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Euro Fight Flashback: Kiefer Crosbie and Josh Plant’s one round bloody brawl at BAMMA 35

This is the first installment of our new series highlighting notable fights you may have missed on the European scene.

Kiefer Crosbie
Bellator MMA/Lee Hamilton-Cooper

During the next few months, there is expected to be a drastically reduced MMA schedule so Bloody Elbow’s European writer, Scott Lagdon, will dive into the archive to highlight bouts on the continent that other fans around the world may have missed. Whether it’s looking at the early days of international stars, fight of the year candidates or just ‘fun’ bouts, we’ll have you covered! There are a wealth of reputable promotions staging regular events in Europe including Bellator, KSW and Cage Warriors, who have put on highly entertaining contests over the years, so let us know if there are any you would like featured.

Fight (with records at the time): Kiefer Crosbie (3-0) v Josh Plant (2-1) - Welterweight

Event: BAMMA 35 in Dublin, Ireland

Date: May 12th 2018

This event was the last time ever that BAMMA staged a show over in Ireland before they stopped promoting fights and a large number of staff members made the move to Bellator’s European team. Conor McGregor watched on from cageside as one of his SBG Ireland teammates, Kiefer Crosbie, aimed to remain unbeaten and take out the Englishman, Josh Plant, in the evening’s co-main event. Crosbie had finished his three previous opponents before the end of the second round and Plant was returning to competition about two months after stopping John Nicholls by heel hook in under a minute.

Both men opened up straight away on the feet and Plant then moved in for a takedown, which Crosbie managed to defend. The pair ended up against the fence and Crosbie caught a knee his opponent threw to take him down to the mat. As Plant got back up, the Irishman landed a number of punches before Plant clinched up and took Crosbie briefly down. When the welterweights worked to their feet, some close punches in tight from Plant found their target and Crosbie later returned a teap kick and threw a one-two. Crosbie got off some punches against the fence which momentarily hurt Plant, but the Englishman fired right back with strikes of his own.

In an attempt to clear his head and recover, Plant held Crosbie against the fence but Crosbie managed to separate and threw a number of elbows and punches. Plant wasn’t deterred though and continued to launch his own offense as both men were visibly damaged. Shortly after, Crosbie landed a knee to his opponents head next to the fence and Plant shot in immediately for a takedown. With Plant’s head unprotected, Crosbie landed a number of elbows until the referee had seen enough and waved off the fight. Crosbie had moved to 4-0 while keeping his 100% finishing streak alive but Plant gained plaudits for his toughness and all-action approach.

“Before the fight, I knew what to expect from Crosbie,” discussed Plant. “He was like a Conor McGregor template which seemed to be replicated by all SBG Ireland fighters at that time. I like to keep trash talk to a minimum and didn’t think I was going to be affected by anyone throwing comments at me. Just before walking out to the fight, McGregor came up to me and my corner and sized us up. Then he went back over to his cronies. When I was walking on stage, I heard one of Crosbie’s team shout not to worry and that everything would be over soon!”

“At that point, I was just like f—k it, I’ve got the whole crowd against me so I was willing to have a tear up and hoped to upset the whole arena,” continued Plant. “Unfortunately, I didn’t stick to my original game plan which was to control him against the cage, get the takedown and beat him up from the top. I believe I showed a lot of heart and returned some decent shots but didn’t display anywhere near the range of skills I had, so I was extremely disappointed with my performance. Also, a lot of people didn’t agree with the stoppage. Elbows were landed on the back of my head and I have the scars to prove it but I learnt lots from the fight. In the bout, I broke my nose, dislocated my thumb and needed a number of stitches afterwards.”

These days, Crosbie is one of the biggest Irish stars in Bellator and still gets an incredible reception inside the 3Arena whenever he fights there. ‘BDK’ progressed to 6-0 before suffering his first loss, which was due to disqualification by throwing an illegal knee. Crosbie is coming off of a decision victory over Iamik Furtado and sees his future at lightweight.

Plant suffered another stoppage loss after this fight to George McManus and hasn’t competed for one and a half years since. He looks forward to returning stronger later this year with Cage Warriors.