Lancaster MMA fighter wants to keep building momentum

Shay Walsh on the offensive against James Saville. Picture: Mark Blundell
Shay Walsh on the offensive against James Saville. Picture: Mark Blundell
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Lancaster’s fast-rising mixed martial arts fighter is targeting a breakout few months.

Shay Walsh believes two quick wins in his new division of bantamweight can fire him onto the world stage.

Shay Walsh.

Shay Walsh.

Fresh from his latest training stint in Thailand the 27-year-old faces Gaz Pilot on BAMMA 21 at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena this Saturday, June 13.

The Lancaster and Morecambe MMA fighter, who trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket, said: “This is a big show.

“BAMMA are doing all the right things, they’ve got the TV deal, the big arena shows and the champions are some of the best guys in Europe who then move onto the world stage.

“If I can win it’s just going to be one of my goals.

Shay Walsh looks for an opening against Paul Reed.

Shay Walsh looks for an opening against Paul Reed.

“Breaking onto one of the big shows overseas is the end goal.

“I still want to crack America and get on the biggest shows in the world.”

Walsh, 12-3 in the pro ranks, is confident that a win over Pilot would set up a shot at the BAMMA Bantamweight title in his next fight but isn’t overlooking the experienced Mancunian.

He said: “He’s been around a long time and I know him to say hello at shows.

“He’s a nice guy who’s very good on the ground.

“He’s good at getting round the back and choking people. That’s his strength.

“That’s what I’ve got to watch out for.

“I’m not looking past him but I’m at the stage where I’m 100 per cent confident going in against anyone.

“I’m hitting my stride now and I want to keep racking up wins.”

The Lancaster man, who arrived back in the country for the fight last Saturday, has only spent four weeks at home since October as he makes the most of his training opportunity out in Thailand.

Having had to pull out a fight in Australia due to injury Walsh is now making the move to bantamweight for the Pilot fight having previously campaigned at featherweight, his last fight being a majority decision win over Paul Reed on BAMMA 16 in Manchester last September.

He said: “It’s 10 pounds lighter.

“There’s a couple of reasons. I’ve always known I’ve been a bit small for featherweight.

“It’s never been an issue but in terms of opportunities it’s a good move too.

“A couple of big wins straight away will get me up the rankings and that will help me get picked up for the biggest shows.”

The show on Saturday is being broadcast on Spike TV, Sky channel 160.

Walsh v Pilot isn’t one of the scheduled TV fights but it could be shown if time allows.