Opinion: Top Irish Prospects for 2018

“We’re not here to take part, we’re here to takeover.”

Those are the famous words uttered by Conor McGregor. And it appears that the Irish takeover may be happening. There is a massive buzz around the fighting scene in Ireland, something that hasn’t been felt since the days of the mighty Steve Collins, and these fighters are the people at the forefront of the buzz.

Glenn Irvine

Glenn Irvine

Hailing from the Next Gen gym in Ballymena, with a record of 3-2, Glenn ‘the beast’ Irvine has been making waves in the Caged Steel promotion. He is the reigning middleweight champion, with 3 wins from 3 in under 3 minutes of cage time. His both losses have came in BAMMA. In my opinion, the step up in competition was a bit to steep for that stage in his career. He displayed great skills in both fights, but was ultimately beat by experience as he jumped into BAMMA straight from the amateur ranks.

The move to Caged Steel seems to have helped Irvine find his feet with his most recent fight ending in a 12 second knockout. With another one or two fights in Caged Steel, I feel that “The Beast” will have gained enough experience to further his career in one of the bigger promotions. A return to BAMMA maybe?..

Rhys McKee

rhys mckee 1

Something must be in the water in Ballymena because here we have another Next Gen product. Aged 21 with a a record of 6-1-1 (with his only loss being avenged with a dominating victory), “Skeletor” has shown signs of becoming a true great within the sport.

Not only has he has displayed a high level of striking with 4 wins coming by KO, Rhys also has a dominant, aggressive grappling style with 2 submission victories, both of which he absolutely ragdolled his opponents, it’s safe to say his limits are where he says they are – he currently holds the BAMMA lightweight belt, and I believe its only a matter of time before he shaking up the ranks of either Bellator or the UFC.

Kiefer Crosbie

keifer crosbie

Fighting out of the world renowned Straight Blast Gym (SBG) Dublin, Crosbie has shown a style of fighting that is eerily similar to that of his most famous teammate – Conor McGregor.

Crosbie has been out since October with injury, and has shown recently that he has regained his fitness and seems to be raring to go. He has the potential to become a household name, and I feel 2018 will be a massive year for him.

James Gallagher

James Gallagher 1

James is currently on a huge tear in Bellator. A great grappler, also with the ability to rip it up on the feet if he has to.

He has grown up in the SBG, moving to Dublin from a young age to live to live with John Kavanagh, and you can really see that the wealth of experience has rubbed off on him. Currently 7-0, the UFC seems to be beckoning for Ireland’s brightest prospect. I think that a big future may be ahead for Gallagher as the gym time he has spent with McGregor will give him an edge mentally as well as physically.

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