BAMMA, Europe’s leading Mixed Martial Arts promotion, has announced two major changes in the BAMMA 9 fight card that see Matt Ewin replace Nick Nembhard; and Mark Tucker replace Lewis Long.
Matt Ewin will be stepping in to face Leeroy Barnes; while Tucker is set to confront Tom Breese.
Nembhard was sadly forced to withdraw from the scheduled Middleweight bout against Leeroy Barnes due to an injury sustained whilst sparring. Nembhard said:
“Cut a long story short, I was sparring Mark Godbeer who’s fighting on the same show: I threw an overhand right towards him, flush on the face, and by doing so I broke my hand in the process; my right hand.
“The bone in my index finger is snapped in half completely so I stopped what I was doing straight away.”
However, on just over a week’s notice, UK veteran Matt Ewin has stepped into Nembhard’s shoes, raising the challenge for Barnes, who is already renowned for taking tough fights.
Ewin has 33 fights to his name and has fought a roll call of high calibre names including Xavier Foupa-Pokam, Martin Kampmann and Travis Lutter. Ewin debuted at BAMMA 6 where he stole the victory against Ivan Salaverry.
He now returns to the BAMMA cage with two subsequent losses (against Claudio da Silva and John Phillips), which he will be looking to rectify.
With a record of 9-9-0, Barnes pushed fan expectations at BAMMA 8 when he took the BAMMA-Lonsdale British Middleweight Champion, Jack Marshman, the full gruelling distance to a decision win in Marshman’s favour.
The Barnes vs. Ewin match-up promises an intense, cataclysmic bout that will enthral UK fight fans. Barnes said:
“When Nembhard got injured I was gutted, as I’m in the best shape of my life. Out of all the replacements offered, Ewin was the most experienced and the toughest test. My team and I think this is the right time for me to be taking fights like this, to bring out the best in me.
“Ewin is a legend in the UK and it will be an honour to face him and put on a show for BAMMA fans. This is my time.”
Meanwhile, luck has not been on the side of those lined up to face hot Welterweight talent, Tom Breese: With Rus Smith already forced out due to injury, Lewis Long is the second opponent to have to cancel.
Mark ‘Pitbull’ Tucker replaces Long at the last hour and with the greater MMA experience, creates a new set of challenges for Breese.
BAMMA’s Managing Director, Ashley Bothwell, said:
“We’re really sorry to have lost Nembhard and Long, who are both talented fighters that have worked hard in the run up to at their fights. We acknowledge all the sacrifices fighters make in preparation for their matches and the disappointment of athletes at not being able to compete. We look forward to having both fighters on the BAMMA card again in future.
“On the positive, our VP of Talent Relations, Jude Samuel, has successfully matched exciting replacements at short notice, which he couldn’t have done without the courage and will to fight of the guys stepping in. It is an honour to have such an esteemed veteran as Matt Ewin grace the BAMMA card, and Ewin vs. Barnes is going to be a tough battle.
“Breese stands undefeated at both Pro and Amateur levels, and is also cutting his teeth as a talented boxer. However, Tucker comes in with more professional experience and poses different threats to Breese’s arsenal. These are both fights I absolutely can’t wait to see.”