorey is a well renowned grappler who also possesses some big knockout power.
With an England versus Ireland series and a four-man welterweight tournament also on the card, it promises to be a great night of action.
The event takes place tonight, 8 September, in the Regency Hotel, Swords Road, Dublin. Doors open at 6pm with the first fight due at 7pm. Why not pop along and support Irish MMA?