There was a lot of buzz surrounding the announcement of a huge £15,000 prize for AON’s eight-man lightweight tournament in May. Unsurprisingly, there was also no shortage of lightweights enthused by the thought of getting their hands on the winnings.
Fighters nationwide were offering their services with an eye on the prize and the prospect of ending the night with three solid victories on their resume.
That enthusiasm has meant it wasn’t a problem for the AON promoters to pick a select field, with more waiting in the wings for a chance to step up.
With a UFC veteran, a slew of ranked fighters and many top gyms represented amongst the line-up, the prize fund will certainly have to be earned following a hard night’s work at the South Leeds Stadium, May 3rd.
The confirmed line-up has been revealed to Your MMA, and here’s a look at who'll be vying for the title of tournament champion.
AON 6 Lightweight Tournament Participants
Andre Winner (Rough House, 15-8)
UFC veteran Winner will be a frontrunner from the off, with his high level experience and explosive skillset capable of providing finishes. The Rough House striker got to the finale of The Ultimate Fighter, and has two Octagon wins under his belt. Since exiting the UFC, he has picked up notable wins over Drew Fickett, Jason Ball and Diego Gonzalez.
Louis Chapman (Fight Ministry, 5-2)
Grimsby’s Chapman only managed the one outing in 2013 due to an injury in the build-up to a fight with the aforementioned Winner. He was confident of an upset then, and he’ll remain so with the variables the tournament format throws up. A CWFC and OMMAC veteran, he has finished all five of his victories inside the distance with knockouts and submissions.
Scott Clist (Revolution Gym, 7-1)
Clist comes in off the back of a TKO win over Kevin Reed, and has also finished all of his victories. When you have to potentially fight three times in one night, stoppages are key. He engaged in a FOTN with Dan Rushworth in his other 2013 bout, and you can rely on him to bring excitement to the cage.
Ali Maclean (Kaobon, 11-6)
One of the most experienced fighters in the tournament, Maclean trains with UFC and Bellator fighters on a day-to-day basis at Team Kaobon in Liverpool, and he is known for a good wrestling game and clinical submissions. He’s an experienced tournament fighter with multiple victories to his credit, and he has wins over the likes of Tommy Maguire, Dale Hardiman and Myles Price.
Stephen Martin (Derby MMA, 3-1)
BJJ brown belt Stephen Martin joint bottom in terms of experience, but his grappling expertise could make him a threat on the night. He has fought on big shows in the past, debuting in BAMMA in 2013, and he’ll relish his role as an underdog with everything to gain coming in.
Paul Cook (NEVT, 14-4)
Newcastle’s Cook has an impressive résumé, with twelve finishes amongst his fourteen victories. He overcame a difficult skid to put together a three fight win streak, all via submission, and win the Made4TheCage title. His NEVT team include many top ranked domestic fighters, and he has wins over David Galbraith, Phil Flynn and Jordan Miller.
Jeremy Petley (London Fight Factory, 10-4)
Canadian Petley has fought on BAMMA and Made4TheCage against some tough opposition, and he currently rides an impressive five-fight win streak with three stoppages. He is known for his submission game and can count Richie Downes and Dyson Roberts amongst his biggest victories.
Peter Queally (SBG Ireland, 3-1)
Experience-wise, Queally doesn’t necessarily match up well on paper with the line-up above. However, with one of Europe’s finest MMA teams around him, including UFC and TUF stars, along with Cage Warriors champions, the Irishman will not be fazed by anybody. His unbeaten streak came to an end on NYE, but he’ll be looking to make amends in May.
As is the nature with tournaments and the gruelling fight camps fighters put themselves through, there may well be injuries in the run up or on the night. Reserve fighters will be on hand to step in, with some seasoned veterans still looking for the opportunity to compete for the cool 15k.
This article was originally published on YourMMA: http://www.yourmma.tv/news/details.asp/id/3131/strong-line-up-announced-for-aon-6-lightweight-tournament.htm