Bellator Fighter Mike Bannon: Heart of a Champion

By Robby Sabo,
"The Irish Cannon" looks to make noise in Bellator 118

On May 2nd, 2014 at the Revel in Atlantic City, NJ, Bellator 118 will go down to the excitement of many. It will be a great night of professional MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) action on Spike TV.

The Main Card will feature Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas and Joe Warren fighting for the Title, according to Bellator.com. Warren looks to capture that championship he feels is his.

One of the fighters that many will have their eyes on that night will be Mike “The Irish Cannon” Bannon. Bannon will be entering his seventh professional MMA fight (5 wins, 1 loss) in the lightweight division. Four of his five wins have ended in the first round by way of submission, according to Sherdog.com. Business-like and to the point is the way he likes it.

Bannon’s last fight ended with a technical submission as he took out Ahsan Abdullah with an arm-triangle choke only 1:51 into the match. It wasn’t a fight, it was an annihilation at Bellator 109.

“The Cannon’s” following was apparent as the place went nuts, and his fans exploded upon the stoppage of the fight. The environment that this guy creates during fights provides chills.

Bannon is a magician in the ground game (jiu jitsu and wrestling background), but questions still festered about his stand-up and striking. He answered those questions from the very beginning of this fight as he added striking to his arsenal and Abdullah did not know what hit him. Like a pitcher who gives up a lead-off homer and never recovers, it was all over.

As I have personally watched Bannon’s fights, one thing became very clear. This is what sticks in my head after each fight: “Rocky, Rocky, Rocky.” The similarities are evident.

Bannon, 31, is in the prime of his career but jumped in the MMA game a little late compared to others. That alone proves heart and dedication in this game. He’s been a fighter his entire life. Whether it was overcoming injuries or doubters, he comes through every time leaving no doubt.

This included fighting the urge to lose his mind while growing up with four sisters. My apologies to the Bannon sisters. You are all lovely ladies.

A decorated high school and collegiate wrestler, he fights out of little known association “Tri-State MMA” in Milford, PA, his birth-place. This fight on May 2nd, could be a defining one in his career, and my goodness he is ready.

Playing the underdog card is the only way he knows. Heart is the greatest measurable in all of sports, and one thing is for sure: Mike Bannon leads Bellator in that category by a wide margin.

Images via Facebook from Mike "The Irish Cannon" Bannon

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