5 fighters with under 5 fights to watch at Bellator 217

Bellator’s return to Ireland has plenty of prospects to keep an eye on in the future. Let’s take a look at 5 fights with less than 5 fights to keep an eye on this weekend.

2015 IMMAF European and 2016 IMMAF World champions Leah McCourt is one to be watching tonight. McCourt is two fights deep into her pro career after a spectacular amateur career. She had a rough start to her pro career losing her debut via TKO/KO in round two back at Cage Warriors 85. She quickly bounced back when she picked up a split decision victory in her last bout.

McCourt managed to finish every single fight back at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships and will be looking to repeat that type of performance in Dublin. McCourt’s opponent is 2-6, carrying in a huge experience advantage despite the poor record. McCourt has spent some time training with UFC flyweight Molly McCann in the build-up to this bout and been training over at SBG Charlestown. It would not surprise me if McCourt manages to finish this one early.

Richard Kiely is a name that cannot be missed on this list anyway. Kiely, the self-proclaimed “Face of Bellator, makes his return to the cage after coming out of retirement. Kiely is coming off a BAMMA world title challenge which saw him lose to Alex Lohore. Kiely is a world class kickboxer and has shown his striking ability in his two opening pro fights where he finished his opponents via TKO/KO.

Chris Duncan is undefeated in his pro career to date. The Scottish fighter is 3-0 as a pro and has finished every single one of his bout since debuting in 2018. During his successful amateur career, he picked up numerous belts. Duncan is an upcoming prospect around Scotland which many have high hopes for, a win here for him could really kickstart his career in Bellator. His opponent is another fighter we have on this list, Sam Slater.

Sam Slater is fighting in front of a home crowd in Dublin. The Irish fighter is undefeated as a pro with a record of 2-0, finishing one of those bouts back at BAMMA 35. During a successful amateur career of his own, Slater picked up a silver medal back at the 2015 IMMAF European championships. Slater is a very well rounded exciting fighter, similar to his opponent, this one has the potential to be a huge fight, regardless of the result both men have a bright career ahead of them.

Andrew Murphy is a highly touted featherweight fighter around Ireland. The Team Ryano fighter has a losing record of 1-2 but it doesn’t do him justice. The Carlow native has a stoppage win wedged between two losses. Murphy has got decent striking and really pushes the pace. His ground game has been tested and resulted in two submission losses. It will be very interesting to see how he’s worked on this and improved for this bout. His fight is against Dylan Logan and could be a fun one if both compete as they have in their most recent bouts.


University of Limerick Economics and Finance Graduate. Editor for MMA Latest News and contributor to MMA Viking also featured on IMMAF, Fox Sports Asia, FanSided MMA and MMA-Today.

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