Akuma Fighting Championship 8 takes place on July 2nd from the Templeton Hotel, Northern Ireland. Today the promotion announced another pro fight for the card, this is in addition to the Darren O'Gorman vs. Gavin Kelly title fight (read here).
Next Gen NI's Dec Larkin (13-10) will face EFR's James McErlean (4-3). Both men were scheduled to fight at BAMMA against different opponents (Larkin - Myles Price and McErlean - Patrick Wixted) but the postponement of that card left many in the middle of camp without fights.
McErlean is primarily known as a bantamweight has fought two of Larkin's Next Gen teammates in the past going 1-2 against them. He comes into this fight having stopped a three-fight-skid by beating Niall Smyth at Akuma 7 in February.
Larkin will be fighting for the first time in 2016 and will be glad to be competing so close to home after a pair of fights in mainland Europe didn't go his way at the tail end of 2015. Last time he fought at home he captured the Chaos belt defeating Gavin Carlin via first round submission.
A press release from Akuma read:
"Here we have a extremely exciting and entertaining professional lightweight match up between two fighters from two of Ireland prestigious gyms
Both these fighters where scheduled to fight different opponents on BAMMA 26 in June but with the rescheduling of the show to Sept due to new safety implications both fighters are in shape and still keen to compete and what a match up it is.
Dec Larkin is well known on the MMA scene being a top referee and promoter himself. Dec is a highly rated and experienced fighter and also Chaos Professional Lightweight Champion fighting out of NxtGen Ballymena under popular coach Rodney Moore
James McErlean is a talented popular young athlete fighting out of EFR martial arts under renowned top coach David Patterson. James is coming into this fight moving up a weight division after his last Akuma outing with a hard earned FW victory.
This match up has the making of being fight of the night and certainly a crowd pleasure when both these fan favorites go head to head on July 2nd."