For the first time since 2015, an Irish woman will compete in the UFC on Saturday as Shauna Bannon makes her anticipated UFC debut against Bruna Brasil at UFC London.
“Mama B” only began her professional career in April of 2022 and has already accumulated four wins. There has only ever been one Irish woman to fight under the UFC banner and that was Aisling Daly. Daly fought three times with the promotion and picked up two wins.
Bannon will be hoping to walk the same path as Daly, but go one better. She faces off against fellow striker, Bruna Brasil. The Contender Series alum is coming in off a loss to Denise Gomes on her full UFC debut back in April.
Despite having only fought four times in professional MMA, Bannon is widely known for her extensive kickboxing career and has already shared the cage with top prospects, Dakota Ditcheva and Shanelle Dyer.
The 29-year-old is determined to come into her UFC debut and show everyone who “Mama B” is, predicting that she will score a second round knockout over her Brazilian opponent.
Conor McGregor, has been full of support for his compatriot with Bannon announcing earlier this week that Forged Irish Stout and The Black Forge Inn have came on board to sponsor her. “It’s huge, to have him on board as part of my sponsorship team it’s unbelievable and he’s been backing me my whole career, he’s always congratulating me and wishing me luck on my fights so for now to be in the UFC and he’s here too and for him to be on my team, it’s deadly.” she said.
Irish MMA had been in somewhat of a rut with Ian Garry being the only active Irish fighter on the UFC roster. Since the beginning of the year though, the UFC have signed an additional two Irish fighters in Bannon and former Cage Warriors welterweight champion, Rhys McKee. With that, Irish MMA seems to be hitting a resurgence, and Bannon is glad to be a part of it.
Bannon said: “It is an individual sport but i’ve fought with teams my entire life with kickboxing it was always a team, so the more the merrier. The more of us that are putting our foot on the mat and coming out and showing everyone what we are made of is better. There’s loads of Americans, loads of Brazilians, why can’t there be loads of Irish?”
Watch the full UFC London media day appearance by Shauna Bannon above.