British promotion BAMMA may be best remembered for having delayed payment to a handful of fighters in 2010 rather than issue the salaries when expected. Now, with the situation behind them and finances apparently in place, the company will look to dull any bad taste still residing in the public’s collective mouth with an event on February 26 in Manchester, England. Scheduled to serve as the card’s co-headliners, former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez will face TUF 10 alumnus James McSweeney while Strikeforce 170-pounder Paul Daley will test his hard-hitting ways against Japanese grappler Yuya Shirai.
Daley is coming off a highlight-reel knockout of Scott Smith in December at “Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2” and has won seven of his last eight fights with the lone exception involving his infamous decision loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 113. However, “Semtex” will have more than a three-fight streak to protect when he faces Shirai, as he is considered to be one of Strikeforce’s top welterweight contenders and could lose his place on the divisional ladder with a defeat to the seasoned Shirai. The 20-8 Judoka has won three-quarters of his bouts by way of submission/decision while eight of Daley’s nine total losses have been the result of struggles on the mat.
In “big boy” action, Rodriguez will look to continue one of the most fascinating comeback stories of the last few years against McSweeney. After struggling with his weight and drug-related issues “Suave” has since regained his title-winning form and hammered out sixteen wins in his last eighteen fights including ten straight.
Here is a listing of other bouts currently attached to BAMMA 5:
Daniel Thomas vs. A.J. Wenn
Rob Mills vs. Leigh Cohoon
Jason Ball vs. Maktar Gueye
Paul Cook vs. Tom Maguire
Tim Newman vs. Diego Vital
Costas Doru vs. Liam James
Franky Slater vs. Jeremy Petley
Charlie Leary vs. Tom Breese