By Caoilte de Barra
Following the first-ever Irish National Championships, Ireland has locked in their team for the highly anticipated MMA SuperCup. They will clash with the RMMAU in the opening round of the tournament. Arguably the toughest draw that Ireland could get in the opening round. However, it is a challenge they are ready to take on.
It is currently a promising time for the Ireland team; they had a good run at the World Championships that saw them collect multiple medals. They now aim to upset the odds by knocking out the RMMAU team in the opening round.
In recent times, Bahrain coach Eldar Eldarov described the draw as being an easy one for RMMAU. A statement that was dismissed by Ireland Team Manager Liam-Og Griffin.
“We’ve known for a couple of weeks now that Team Ireland will first face Team RMMAU in the opening round of the SuperCup. According to the Team Bahrain Head Coach, Eldar Eldarov, RMMAU got an easy draw for the SuperCup, but Team Ireland doesn’t ever arrive just to take part.”
With both teams announced, each fighter is aware of who they will face in the opening round. One of those is Jamie Abbott-Bissett who is coming off a sensational run at the Irish National Championships. Fighting is certainly in the family as his sister, Nadine, recently won Atomweight gold at the 2021 IMMAF World Championships.
At the Nationals, Jamie picked up two golds. First, winning the Flyweight medal by default before moving up and taking gold at Bantamweight. It was a whirlwind of a week for him from deciding to step up a division to ultimately winning it out and securing a spot at the SuperCup. Following his win, he explained his decision to move up a division.
“I wanted to get a fight, I wanted to get experience. And I wanted to win and test myself so I jumped up to Bantamweight and took the gold there.”
“Yeah, that was another reason (The SuperCup), had I just won gold at Flyweight I would have just been guaranteed a spot at the Europeans in the summer, which is a long time away. Seeing that opportunity for the SuperCup, I wanted that as well so I went and took it.”
Across from him will be the 2019 Bantamweight World Champion Gadzhimurad Zavaev who has his eyes set on the pro ranks following the tournament. However, he will have a tough task on his hands in Ireland’s Jamie Abbott-Bissett who is looking forward to their fight.
Another fighter looking to make a statement will be Andrew Barrett, who has qualified to represent Ireland in the Lightweight division. Speaking with Severe MMA after his successful weekend, the self-proclaimed “King of Hell” looked ahead to the World Championships.
“I can’t wait, people go on about the RMMAU. They have two arms, they have two legs, they have a neck that can be choked and they have a chin that can get them knocked out. They’re no different to any other human on this planet. Yeah, they may be a bit tougher than others but I’m the toughest man on the planet.”
“I don’t care who they put in front of me. If it’s my man, it’s at my weight and even if he’s bigger than me, I’ll tear through that person. And if I don’t, I’ll give every ounce of my soul until they beat me.”
Given Ireland’s success in the female ranks, a match-up between Kerry Ann Vernon and RMMAU’s Tatiana Postarnakova has all the making to be one to watch. Both women have shown a willingness to trade on the feet. Meaning this fight has all the potential to put on an exciting fight.
The Ireland squad for the SuperCup is as follows:
Female Flyweight Eabha Cruise (SBG HQ)
Female Bantamweight Kerry Ann Vernon (SBG Cork)
Male Bantamweight Jamie Abbott-Bissett (Ryano HQ)
Male Featherweight Jordan Bradshaw (CMAC)
Male Lightweight Andrew Barrett (SBG Tullamore)
Male Welterweight Jordan Furey (SBG HQ)
Male Middleweight Cameron Clements (OMMA)
Male Light Heavyweight Denis Perry (SBG Strabane)
Male Heavyweight Gustavo Burges (SBG HQ)
Female Bantamweight Sinead Ni Nuallain (SBG HQ)
Male Feather/Lightweight Lewis Byrne (Ryano HQ)
Male Welterweight Conor McCarthy (SBG Naas)
Andy Ryan (Head Coach)
Liam-Og Griffin (Team Manager)