Headline act Shay Walsh knows a win in his next fight will take him a big step closer to mixed martial arts stardom.
Lancaster’s rising star defends his BAMMA Bantamweight title against hot prospect Tom Duquesnoy in the main event of BAMMA 25 at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on May 14.
The champion vs champion contest pits Walsh against the company’s featherweight king with the Lancaster and Morecambe MMA fighter believing victory will see him become the top bantamweight outside of the world’s premier cage fighting promotion, America’s Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Walsh, 14-3, said: “Quite a lot of people are high on him (Duquesnoy) at the moment and think he’s got a big future.
“It’s a tough test but it’s a big opportunity to make myself stand out.
“If I get this win I’ll be the top bantamweight outside of UFC.
“This is my time now. I’m not getting any younger and need fights like this to push me onto the next level.”
With the event set to be broadcast live on freeview channel Spike TV, Walsh is eager to steal the show on a packed card.
He said: “I’ve headlined smaller shows but it’s my first time headlining a show like this.
“Every time BAMMA put on a show in the UK it’s huge but this really has some big names on.
“A lot of people are talking about it so to be in the main event is awesome.
“My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been going crazy since it was announced.”
Ahead of the biggest fight of his life, Walsh is again splitting his time between training with brother Sergio in Lancaster and spending time out in the prestigious Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket, Thailand.
He said: “I’ve known I’d be fighting on this date for a while.
“I was out in Thailand for around a month and am training with my brother in Glasson Dock at the moment.
“I’ll be heading back out there in a couple of weeks but it’s been good to do some technical work and game planning before stepping up the sparring and conditioning in Thailand.
“It’s been fantastic out there and has really taken me to the next level.”
For tickets contact @ShayWalshMMA on Twitter and Instagram or find him on Facebook.