Rodriguez-McSweeney Added to BAMMA 5 Bill

By Mike Whitman Jan 26, 2011
James McSweeney | Dave Mandel/

Paul Daley and Yuya Shirai now have some company on the main card of BAMMA 5.

The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts on Wednesday announced the addition of a contest between former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 alum James McSweeney. The promotion did not specify in which division the bout would be contested

BAMMA also released an eight-fight undercard lineup on Wednesday. Three more main card attractions are expected to be announced shortly for the event, which goes down Feb. 26 at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England.

A veteran fighter with nearly 50 kickboxing matches to his credit, McSweeney’s success as a striker has not translated well to MMA. The Brit joined the cast of “TUF 10” in 2009 and was eliminated from the show by eventual winner Roy Nelson. The 30-year-old made his official UFC debut at the season finale, besting Darrill Schoonover by third-round TKO.

McSweeney’s next two outings would not be as successful, however, as he was knocked out by Travis Brown at the “TUF 11” Finale in June. After making the drop to light heavyweight for the first time in his career, McSweeney was again knocked out, this time by Fabio Maldonado at UFC 120 in October.

Rodriguez began his career in 1999 and won the King of the Cage heavyweight championship before joining the UFC in 2001. Rodriguez captured the UFC heavyweight title in 2002, finishing Randy Couture at UFC 39. After losing the title to Tim Sylvia in his first defense, Rodriguez would fight only once more for the promotion.

As his career wore on, the 33-year-old’s weight ballooned to over 300 pounds. Recently, however, “Ricco Suave” has slimmed down: Rodriguez was set to compete at light heavyweight for Israel FC in November, but was only able to cut down to 215 pounds prior to his unanimous decision victory over Daniel Tabera. The win was Rodriguez's 10th in a row, capping a 7-0 year in 2010.

February 26, 2011
Manchester Evening News Arena
Manchester, England

Paul Daley vs. Yuya Shirai
Ricco Rodriguez vs. James McSweeney
Daniel Thomas vs. A.J. Wenn
Rob Mills vs. Lee Cohoon
Jason Ball vs. Maktar Gueye
Paul Cook vs. Tom Maguire
Tim Newman vs. Diego Vital
Costas Doru vs. Liam James
Frankie Slater vs. Jeremy Petley
Charlie Leary vs. Tom Breese
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