As the dust begins to settle from Alex Lohore’s seismic victory over Colin Fletcher at BAMMATOR Belfast last weekend, a number of fighters are taking a very close look at the changing demographic at the top of the BAMMA welterweight division; none more so than contender Terry Brazier.
‘The Dominator’ currently enjoys a flawless 3-0 record in the organisation, and was referenced by fellow welterweight Nathan Jones as ‘one of the fighters in the mix’ in Jones’ recent MMA Uncaged magazine interview.
“I was happy to be recognised by Nathan”, Brazier said. “I know where I think I am, but it was good to hear that other fighters are aware of my threat. There’s a few of us who are sitting at the top of the division, and there are two vacant belts, which I’ve got my eye on”.
The welterweight division is one of BAMMA’s most intriguing weight classes. Nathan Jones, Alex Lohore, Walter Gahadza, Colin Fletcher and Terry Brazier have all been mooted as possible title contenders, with both the Lonsdale and World titles currently free, although the promotion hasn’t confirmed any possible match-ups yet.
“I see myself at the top of that pack. I was a fan of Fletcher before I even started fighting. He’s someone I’ve looked up to in the game, as he’s one of the Brits who’ve fought on the global stage. I’m friends with Alex and Nathan and have trained with them both. No disrespect meant to them, but I know what they’re capable of and I know what I can do. None of them can cope with me. I’m evolving at a much faster rate than them. Right now I see myself as having overtaken them all. My style is a bad match up for any of them. My pace, my aggression and my power mean that whoever is in the cage with me will suffer. They won’t be able to keep up. Alex and I have spoken about this. Because of our friendship we will only fight for the world title; but when that time comes and the cage door closes, we will put on a world class show, don’t worry about that”.
Gahadza and Brazier came face-to-face for the first time recently, as Brazier made his K1 debut on UCMMA. “Walter was there with his crew. I’d not met him before, but I could see him across the room looking over at me. I just walked on over to him and his boys and said ‘Alright mate! We’re gonna be fighting soon, aren’t we?’. He didn’t really say anything, just mumbled”.
A few weeks ago, Nathan Jones posted a picture on his social media athlete page with three of his signature ‘Bag & Tag’ dog tags. The tags were adorned with the names ‘Lahore (sic)’, ‘Fletcher’ and ‘Brazier’, accompanied by the post:
“My hitlist as follows…in no particular order. BAMMA have a stacked division of sharks. Survival of the fittest. Which fight would you like to see??”
As a former Army Paratrooper, Brazier took umbrage at this. “Those stupid tags. He’s obsessed with them. Maybe it’s because he’s never been in a situation where real tags actually matter. To him, this is war, but me, I’ve seen war first hand. This is just fun. If he wants to look up to someone who truly understands the meaning of dog tags then he can look up at me, on his back, from the canvas, after I finish him”.
Somehow I think this is just the beginning of the war of words, as these athletes jostle for position at the top of the division. BAMMA may have inadvertently created something special. Lohore and Fletcher’s battle could’ve been an entrée to a feast of fighting action throughout 2017.