Yesterday, BAMMA announced that on Nov. 10 their newly crowned welterweight champion Alex Lohore will defend his title against Richard Kiely at the 3 Arena on Nov. 10.
The Irish challenger is 2-0 as a professional with wins against fellow Irishman Keith McCabe (2-3-0) and most recently a win over Polish fighter Daniel Olejniczak (1-1-1) at BAMMA 29 in July.
Kiely has made big waves since his debut and he’s a man that knows how to play the media game and create noise. Of course, the announcement that he will be fighting for a BAMMA title in only his third pro fight hasn’t gone down well in all corners of the MMA community, but the criticism if aimed at the Irishman himself is misplaced.
The SBG man has simply done what many BAMMA fighters have failed to do in the last two years and that’s go out their way to create a buzz in the mainstream media.
Look at his activity in the last 24-hours following the fight announcement. Kiely’s done interviews with IrishMirror.ie, Echo.ie and FM104 live on radio. Very few fighters in BAMMA are able to generate this type of media groundswell, in fact, Aaron Chalmers to one side, none of them have.
Also let’s not forget, it was the champion Lohore who used his time in his post-fight interview to call out Kiely after knocking out Nathan Jones at BAMMA 30. Kiely simply dangled the rod out there and the champion bit–simple as that.
Stepping outside the context of the Kiely bubble and there is certainly an argument to be made that BAMMA are devaluing their title.
Chalmers, who fights in the same division is 2-0, but does he deserve a title shot now? He’s arguably the one man who’s worked the media better than Kiely, so if that factors into BAMMA matchmaking these days shouldn’t he be fighting Lohore on Nov. 10.
The fact Kiely is Irish helps his case getting the shot in Dublin, but when you have James Gallagher headlining the Bellator portion of the card already it’s not like you’re lacking an Irish main event man.
We can sit here and argue the toss about whether Kiely deserves it and whether it’s ok he’s talked his way into a title shot, but frankly, it’s happening whether we like it or not.
The true test of whether it’s deserved or not will be on Nov. 10 and only then will we have a definitive answer.