British prospect James Mulheron is urging UK promotion BAMMA to offer him the chance to fight for their now vacant heavyweight world title early in 2017, and he’s got the ideal opponent in mind too.
BAMMA’s former champion Mark Godbeer signed with the UFC this week, therefor vacating the belt, and with numerous match-ups between Mulheron and Godbeer falling through over the past 18 months, the South Shields striker is keen to follow in his domestic rivals footsteps.
“Now Mark has signed with the UFC his BAMMA belt is going to be vacant so hopefully as someone who was matched to fight him on more than one occasion, the promotion will give me the opportunity to fight for that belt,” Mulheron tells FO.
The two domestic heavyweights were last paired up for Bellator MMA’s London debut earlier this year. But Godbeer pulled out with little more than a week to go over contractual issues. Mulheron went on to defeat stand-in Neil Grove at the O2, but admits it was the UK heavyweight top spot he was gunning for.
He adds: “I would have loved to fight Mark in London, that was the fight that I wanted. But he had his reasons for pulling out and I can’t thank Neil enough for stepping in. Obviously, I was hoping to face Mark next, on another show, but he’s been signed for UFC Belfast and I wish him all the luck in the world with that.
“But, obviously, I want what he’s got. It was just a one-fight deal with Bellator for London so now I’m going back to fight on a Made 4 The Cage card next month, which I’m fine with. I love fighting at home. But I also have big aspirations for my career and so I hope BAMMA make me an offer to fight for Mark’s old belt.”
And, in terms of potential opponents, 9-1 Mulheron has the perfect man in mind. “Ruben Wolf would be a great fight and would be game I’m sure. That’s the only loss on my record and I never really lost that fight. I never performed as well as I should have done.” Mulheron also suffered a broken leg which kept him out of action for nine months.
“If I can finish my next opponent (Welshman Geraint Hill) – who is himself an exciting young British heavyweight prospect – then I’d love BAMMA to give me the chance to rematch Wolf for the belt.”
Mulheron, who dislocated his thumb in the points win over Grove in July, is back training full-time and gunning for a big end to the year before hopefully grabbing that title chance early in 2017.
“To hold the BAMMA title would open so many doors to me, just like it has done for Mark,” he adds, “but to be honest, it would just be an absolute privilege to be called BAMMA heavyweight champion. That would mean the world to me.
“I have a job to do first against Hill next. But I plan on making a statement once again and hopefully my championship chance will come next.”