Dublin’s Chris Fields (11-7) may just have talked himself into a shot at the BAMMA light heavyweight title against current champion Paul Craig (8-0) following a heated exchange between the two men backstage at BAMMA24 in Dublin on February 27th. Craig was invited to the event as the promotions guest fighter and was cage side to witness Fields picking up his first BAMMA victory against late replacement Dan Konecke. However, the Scottish Hit Squad star couldn’t believe his ears when Fields mentioned a title shot in his post fight interview.
Craig said: “Fields hadn’t won a fight since 2012, beats a guy that came in as a late replacement and then says he deserves a title shot. I felt like jumping the barrier and going into the cage to tell him he was out of his mind. Fields has only won one fight in his last five and even that was lucky, Dan Konecke nearly took him out in the first round”.
“In my opinion there are other fighters more deserving of a title shot than Fields; guys such as Brett McDermott for example, but I would happily fight Fields next as I have wanted to fight him ever since I first seen him at the Dublin weigh-ins last year where he was acting all cocky and got right up in his opponents face”.
Craig didn’t have to wait long to come face to face with Fields as the two met back stage as the Irishman made his way back to the dressing room. The moment was captured on camera for the ‘BAMMA Unfiltered’ series, but it was when the camera stopped rolling that things got interesting.
Craig said: “I had just come out of the toilet and met Fields in the corridor so decided to speak to him about the title fight. To be honest I had drank a few beers by that point so said some stuff I probably shouldn’t have when the next minute Cathal Pendred and a few more his SBG team mates got involved. I’m not going to lie, things got quite heated and the situation went on for about 10 minutes, but even although it was just me not one of the SBG guys stepped forward”.
The animosity didn’t stop there as the self proclaimed “Housewives’ choice” later fired a barrage of verbal shots across Craig’s bow in an interview with Irish website ‘SevereMMA’. Fields called Craig an ‘Aldi’ version of Conor McGregor, claimed that Craig hadn’t beaten anyone of note and that he didn’t even know who Craig was. Obviously these comments didn’t sit well with the current champion and it didn’t take long for the “Bearjew” to respond.
Craig said “I have had two fights with BAMMA and the guys I beat were the best in the division; Karl Moore was unbeaten when we fought and was tipped to be Ireland’s next UFC star and Marcin was of course the BAMMA Champion, so obviously neither are bums”.
“What confused me was that Fields was willing to trash talk me in that interview with SevereMMA but when I responded on Twitter all of a sudden he claims talk is cheap and doesn’t want to know. He verbally accepted the fight, maybe because he was on camera or maybe it was because he was in front of his mates, but he seemed nervous when I spoke to him. I felt he doesn’t really want to fight me. Maybe his coaches are pushing him for a fight with me as he is about to open a new gym and they think he will need the exposure”.
“He may think I’m an Aldi Conor McGregor but you, Chris Fields, are Conor McGregor’s housewife”.
Although nothing has been officially announced for Craig’s next fight, the Airdrie man feels that it’s only right his first title defence should be here in Scotland in front of friends and family. Craig said: “Fields mentioned that we could fight on the Dublin card in June. I will fight anywhere and have no problem fighting in Dublin. I won the belt there so the City has nice memories for me but if I am honest, a champion should defend his belt in his own country and I would love to fight in Scotland”.
“BAMMA hasn’t been to Scotland yet but UFC Glasgow selling out in only 25 minutes shows the appetite Scot’s have for MMA. BAMMA now have Chris ‘The Bad Guy’ Bungard and Graham ‘Afterburner’ Turner so that gives the promotion three guys, myself included, who could all be fighting for titles on a show in Scotland”.
Sources close to BAMMA have suggested that the promotion is keen to stage their first ever Scottish event this autumn with the SSE Hydro the probable venue and a grudge match between Craig and Fields would certainly make the event an easy sell for the BAMMA marketing people.